Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Little Love Around the House

Let me be the first to wish you a happy month of love!

While a few new sweet decorations were finding space in my home this year my oldest son commented, "It doesn't have to look like a birthday party in here!"

Well, you know what?
You are absolutely WRONG!

What better thing to celebrate, than love, joy, family, home, and marriage?
Curl up on the bench (if the cats aren't already there)

Or reach into the jar to see a pretty Valentine and find the place on the globe where my latest sentiment was shipped from.....

Open my scrapbook so I can show off the page I finally made of me and my sweetheart with the photos taken last year in February (I am a whole hearted believer in 'better late than never')

And already my kids are discussing the upcoming days of sugar cookies and school Valentine boxes. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of even more Valentine's from sisters and nieces, as well as my swap gift from the Valentine trade. Am I the only one envious of "Emma" (okay, you have to be watching this on Masterpiece Theater!) and her 'project' book of love poems and riddles? I am tempted to carve out a little time to begin one of my own......

Sounds busy? Maybe it is. But I just keep thinking about the magic that Valentine's was as a kid, with gooey cupcakes and conversations hearts, and just thinking there is no reason it should not be every bit as magical for us grown-ups.

Okay.... you got me there.
I do not always qualify as a grown-up.....
and I am proud of it.

But I am challenging myself, and challenging you, to relish in the season of sappiness this year.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My 1/2 Report

It came it went- and here are the gory details

2 days before. I wake up with a sore throat. Yes, I am sick. I am running sick.
Is that cramps? I am so blessed to have my ladies curse right now?
Really, universe? Oh well.

Day before- walk around Legoland all day dreaming of sleeping. Where will I find my energy?
Day of- can't sleep, so excited. Unbelievable lines for the bathrooms- I have to get in one. I am nervous- I smile for the camera (no that is not a side pony tail- that is another ladies hair behind my head). It is like a rally but everyone is is infectious. Can I hit my target time of under 2:45 (time predicted for my 5k pace of a 10 minute mile).

Race starts. Bands play, breeze flows, it feels great. I pass a lot of my wave and catch up with the 2:30 pacer. I get excited as I slowly pull in front of him. I feel sooo good. I go.

I run a few miles. Gotta pee, oh great.
See a small line and sweep out of the race to get in it.
Wait a few minutes..... wait a few more...there goes the 2:30 pacer past the porta-potty....
I take my squat and get back in the race, and never catch up to him.

I slosh water down, I wave at the sidelines, I want to cry for joy when I see my kids and hubby waiting to cheer and take my picture. I hit the turn around point, I shed my jacket...I run and run and run.

At mile 9 I toss my jacket to my kids and keep going. At mile 10 people start dropping. I see a girl puking. A grown man rubbing his calves, wincing in pain by the side of the road. At this point a lot of my wave starts walking. I keep running, but can tell I am slowing down.

I hit a down hill slop (thank goodness) it is mile 11.
I feel like someone is slapping the back of my legs, but keep going.
I feel good other than the leg thing...a good song comes on, I am getting blissfully emotional, I can see the last turn, and I want to cry I am so happy.

I take the turn and truck up the hill to the finish. I am so excited to grab my medal. My kids look proud as they gather around and hug and hold me.....
I did it.

After race- we walk in the nearby mall to eat. A random woman says "Hey, good job" when she sees my medal. I want to kiss her for noticing and tell her "I am not a runner! I did not run ever until 18 months ago! I did it all by myself!!!!" But I just say...."Thanks".
I go to use the restroom and fall onto the toilet. I have no strength left in my body.
Later that night- I skip on dinner to stay in bed. I have no energy to dry my hair or put on makeup. Hubby brings home dinner and chocolate cake. I feel euphoric, in spite of exhaustion.

Day after. CAN. NOT. WALK. Ouch. My legs hurt. I am suddenly proud of my 2:38 time, realizing I could not have gone faster without dying.

I moan and whine the whole drive home (10 hours). I pull myself up the stairs into bed and I am done.

Next day- I do two miles and feel good again.
Get a massage....
and I am back to normal.

Now, when can I run another one? I have to beat that lame-o time!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gotta Run

2009 was the year I became addicted to running. I never thought it would happen.....

My relationship with running goes something like this. Mockery. Interest. Envy. Jealousy. Timid. Comfortable. Affectionate. Passionate.

This by no means indicates that I am a great runner. I waddle, I whine, and I only run outside in fair weather, but somewhere between mocking the idiots sweating on the streets and passionately craving a good day to slip on my shoes and head outside, I became a runner. Then the scale rewarded my running and I became excited.

I made a commitment and registered for a half marathon- and it is here. I will be running the course in Carlsbad along the shores and with the breeze this weekend.
I am doing it alone, which scares me more than anything, with no one to talk me out of walking and no stories to take my mind off which mile I am on.

I must have my ipod shuffle, my comfy Saucony shoes, and my pre-run puddings as part of my already well established running ritual.
I have to forget about the ankle that kept me down for a month. I must get over the ill-fitting temporary crown that attracts my tongue like a magnet. I must not worry that all of the runners I know were unable to join me.

Yes, I am scared.

I just gotta run.

art found at jillan tamaki

Monday, January 11, 2010

Where Women Create

Both the "Where Women Create" magazine and the blog have given those of us who create rooms to lust after for some time now.

My true coveting has been for this amazing crafters catch all, which seems to be a great solution for someone in a small place like mine. It would just be the perfect place to start....

Photo shows it closed, then how it opens up (you can check out videos and get pricing at This lovely workspace, however , would at least require a free WALL to put it up against, so for now I will just have to continue to be content with this

There may not be any walls (sheets hold the insulation out just fine, thank you) or heat, or even a finished floor, but somewhere between the suitcases, paint cans, and camping gear you will find me.
In my craft corner.
It's all mine.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Artsy Thoughts for 2010

I used to be 'artsy'. I remember as a teenager writing poetry hour after hour, sketching in a journal, and doodling in my magazines. As the new year rolled around last year I had just surrendered myself to the fact that I need to be artsy again. I feel so much better, so much happier, when I am creating or seeing what others have created.

As part of my 2010 resolutions I am determined to do more than surrender to the artistic side, I am going to nurture it. I am listing some of my dreams for the year and leaving them as a challenge to you.

The Easy Stuff:
Download music that stirs me- you know, the stuff you hum during the day and feel cool while you hear it playing....the kind of stuff that makes you feel like you are shopping in Anthropologie or Banana Republic. Or the stuff you sing to, or can't help but get up and dance. Be a kid again with music. Wear out a song.

Buy a magazine you have to have. The kind you carry around and dog ear pages and look up the websites of the people in it. Maybe it's an art magazine or photography or fashion or home...just find something to look at that makes your brain tingle. And then look at it.

The medium stuff:
Copy what you see. Buy a new picture or paint your own. Move your couch or cover a pillow. Go shopping and buy that scarf, those leg warmers, the flower for your hair that you loved but felt too silly to try before, and try it. Look at your nieces, your daughters, the girls who dare dress how they love. Try it.

Take a new photo, or spice up one you already love (like mine above). We take the time to love the beauty around us, let's take the time to make it better. Make a handmade card for friend...and send it. Write a note to your husband, and tuck it in the mirror for him to find. Make or say something lovely.

The hard stuff:
Commit to create and support.
I have joined a swap for Valentine's, and I did it late in the night while craving home in a hotel room. (Info on the sidebar). I am nervous, but after my swap with Becky for our Christmas tags, I have to move ahead and not be afraid to share and swap. If you absolutely don't create, then support someone who does. Go to ETSY and buy a necklace, an apron, a piece of art....just find something that moves you and buy it.

Buy a book. (My sister read The Artist's Way and I was so amazed at the things it inspired her to do). Buy something that will push you and prompt you and inspire you. Then do something, at least one or two things in it. I know life is busy, but these moments of creativity seem vital to me.

I am starting here, excited like a little girl melting crayons between wax paper or finger painting.....ready for the new year and this little commitment to see the world, and take part in, all the arts around us.