Monthly Archives: April 2009

Time for a Check-up

Time for the semi-regular check-up of my New Year’s Resolutions.  In case you don’t know them, by heart, here’s the quick run down:

Be 100% smoke free–  Part of the reason I wanted to write this post is to declare myself a bona fide non-smoker.  But for some odd reason, I had ONE cigarette on Saturday.  That’s one in February, one in March, and one in April.  Really… what’s the point?  Stupid!

Avoid fast food–   Again, I was doing pretty well, but my food supply at home is almost non-existent. I ate fast food TWICE this weekend… and had Za’s today.  It’s a function of not wanting to go to the grocery store more than anything else.

Finish more books– Uh… no.  I haven’t read a book since my trip to San Francisco.  And I really liked the book. I plan on writing about it.  Someday.

Learn to write fiction–  This has been an interesting endeavor.  I’m taking a class at Parkland. I’ve written a couple of “throw-away” stories, one I’m kinda proud of, and one that has potential, but needs significant revision.  I think I’m getting better.

Watch more movies–  Again…NO!  I cancelled my Netflix because I just don’t have the attention span to sit through a movie.  And I haven’t been TO the Movies since February (?)

Be more honest–  I think I’m okay in this category. We can cross it off the Resolutions list. 

Learn to appreciate poetry–   Eh… I have to admit.  The T.S. Eliot book I got for my birthday is still on my table.  I open it up occasionally, but I wouldn’t say I have an appreciation for poetry.   Not yet anyway.

Get back to a fighting weight– Believe it or not, I’m actually doing okay in this category.  My goal was to lose 20ish pounds and I think I’m probably down about 10 from the beginning of the year.  Our first “official” Biggest Loser weigh-in is Friday. I’m a little nervous (see above re: fast food), but I think I’m on the right track… for now!

Get control of debt–  I’m not doing as well in this category as I’d like to.  I (finally) made some of the cutbacks I promised months ago (cancelled Netflix, downgraded cable, cancelled magazines.)   But I know I need to curb more spending– Starbucks runs, new clothes, eating out,  etc.

Be more responsible–  I think I’m doing okay with this.  I really need to get my a$$ in gear at work a little more, but  I’m acting like a responsible adult.  Most of the time.  Except some weekends ;)

I’ve also set a few more fitness-related goals for myself this year:   I’m running another 5K in a couple of weeks.  My goal is to improve on my previous time.  Then  then thinking about maybe training for a mini triathlon in August (which requires a new bike, which requires more $$… the vicious cycle). My goal is to become a better swimmer and actually FINISH.   

Writing a short story is like running a 5K

At first you’re just happy to finish

Then you want to be GOOD

When you finally finish, you’re just  happy to be DONE

And there’s always next time…

We’re studying comparisons (similes, metaphors, cliches) this week in my fiction writing class.  

Maybe I learned something…

When Blogs Collide

I don’t usually write about work here. Partly for privacy reasons, but mostly because I just don’t think that my work life is all that interesting.

But today was different.

Today, I published my very first work-related blog post.  The post will be included in tomorrow’s e-mail newsletter that goes out to over 100,000 subscribers each week. 

Now, I’ll stop short of calling myself a “professional writer”, but it was certainly invigorating to get paid for writing as myself,  instead of a nameless, faceless copywriter.   And I got the chance to write about two of my favorite subjects:  myself and writing!

Please take a minute to read the post (and maybe even comment?)   Yes, I’m super proud to be “published,”  but I’m also really excited about the content.  I think the National Day on Writing has the potential to be a far-reaching and very successful initiative for my organization.

I hope all of my blogging  friends and readers will consider posting something to the gallery– a favorite blog post, a slide show of your kids, an heirloom recipe, whatever.  I also hope you’ll think about ways to get your groups involved– church groups, civic groups, families, etc. are all invited to start galleries and display their writing.

Don’t worry– I’m sure I’ll write about it again!

I heart blogging!!

Foto Friday: Running with Ryann

Okay, by now you all know I finished my first 5K last weekend.  I’m still pretty proud of myself, and I have my sights set on the next race. 

But I realized that even though I’ve blogged (ad nauseum) about running, I failed to mention what I was running for.   Yes, I wanted to meet a personal goal and whip myself in shape.  But, more importantly,  I was running in memory of Ryann Hope Smith, my friend’s  little girl who was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and got her angel wings shortly after birth.

Jaime had shirts made up for runners/walkers to wear on race day.   On the front it says:   “Silent Strength  In Memory of Ryann Hope Smith 12/27/08- 1/5/09.”  The back says  “Just Breathe… for CDH.”    All proceeds from the sale of these shirts went to support CDH research.

I bought two– one to work out in and one to wear that day.   The first time I EVER ran the full 3.1 miles I was wearing my “training” shirt.  And I truly believe that Ryann was with me on race day, helping me to cross that finish line.

crossing the finish line in my Ryann Hope shirt

crossing the finish line in my Ryann Hope shirt

Clennon, me, Lindsey, Jaime & Erin pre-race

Clennon, me, Lindsey, Jaime & Erin pre-race

Just SOME of the people suppporting CDH research that day

Just SOME of the people suppporting CDH research that day

I’m super proud to be able to support my friend while also accomplishing a goal.  To learn more about CDH, please visit http://www.breathofhopeinc.org/.

————–

(Photos borrowed from Jaime’s facebook and the Illinois Marathon site–shhhh)

I did it!

Yes, folks… I finished my first 5K and now I’m addicted.  It was like riding a roller coaster.  As soon as the race was over, I wanted to go again.

I was slow, finishing in just over 36 minutes.  I got really caught up in the “race day” atmosphere and I never really got into a good groove.  Although I think the adrenaline pushed me on, I definitely missed the solitude of my training runs.

And not to toot my own horn or anything, but there’s something really satisfying about setting a goal and accomplishing it.  Just a week ago, I wasn’t certain I’d finish.  But once I built up my confidence, I knew I would.

All in all, awesome day!  It was so great to see so many people out there. It’s funny because running is such a solitary sport, yet it becomes so very social on race day.  I was thrilled to finish and thrilled I got to run with one of my very best friends.

Clennon and I post-race

Clennon and I post-race

Until next time…

Let me Explain. No, there’s not time. Let me sum up.

I’ve been a bit busy lately.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the past 8 or 9 days.

Went to see an AWESOME high school production of Footloose.  My friend was playing in the “orchestra” (if that’s what you call it.)  Cheesy.  High School.  Great costumes.   Can’t beat it with a stick.

Baby shower for Kristi.  Aren’t they cute?

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Kristi and Lindsey

Celebrated Kari’s 30th bday (a week early) with a surprise party at J2.  Check out these kids.   Cuteness abounds in my circle.

Beau and Macie mini-bowling
Beau and Macie mini-bowling

NKOTB, part deux.  This time, we did it up limo-style:

Limo girls in Larry's shed
Limo girls in Larry’s shed
shots at the pink house
shots at the pink house
We had 9th row seats
We had 9th row seats
The "Kids" Wore Illinois shirts for the encore
The “Kids” Wore Illinois shirts for the encore

Ran the FULL 5K for the first time.   Good thing, ‘cuz it’s Saturday. I’m READY TO RUN!

Wrote two stories for my class that I actually like.  They’re about Italian circus performers, naturally ;)

Met threebabies for the first time:  Clennon’s son Neil and Jacelyn’s twins Jacob and Dylan. I even held and fed Dylan, which is quite a feat for me because I’m not much of a baby person–and he was only 4 years old!

Took Roxie to get her shots.  And then to the Emergency Vet for the allergic reaction to her shots.   Her face swelled up like Will Smith in Hitch. It’s funny now, but I was too worked up at the time to snap a pic.  Damn!

Helped celebrate the birthdays of Scott and Kari

Caught about half of The Princess Bride, thus the title of this post.

And then everyday stuff like work and chores and running… I’m kinda worn out, but I cannot WAIT until Saturday.   Don’t worry–there will certainly be a 5K update very soon!!

Of Rice and Men

You know how facebook’s new prompt is “What’s on your mind?”  Well, this is what mine would say if I answered that question correctly (and repeatedly)

  • It’s Friday night. I’m hanging out at home.  I’m okay with that.  I can handle solitude in small doses.
  • I paid $75 this week to get my oil changed and a new tail light.  Then they told me I needed new brakes and a bunch of other stuff.  I hate car repairs.  I don’t have a car payment, so I can’t complain.  But, seriously!
  • I’ve apparently forgotten how to make rice.  It’s been cooking for probably an hour and I’ve had to add water twice.  Grrr..
  • I had a great run tonight. I think it’s the new shoes.
  • I have a super busy weekend planned.  Hence the staying home on a Friday night.
  • We started a “Biggest Loser” thing this week in preparation for Steph’s wedding.   I think it will be fun. I’m taking “before” and “after” pictures, but I can’t post them until it’s all over.
  • My co-worker just had her babies.  Yes, that’s right– twins.  And she has a one-year old at home.  Congrats!
  • I need to write a couple stories for my class. I have some ideas, but I can’t bring myself to write them yet.  Thus, the blogging.
  • I’m dog sitting for the night and I just discovered Roxie has this crazy “patch” of skin/fur that needs to be checked out.  Yet another appointment I’ll forget to make.
  • I really need a personal assistant.  Or maybe just someone to pay my bills.  I’m also putting that off.
  • Kansas’ Carry On My Wayward Son makes zero sense.  But it’s so damn catchy.
  • Kansas is my least favorite state to drive through.  On one trip out West, my parents drove through Kansas in the middle of the night to spare us the boredom.  I woke up in the middle of the state thinking there was a rain storm.  There wasn’t. It was bugs.  Splattering on the windshield enough to make me wake up and think it was rain.  Gross.   My apologies to any  Kansasians (?) who might read this…
  • The shuffle on my iPod is apparently not working ‘cuz Kansas is now on again.  Annoying.  Must change it.
  • Got up to change the song on the iPod and realized the rice was burning. Smoke alarm went off. Hilarity ensued. 
  • Foo Fighters now on iPod.  Best of You. I can’t hear this song without thinking about Breaking Bonaduce when his wife gave him a mirror with the lyrics on it. “I needed somewhere to hang my head/without your noose.”  Yeah, totally not a love song.  I think they’re now divorced.
  • I think the burnt rice ruined my “good” stock pot.  Ugh.
  • This is my new favorite quote:  “I don’t feel middle-aged — I just feel like I’ve been young a lot longer than most people. “
    Not that I am middle aged, but the second half really resonated with me.   It came from this really great article on drinking.

I think I’ll end on that note.  ‘Night.