Thursday, September 5, 2013

Attention - The One Where I Try to Sell You Stuff

My, it has been freaking forever since I have blogged. (I think my last post started about the same way) Hopefully my title didn’t scare you away. But I don’t want to lie to you, I am trying to sell you stuff. I’m hoping though, that you will at least be kind and read what I have written, instead of hanging up on me like I’m a random telemarketer calling your house the moment you sit down with your family for a nice delicious dinner. I’m not that telemarketer. Unlike that other guy, I have something cool to sell you that will change your life. It’s not a teleport machine. I’m sorry to disappoint you.

Here’s my pitch …. (It gets serious, but I promise you’ll like the ending)

For over two years, I struggled. I never lost more than 4 pounds, no matter what I did. I was under the care of a nutritionist and spent thousands of dollars on supplements and visits that were supposed to help me lose weight and have energy. I sat and watched everyone around me lose weight and grew more depressed by the day. I lacked the motivation to try anything new because I knew it would fail, and I had every excuse in the book and began to dislike those around me for having any success. It was hard to ignore all of my friends who were trying Advocare, it was practically shoved down my throat on Facebook. I had it in my head that it wouldn’t work for me. Why would it? Everything I tried over the last two years had failed. EVERYTHING! So what changed? Honestly I was intrigued by Spark, the energy drink everyone was raving about. I have a long history with being overly tired and was growing desperate to find something to get me through the day. I thought, “well, I know the weight loss part isn’t for me, but maybe I will try Spark to see if it gives me the energy I crave.” The rest is history. I met with my mentor Jessica and was blown away by how much weight she had lost. I had seen it on Facebook, but in person, it was unbelievable! I may not have walked away with anything more than my Spark that day, but my mind was made up to give Advocare a try, starting with the 24 Day Challenge. So here is my evidence. A picture that I am mortified to post. . . . . M-O-R-T-I-F-I-E-D!!!! 10 pounds lighter in 30 days and 10 inches smaller.

So back to the products!! Spark is awesome! It gives me the energy I need to get me through the day and then some. I actually get stuff done after work instead of sitting on the couch all night thinking about everything I need to do and feeling guilty for not having it in me to do it. The 24-Day Challenge was an adjustment, but a healthy one and a great one. The best part, I saw results right away! After two years of waiting for this, I cannot tell you how awesome it feels to finally see the changes I’ve longed for. I have further to go to reach my personal goals and I have NO doubt that I will get there. None. Advocare works! If you are interested, I would love to help you start your journey.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lessons Learned from my Couch to 5K Adventure

Having finally completed week 9, day 3 of my couch to 5K expedition, I felt it was important to recap my lessons learned for all of you crazy kids that might be thinking about it. Before I begin, I should mention that in all my years of fitness experience, I have NEVER been a runner. I would be the first to say “I don’t like running, I’d rather walk or use the elliptical. This body isn’t made to run. Why would anyone want to run?” Yep, that was me . . . afraid to try it, only because I knew how much work it would be to get started and then, of course, you have to maintain it. Who in the hell wants to do that?? With the encouragement of another never before runner, and possibly partial insanity, I found my way to the couch to 5K program. Did I have an actual 5K event in mind when I began? Nope. I did it for shits and giggles and this is what I learned:

1.) Running is hard. Anyone who says it isn’t, is probably an avid runner and has forgotten their first weeks of running. Looking back, I could have easily have given up at any point.
2.) My body hates me for it. Yes, my body fought me every step of the way. First went the right knee, then the left, and then my lower back joined in for the hell of it. Without my chiropractor and good running shoes, I would have been out of the race at week 2.
3.) I am a slow runner. Do I really feel the need to be a sprinter? Absolutely not. My goal is to finish a 5K, not die within the first 10 minutes of a run.
4.) I sweat a lot when I run. Not my finest or most attractive quality, but for someone who is ALWAYS cold, I look like I ran through a downpour and then doused with a bucket of water when I am finished running. I won’t mention the bright red glow I have either. Nice, huh? One tip I did learn on my VERY last day of running the program, a towel dampened under a cold tap goes a long way! It’s a small piece of heaven when you feel like you are on the verge of spontaneously combusting.
5.) Perfecting your playlist is a must. I quickly weeded through my “workout” playlist after the first week. There’s no room for feel-good songs. No. Shoot for songs with explicit lyrics. There’s nothing like the F-bomb to get you through the last 10 minutes of a run. After all, you are probably repeatedly saying it in your head already, so why not add a few songs that further enforce it?
6.) Don’t compare yourself to other runners. This is never a good idea because despite how awesome you feel when you finish a run, there is always someone faster (younger) and better (younger) than you.
7.) Upon finishing your very last run, do not, I repeat, do not ask the most in shape runner at the gym (a.k.a. Stealer of Thunder), if they have “any tips on what I should do next?” This is a BAD idea. Nothing will rip your “I’m awesome, I just finished 9 weeks of hell” out from under you like this runner. Nothing you have done seems awesome to this person. Bow in their presence, you weakling!! However, if you want to hear everything that you’ve done wrong and pretty much anything that would have kept you from starting the program in the first place, go ahead and ask this god-like runner. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
8.) I can run a 5K. I can run a 5K! Yes I can. Is it fast, no. Is it easy, no. Do I curse the majority of the run, yes. But I can do it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Almighty Mom

It has been a while since my last post, which had been a while since the one before it. Life has a funny way of getting in the way of things. Lately, my life has been insane. It has drained my soul and only now have I had the creative energy to attempt to write. I plan on getting into the details of my downfall one of these days, but today’s post is more important. It’s about moms.

I know many moms. These moms are amazing in so many different ways. I know moms that have it all together and make the world jealous, single moms that run themselves ragged because there is no one else to help, moms that work, moms that don’t, moms that had their babies young, moms that struggled to become moms, and moms that love their kids even when it’s tough and although it would just be easier to give up, they never lose hope. I even know a mom who delivered both of her boys at home. Yes, you read it correctly. While most of us women would never even consider it, she took childbirth by the horns and made it her bitch! What an amazing woman. So the rest of us don’t feel so bad, some women need drugs (me) and not everyone is medically in the right place to give it a try. Lord knows both of my kids missed the directions on how to navigate the birth canal and had to have a search party go in and rescue them.

Let me say, being a mom is the best job in the world, but it is also the hardest. Moms are awesome and these are some of the reasons why:

Moms can somehow manage to cook dinner with one child firmly attached to their leg and not spill a drop or crumb of food.

Moms have learned to do a lot with one arm. The other one is reserved for securing the child sitting on her hip or holding a tiny hand.

Moms can carry and insane amount of stuff at once. I’ve carried a 28 pound kid, 4 folding chairs, the diaper bag, a cooler and a bag of after game snacks. Oh yeah, and “bay-bee” and her blanket. I know. I’m awesome. ;)

Moms will let a child stay asleep on their chest no matter how long it takes for them to wake up. It doesn’t matter that they had to pee about 20 minutes prior to the child falling asleep or that all of their limbs are asleep and the TV is stuck on some old Western movie because they forgot to grab the remote before they sat down. Yes, the remote is JUST out of reach . . .

Moms have the best hearing when it comes to their children. Every other sound at night, such as a truck driving through the bedroom, they'd never hear. Well, maybe. But when it comes to the kids, they hear every breath, every cough, every whimper, every movement, and every middle of the night “MOOOOMMMMYYY!!”. It starts from day one and 6 years later, I’m not sure it ever ends.

Moms feel bad when they forget something that pertains to their child. Like forgetting to send a blanket to daycare or forgetting that they promised to pack the Spiderman fruit snacks for lunch. This forgetfulness eats at a mom all day.

Moms will search and re-search closets, drawers, couches, and vehicles until the “lovey” is found. Usually, it is right near the first place they looked, but whatever, they found it.

Moms know just by looking at their child that they have a fever.

Moms would rather be the one sick, so they would never have to watch their child suffer.

Moms are also Santa and the Tooth Fairy. These are big shoes to fill.

My life changed completely when I became a mom. Becoming a mom is nothing that anyone can prepare you for. If I ever thought I was a multitasker prior to having kids, I was fooling myself! I don’t know how I ever had the nerve to complain that I didn’t have enough time to do things before I was a mom. These days I’m happy to complete anything and proud when I know that I’ve taken care of everything for the kids. My stuff can wait. I’m a mom. If you ever come over to my house unannounced (please announce – It would make me feel much better) you would probably see me wandering around a messy house that I have been cleaning non-stop all day. I mean, how is that even possible? It is literally a perpetual mess. I walk around with my arms full of things attempting to get them back to their rightful place. Meanwhile the kids are running by with something new. But hey, I always thought we should park the cozy coupe in the middle of the kitchen and the pillows, they always look better on the floor with blankets thrown over them. Mikaela should be able to pull wipes out and leave them all over the house, and Ben should be able to leave his collection of nerf swords and light sabers in the foyer. Who needs to walk through there anyway? Ha! I should just make the entire first floor a playroom. That way I won’t have to make excuses as to why I am a poor housekeeper. Though I complain, I wouldn’t change a thing. The love I have in my heart for my kids by far surpasses anything else.

To all the Moms reading this – you are awesome!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Obits

I have returned. No, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth, but life crept up from behind and tackled me to the ground, sat on my head and kicked me a few times. I can’t make any promises that it won’t happen again, but I will do my best to avoid a complete takeover.

So, “normal” has basically returned and I am enjoying a small break in workflow at the office. By small break I mean, 3 phone calls in the past 3 days, and they were all from the same person, who already had asked the same questions last week. I have organized my desk, my electronic folders, the copy room across the way, and lets not forget the handmade dividers I made for my paper files. I am in heaven with the neatness! After completing all of this, I got bored and decided to check out Southern Maryland’s website. I like to read the police reports and wedding announcements, but what I find most interesting is the obits. Ok, so maybe it’s a bit morbid, but I like to see who has passed and read a bit about them. Isn’t that the point of an obituary though? These little tidbits of people’s lives written so people know that they have in fact died and oh, by the way here is little summary of their lives. People wouldn’t post them if they didn’t want them read. Right?

So yesterday, I had a good 3 months worth to catch up on. Yeah, I was a bit depressed by the time I finished. I was briefly introduced to a number of deceased. Don’t judge me. I do have a couple complaints though. First, I wish people would reconsider the pictures they post. I have never seen so many horrible pictures. Seriously, it’s like they said, “hey, lets find the meanest picture of grandpa, or hey, let’s use the one of grandma, you know, the one we took right after she accidentally dyed her hair purple and oh yeah, she had a black eye from slipping on the rug!” Ok, so maybe they weren’t that bad, but you get my point. When I die, whoever is in charge of my obit needs to spend hours looking for a good picture of me. If that can’t be accomplished, an artist rendering will do. Secondly, would it kill anyone (no pun) to mention why or how these people died? It might help avoid 100 people coming up to you at the service asking what John died from. If someone is 100, it’s a pretty sure bet it was old age, but maybe not. Maybe, John didn’t die from old age, maybe he jumped out of an airplane and the chute didn’t open. Did you ever consider that? How awesome would John be for being 100 and jumping out of a plane? They should think about John’s legacy before they leave that little fact out of his Obit. John may have been boring his whole life, but that one little adventure, makes him a rock star!

So now that you think I am nuts, let me summarize. When I die, I want a good picture. If I don’t get one, I will haunt whoever was in charge of choosing my crappy picture. Secondly, please, let the world know what happened to me. If I get run over by a milk truck, my obit should read: Suzanne left this world while running a full marathon at the age of 90 (rock star). The milk truck driver never saw her coming or perhaps froze in disbelief at the sight of a 90 year old winning the race . . . I guess it was her time. She is now free to fulfill her afterlife dreams of haunting people. Beware. Why not give someone a laugh at my expense. I doubt I will care.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th

It’s hard to believe it has been 8 years since the September 11th attacks. I look at all that has happened in my life since that day and I realize that it should seem like 8 years, maybe even longer, but when the anniversary hits, my memories of that day seem so vivid. Like it was just yesterday. I thought it was the appropriate time to share my story.

September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. A beautiful Tuesday. The sun was shining, and there were only a few clouds in the bright blue sky. I rode to work on the bus as I did everyday. Got to work on time. I was 22 and only 11 days away from my wedding. I was on cloud nine. Nothing seemed odd that day, until my co-worker Mary came in and said that her husband just called and said that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. Mary’s husband was known for making prank calls to our office, so I said “is he joking? That couldn’t have happened.” She said “no, he said he’s not joking.” I asked my supervisor if we could watch her TV to check, and sure enough, we watched in horror as smoke billowed out of the buildings. How could something like this happen. Not long after, the Pentagon was hit. Panic started to spread as I realized how close this was to where I worked. Not a minute after the Pentagon report came in, another co-worker called in from travel. She was crying and yelling on the phone “Suzanne, what in the world is going on??!!?” I tried my best to calm her. Now that I am a mom, I can understand how hard it would be to away from your child at a time like this. I know she must have been worried sick for her son’s safety.

I can remember receiving very little instruction as to what we should do. I remember waiting for some guidance, guidance that never came. I got calls from friends making sure I was ok, I talked to my Mom trying to devise a plan to get out of the city, and of course I got a call from Matt, telling me to get the hell out of there no matter what it took. I finally told my boss that I wanted to leave. Here we were on the 6th floor of a federal building smack in the middle of DC only blocks from the White House and blocks from the Capitol. I went downstairs to where my Aunt worked and sat with her until I figured out a way to leave. At this point, it seemed like hours had gone by, I don’t remember ever looking at the clock. I’m sure only 30 minutes had passed. While I waited with my Aunt and a few other co-workers we watched TV. There were so many false reports that day. One said the State Department had been hit. Another said there were car bombs going off. And then there was the missing plane. The one headed for DC that no one could find. This would be the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I had managed to stay relatively calm up until the point that they announced there was a missing plane. At that point, I completely lost my composure. I have never been so scared. I was scared to stay, scared to leave for fear that a bomb would go off as I was trying to escape. I had to do something. It was very hard getting a hold of anyone that day. The phone lines were jammed. I finally reached my mom and I decided to ride the Metro over to her building on the outskirts of town. As I left I remember the guard saying “what are you still doing here? This is the last place you want to be.” No kidding. He opened the huge metal doors to let me out, and sealed them back up the minute I was out. Complete lock down.

The streets were filled with distraught looking people. The road was complete gridlock. I knew the Metro wasn’t going to be any better, but I had to try. Eventually, I would get out of there. As I expected, the platform was packed. When I finally got close enough to get on a train, the car that ended up in front of me was packed. As the door opened, I just looked hopelessly at all of the people and knew there wasn’t enough room. A man said to me, “come on, we’ll get you on here.” Then he yelled, “ok, everybody, suck it up!” And they did. By some miracle, I fit. The same man then asked me if I was ok. I was far from ok, but then again, I was much better than the thousands of people that lost their lives. I was much better than all of those people who didn’t know if there family members were alive. People were so kind that day and the ones that followed. It was comforting to know, that in a time of darkness, the good in people still could shine through. I made it to my mom and we got in the car and sat in traffic for what seemed like a year. We listened to the radio in disbelief, mentally drained and in shock. When we got to the Navy Yard, we noticed that the military guards were standing in the street with machine guns. Not at their sides, holding them, ready to fire. Never in my life did I ever think that I would witness something so horrible. I pray that I never will again.

We eventually made it back to my Mom’s house. I have no clue what time. Time meant nothing that day. Matt picked me up later that evening. I don’t think he has ever hugged me so hard. I fully expected that the government would be closed the next day, but there I was the next morning, back on the bus heading to DC. I was scared, I was sad, I was exhausted. Everyone was so quite. All still stunned form the events the day before. I don’t think things have ever been quite the same.

My life went on. I got married, I bought a house, sold a house and built a new one, I changed jobs, I had two children. So much has changed for me, but this day, September 11th will always remind me of what happened 8 years ago. It will always be fresh. The emotion is still there. I will never forget.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Score! 2 Points for Mom!

On my way home on Monday, I spotted it. I knew that Ben would be more than excited to see it up close and I knew what I had to do. Yesterday after picking Ben up from aftercare and dragging him to my chiropractor, I told him I had something to show him. He didn’t notice it at first, so he was still begging me to tell him what the surprise was. I told him “well, we are at a Chevy dealer,” no response. “We are at a Chevy dealer that just happens to have a yellow car with black stripes!” That’s when he lost it . . .”it’s really here! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. It’s really here!!” See, to the average person, a yellow Camaro with black stripes, is just a yellow Camaro with black stripes. But to Ben, this car was Bumblebee!! (The transformer, for those of you scratching your head). Ever since the Transformers movie came out, Ben has pointed out every (and I mean every) yellow car with excitement saying it looks just like Bumblebee. I didn’t matter if it was a yellow Dodge pick-up truck, it looked like Bumblebee. He says, “look, it’s just like Bumblebee, except it’s a truck, and there aren’t any black stripes,” or “look, it’s just like Bumblebee, it has stripes, but it’s a Ford and top comes off.” Telling him that he can just say it’s the same color as Bumblebee has never worked. Maybe one day it will stick.


I took his picture - you have to love the pose. He asked me if everyone would see it, so I felt it was my obligation to write about it and share it with the world or the 4 people who read my blog. Hey, I at least tried to put it out there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


As a parent, you get to look forward to all sorts of milestones. With Ben, everything was a first for us. First smile, first tooth, first time he rolled over, you get my point. Each was so exciting and I found myself always saying “I can’t wait until he . .” forgetting that each and every milestone goes by so fast. So fast, I can’t even believe my son is getting ready to start another milestone. On Tuesday he will attend his first day of school. OMG! Didn’t I just have him ripped out of me??

So with Mikaela, I tried so hard not to rush things. I enjoyed each milestone as equally as I did with Ben, but I tried not to anticipate the next thing too much. And man I’m glad that I didn’t. I’m just going to come right out and say it, my daughter is lazy. Maybe it’s the diva in her, but she is slow with the milestones she has control over. It’s not that she can’t hold her bottle or sippy cup, she just refuses to. Her talking has improved lately, but there for a while she was grunting and pointing at everything, which is normal for a second child. She was also saying a word once, catching us all off guard, but refusing to repeat it. She just smiled at us like “psh! Fools, I’m not gonna say it again! You say it!” Finally, there’s the walking issue. Mikaela technically has been walking for the last 2 months. She’s taken steps from the couch to a toy or vice versa, but anytime we would stand her up and try and coax her to walk, she would sit down or start to cry. I had just about given up until last Wednesday night (her 14 month birthday). In order to keep her in a safe environment and away from the 5 bizillion legos that Ben has, we blocked of an area by the couch. It was a happy little place with a bunch of baby friendly toys. I could walk out of the room for 5 seconds without the fear that she’d choke on a power ranger head. Well, on Wednesday, Mikaela decided that she’d had enough and planned her escape. She climbed onto the couch and scooted her way to the side and slid down to the floor. She stood up and off she went. I stared in disbelief. I whispered, you know, scream whispered to Ben “look, look, she’s walking, look..” He joined me in disbelief. I mean, we’ve only waited months for this. Ben was so flippin’ excited. And just like that, my daughter walks. A little later than some, but hey, I wasn’t trying to rush it. I could watch her walk all day. She’s got the Tramp walk. No, not the hip swaying provocative tramp walk, the Charlie Chaplin “Tramp” walk. Too old of a reference? A penguin? Are you getting my point yet? I can tell that she’s happy about it too. She smiles her cheesy smile the whole time she is walking like she doesn’t have a care in the world. I’m jealous :) On the downside, it took a whole day of more child proofing and tense negotiations with Ben to move the choking hazards elsewhere. It was a success. Master Yoda, his peeps, the MegaZord, along with the power ranger fleet, and all 5 bizillion legos will reside in the basement playroom. In return, our child won’t choke and we will bring up larger “everybody” toys. All will be well.

If I can offer any advice to new parents, it would be, don’t rush anything! If your kid isn’t doing something yet, they will. Without warning, they just will. You can’t control it, you just have to adapt to it.

I can honestly say that I don’t really have a favorite milestone. They are all so very special in their own way. I’m sure as my kids get older there will be a few I don’t like (hello puberty!) and you can be sure you’ll hear about it!