Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Fashion: From Board to Body

Life would be much simpler if I had everything in my Pinterest NOW WEAR THIS BOARD in my closet.

Alas, I do not.  But the great thing about pinning clothes ideas is making them work with what you have.

A few weeks ago my family was going to the Farmer's Market.  I love farmer's markets with their roasting peppers that smell eerily familiar to marijuana and free peach samples and homemade salsa.

Anyhow, I decided to throw together an outfit and hair style I'd pinned.

I Pinned this hair tutorial:

Source: via RJ on Pinterest

And it looked like this one me.

And then I found this great outfit.  I even called it "What a trip to the Farmer's Market should look like."

Source: via RJ on Pinterest

Okay, I didn't wear the cardigan.  Who could blame me?  It was like 90 degrees out!

See, sometimes it's okay that I just keep pinning away.  I mean, I use it.  Sometimes ...

And if you are thinking "you needed a pin to throw together jeans and a white t-shirt"? Your point is well taken.  But sometimes I just need little outfit inspirations to remember that jeans and a T with a scarf and the right bag are totally acceptable and cute wear-gear.

So there.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Work Out

I am a work out nut.

Correction.  Before I had surgery, summer hit, and I got walking pneumonia I was a workout nut.

But now I'm healed just fine, the prescription meds are kicking in, and I'm ready to get back into the school-year schedule by settling back into my workout craze.

Here's the thing.  Sometimes I don't want to workout but when I make myself, I feel incredible.  I feel endorphins and flexible, and crazy energized.  Working out makes me feel amazing.  I even love the "Delayed On Set of Muscle Soreness" (DOMS) that comes the next day.  When I hurt, I know I'm doing a good job and worked out hard.  That pain means my body is breaking down and building up.

Lately I haven't been able to hit the gym as much as I'd like.  I have workout videos, especially P90X (since I'm a grad!) but I get bored with those.

So I've been doing some POP PILATES.  This gals named Cassey Ho has a free workout website called BLOGILATES and she posts great pilates workouts, High Intensity Interval Workouts (HIITS), and single move song challenges (think about doing only squats to one song).

I love these videos because:

  1. They are free.  They are on the blog.  They are on YouTube.  They are full-length and free.  
  2. Cassey is really funny.  Sometimes I want to kill her when I'm really burning and I do get irritated with how often she says "OMG" (because I was the student who counted how often the teacher said, "Um".  I'm distractible like that).
  3. There are full body workouts and spot specific workouts.
  4. There are diet options (they are boring, though).
  5. Cassey is real.  She is NOT going to tell you that you can lose 15 in 5.  She is going to tell you to eat clean, to train hard, and to do cardio.  You might not agree with her diet decisions (some people claim she has an ED--she doesn't but her diet is limited for sure) but you can't disagree with her workout science.  If you want to lose weight, you have to eat better and work out.  End of story.
When I feel pressed for time, or lazy, here is the workout sequence I use.  Combined with my regular cardio and better eating, I'm seeing results.

Days 1 and 4 (30-40 minutes total)

 HIIT (10 minutes)

LEGS (these are 3 min each once you skip the mumbo jumbo)


ABS (10 min)

If you can, redo the HITT if you have time!

Days 2 and 5 (50 min total)


Arms/Abs/Legs (30 min)


Day 3 and 6 (30 min total)

Do intentional cardio that's fun--take kids for a walk, ride a bike, etc.

Do abs

Day 7

Rest and eat what you want.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PSA: NOT Saying Stupid Stuff

In high school I had 4 BFFs.  Yes, 4.  I'm so lucky :)

What was great is how, as a group, well all brought special talents to the group.  We used to joke that we were all one big body.

Carla was the heart--all compassion, and good thoughts, and care.  She was probably common sense too.

Bethy was the funny bone--always doing these zaney things--like pretending to fry like bacon or peeing on a pink bike--to make us laugh.

Jina was the legs--she was the one with ideas of what to do and how to do them (and how to convince--and sometimes deceive--our parents into letting us do stuff).

Corrin was whatever side of the brain is super carefree, laid back, and lacking in feelings of responsibility.  I guess she was the breath of air the rest of us needed when we were all hyper-stressed and worked up about something.

I was brain. The intellectual who made smart-Alec comments and could argue us out of any bad situation.  Or land us in hot water.  Whatever.

As a group, we had fun.

But one night, three of us got into a bad accident (weather was the cause).  Our parents got these "your daughter has been in an accident" phone calls and that was it.  For an hour they were left to wonder and worry and stew in their fears.  My parents always told me that was the WORST feeling they'd ever had.   Knowing something was wrong with their baby but not knowing what or how bad.  And not being able to get there fast enough.

When I became a mom I knew I would dread that phone call. What I didn't know was how hard it would be when my friend Carla got the phone call about her daughter.  She'd been in an accident.  There were no other details.

I called her frantic to know what I could do to help and comfort.  I quickly learned how many calls and texts Carla had received and how many of those--well intentioned for sure--were hurtful.  Sometimes, with the advent of the internet and social networking, I think we forget about what are the right, tactful questions to ask and what questions are hurtful, violate privacy and are really, none of our damn business.  

So today, let me share with you a Public Service Announcement Carla and I jokingly wrote.


When someone you know is involved in an accident, presume you are on a "need to know" basis.  If you need to know something, you will be told.  If not, don't ask.  You'll know when you need to know.  You might not ever know and that's because you don't need to know.  You do not have the right to know everything or anything.

Pretty simple but if that isn't clear enough, here are some guideline do's and don'ts.

What NOT to say to a parent whose child has been in an accident: 

What caused the accident?

This is like asking the parent to re-live the event that is rocking his/her world right now.  Consider this a "salt in the wound" question. And the truth is, who cares?  What matters is the accident happened.  It can't be changed so zip your lips to this question and move on.  If they want you to know, they'll tell you.

What is the prognosis?  

Is your kid gonna live?  Is she going to have permanent brain damage?  Remember questions that are easy to ask aren't easy to answer.  The parent might not have the answer or might not have wrapped his/her mind around this answer.  Bad prognoses take a long time to accept.  So don't ask.  If they want you to know, they will tell you.
This is going to cost a lot. 

A. Finances of others are none of your business 
B. Most parents would mortgage their underwear to save their kid.  
C.  We all know medical costs a lot.  Stating the obvious here just adds stress.  Adding stress is not helpful.  

Why haven't you returned my call/text/e-mail? 

These parents likely have a lot on their mind--the least of which is making sure you are totally up to speed on the situation.  When you need to know, they will let you know.  If they aren't responding, you don't need to know.  They'll get back to you when they are ready.  End of story.

I'm just so upset.

I understand why you might want to say this.  I was upset.  This baby girl (now a teenager) lived in the same house as me.  I'd changed a diaper or two.  I was upset.  But her momma--she was MORE upset and the absolute LAST thing Carla needed to do was comfort me.  If you are upset, share that with someone other than the parent.  Sideline your own feelings--temporarily--and just be there for your friends.

What you CAN say: 

Where is the key to your house/mailbox so I can clean/water your plants/pack up the rest of your kids and take them to my house so they will be well cared for while you are gone?

Every day living is going to be tough for the family right now.  Find a way to ease the day-to-day burden.

What hotel are you staying at so we can pay for a night? 

This is expensive.  If you can help out financially, do it.  Pay for a night at a hotel.  Send gas cards or gift certificates to restaurants.  Organize a fundraiser to pay the mortgage.  Pay the utility bill.  

Where can we send cards/flowers/non-latex balloons?

Comfort.  The family needs comfort.  What can you do to provide comfort and cheer?  Can you send a thoughtful card?  Can you go sit with them at the hospital?  Can you sit in the hospital with their child so they can sleep for a couple of hours?

What I think is when there is an emergency, we need to focus more on WHAT we can do to help than what information we can acquire by asking stupid stuff.

Thanks, Shell!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Today is the first day of school.  My little M is officially a First Grader.  I'm not going to say much more because then I'll get all nostalgic and then maybe I'll ugly cry.

I can't ugly cry because I have to go to school, too.

That's right.  I'm officially in college for the 12th year.  At least I have a Bachelor's, a Master's, and some work experience and I'm not just going to school for 12 years for nothing or for a degree in the history of philosophical philosophies which is about the same thing.

Know what else?

I joined Twitter a few weeks ago.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

But you can follow mean as I learn.

I'll probably make some epic mistakes and those are fun to watch when they happen to someone else :)

Want to see if I fail epically?  Click this link--->  Me_in_Mommy (Plus, it will just help me feel more validated and successful if I get followers.  Sad.  True).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bringing Goof Bumps Back

The first time I heard "Bringing Sexy Back" I threw up a little in my mouth.  Please, give me the sound of cats being skinned alive first (but maybe not the imagery.  I'm generally quite non-violent.  Forgive that one).  Timberlake can bring sexy back but I'm on a mission to bring Goof Bumps back.

Remember a few weeks ago how I said I love "AHA" moments.  This is true.  Except for when that "aha" moment is in front of a group of, I don't know, sophomores in high school, and what you just "aha'd" is completely humiliating.  Like, for example, you just figured out they are called goose bumps, not GOOF bumps.  This is just an example of course.  It didn't happen to me.

But if it really did happen to me, you'd understand right?  I mean, who knows goose flesh is actually bumpy unless you've plucked a goose (and anyone who has plucked a goose wants to forget that experience ASAP.  Trust me)?  And when you get goose bumps they generally come with that tingly/chill feeling which is kinda weird.  Goofy, if you will.  And goof sounds a lot like goose probably to a little kid.  And you know how kid words stick until they are corrected when you are like, a sophomore and a peer points out the wrong word you are using?

Okay.  I'll admit it.  I thought they were goof bumps.  

I've been corrected.  I call them "goose bumps" now even though I think it is totally stupid.

Short story longer, last week--on the one year anniversary of my mom's death--I went to a Mumford and Sons concert.  I was trying to "re-frame" the day--make a bad day good.  So I went.  It was amazing.  They played a little theater in Wyoming called The Gryphon Theater.  It's the most intimate venue they are playing this tour.  Did I mention it was amazing?  Because it was.

Best part: They totally gave me GOOF bumps.

At 10:28--one year exactly from the night she died--here is what the set looked like.

And at this exact moment--10:28--they were singing the chorus to Ghosts that We Knew which goes like this:

But hold me still, bury my heart on the cold.
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light.
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold on as long as you like
Just promise me that we'll be alright.

I just stood there crying.  Comforted.  Texting my sister.  Listening.  Letting the words wash over me a calm of understanding--a feeling of being understood.  Music has always "spoken" to me this way--what a good creation that was.  Go job, God!

I had GOOF bumps.  The kind that make you feel connected and blissfully peaceful.  Not a chill.  Not a "something is wrong here" bumpy skin goose flesh.  Goof bumps.

I decided then and there that I'm bringing Goof Bumps back.  Goose bumps are for when you are cold or feel creeped out.

Goof bumps are what happens when you feel comforted.  Connected.  Inspired.

Goof Bumps.  I was on to something all along.