End of last month, my little baby girl became a teenager. It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since I became Mom and had my priorities and perspective on life shift. What a crazy journey it has been. HB is becoming such an amazing young girl – so fearless and full of confidence. I love watching her – and seeing how she evaluates situations and challenges herself constantly. She is so much bolder than I was at her age.
When HB was younger, she called me a Fun Murderer. In hereeyes, I was not fun in her eye whenever I told her she couldn’t do something she wanted to do – for whatever reason - I was murdering fun. She doesn’t say that much anymore – it has now turned into the infamous eye rolling any time I annoy her. Her teenage years are bound to be full of moments of her parents embarrassing and annoying her.
Time flies for sure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us. I’m having the best time being her Mom.
NPR just published Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE – encouraging schools and communities to bring back real PE classes. It’s no secret that “neuro-cognitive development is associated with exercise and can benefit from exercise”, so why aren’t we demanding that our children get more exercise??
Watch the video below that highlights the La Sierra High PE program in the 60’s. It’s exactly what our kids need to be doing today– real physical fitness classes in school. Not only will it help them physically but mentally as well! Our kids will learn to deal with the stress of life. Also look at the people featured in this video –they look younger and healthier overall. I bet it’s because they have been fit most of their lives, starting early on.
PE 50 years ago…compare to today! Help us bring quality PE back to our schools: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/la-sierra-high-pe
In 1962, JFK gave a speech to the nation challenging them to make a “great national effort.” He held the La Sierra High PE up as the model for the nation to follow. 4,000 high schools followed this program. This is the only known digitized copy of his speech. The footage shows one high school PE class. Remember, this is a normal PE class at the high school. This was PE 50 years ago in America! Help us make this happen again. Ron Jones, MS, founder of The Lean Berets (Executive Producer), Doug Orchard (Producer/Director).
Yesterday, a friend’s pre-teen son went missing for a few hours. Although everything turned out ok -they found him and his friend safe and sound- it was a reminder how quickly life can change. Here is some sage advice given by the police officers that can help you talk to your own kids about what to do if they ever get lost…
Last Night the LCSO Officers spoke to C and A about the things they did right and the things they did wrong when they were lost in the woods. I never ever want anyone to experience the fear that gripped us so I want to share what they shared with the boys (and express our thanks to them).
What they did right:
1-stayed together!!! (that’s it!)
What they did wrong:
1-Cal abandoned his sled. They said KEEP YOUR STUFF WITH YOU. It will make it easier to find them.
2-Left their cell phones home. Better to break your cell phone sledding than get lost without it.
3-They wandered around houses instead of knocking on a door for help.
Our greatest fear last night that one had slipped or fell on ice and the other tried to help, getting hurt or worse in the process.
-Perfect time to remind our kids to stay off ALL ice.
-Fresh snow can camouflage ice so remind them to stick to paths- that are clear or marked.
-If one gets hurt, the other one calls or runs for help.
In my panic last night a police officer tried to calm me by asking me “You raised a smart son, right?” I couldn’t answer confidently. Make sure you can answer that question confidently. Hopefully you never will need to. Talk to them. Hug them and cherish them.
Parents: make sure you talk to your kids about getting lost and what they should do. Then continue the conversation until they become adults.
Happy Valentine’s Day – I would prefer to call today Kindness Day! As I have said, I don’t need a day set aside to show my love for my husband and my family. The real moments where we show care and kindness are the ones that matter to me. When Scott notices my phone isn’t on the charger and puts it on there or when my kids help me out just because they know I would appreciate it are things that speak to me and affirm that I am loved.
To celebrate I am going to Kill Today With Kindness. Any opportunity to be nice or help someone else out -I am going to do it. Heck, every day should be kindness day. If you set your intentions on that each morning, it certainly makes it an attainable goal.
- 7 Simple Steps To Lower Your Stress (No Meditation Or Exercise Required)
- The Heart Attack and Depression Link
Boxing: 1 Hour
Do you ever think about the things you liked to do as a kid? Do you remember how often you had art class? How you were given time to be creative and innovative?
I used to write plays when I was in grade school. They weren’t long or elaborate, but I loved making up stories. I also loved to act. I took acting classes for years – and then – the tweens. I lost confidence, had trouble fitting in, gained a ton of weight, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. I lost touch with all those of the creative things I loved to do and it’s been a struggle to find them again. Growing up, my Mom was a single divorced mom – before so many other parents divorced, and she worked a lot. My sister and I didn’t have a lot of parental oversight to push us to get our butts outside and play and she wasn’t able to take us to after school activities. It’s not a matter of blaming, it’s just the way it was. Once I hit my teens, I was picked on incessantly and was very lonely. I am sure today – I would be considered medically ‘depressed’, but back then – it was considered a stage I was going through.
As a mom now, I see a shift in my own tween-age daughter – her interest in her looks and fitting in started a year or so and it seems to be intensifying. I am thankful that she’s not the target of bullies or mean girls, but she has mentioned that she’s doesn’t think she’s popular and doesn’t have a lot of friends. Wearing my Mom hat, I talk to her about quality vs quantity of friends and offer her words of encouragement because heck, I like her! The reality is though, there are so many outside influences on our daughters that I feel sometimes it’s hard to overcome. Does it have to be this way for young girls today?
Do young girls have to lose their confidence and sense of empowerment just because they mature?
I’d like to think that the world has changed, but look around – some things have changed, but much has remained the same. There are so many articles and research out there detailing how young girls ultimately grow up to be women with low confidence and find they have less opportunities than male counterparts in their personal lives and careers.
Here’s a few recent articles for example:
- Speaking While Female, with Sheryl Sandberg
- Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee: Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Women Doing ‘Office Housework’
- Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace
- HOW WE CAN HELP YOUNG GIRLS STAY ASSERTIVE: WHEN SHE’S FOUR, SHE’S AUDACIOUS. WHEN SHE’S 14, SHE HAS TROUBLE SPEAKING UP FOR HERSELF. HERE’S HOW TO HELP YOUNG WOMEN KEEP THEIR VOICE.
Talking about the issue is definitely a start when it comes to addressing the problem, but more focus needs to be on teaching our daughters AND sons about valuing people – male AND female. Parents need to walk the walk/talk the talk as well. However, since men are in many positions of leadership around the world, maybe the wives and daughters out there need to put much needed pressure on the men in their lives to encourage them to lead the change.
- The Balance of Sisterhood: It’s All in the Strength of Your Standing Leg
- Smoking’s Toll on Health Is Even Worse Than Previously Thought, a Study Finds
- Yoga for Athletes: Why Activation and Inhibition Matter More than Stretching
Boxing: 1 hour
Me, a recent University of Arizona grad starting a new job – scared and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
You, an Arizona native, who had started a few months earlier thanks to your Pops, who left an application on the shop’s chain link fence.
We had both been on our own for many years – navigating our twenties without any sort of plan or guidance.
Ryan introduced us – in the break room. I remember the warmth you gave off when you smiled. I remember feeling attraction, giddiness, and curiosity.
Our first date Feb 4, 1995– Chinese food, then dancing and drinks. We found out about each other. I can’t remember a time after that where I didn’t feel special around you.
You ‘got’ me. I ‘got’ you. Our life began to flow.
We moved to VA. Got married in Vegas. Bought the house. Adopted Scully, the dog.
Three years into our marriage, we found out we were having a baby. Neither of us had been around babies growing up. Shocked by the news, we had no idea what to expect. Our family and friends were supportive and excited for us. It was such a fun and happy time.
Hannah Bea came into this world right on her due date. Our lives would never be the same. We became parents. Two years and one month later, Nathaniel Ryan was born. A girl, a boy; our family was complete.
We became increasingly busy and had more demands put on us. Family, work, and life responsibilities constantly colliding – we began to lose track of time and failed to appreciate how preciously short life can be.
We got a big wake-up call, didn’t we? Cancer reared its ugly head. We quickly shifted the gears of life and put all of our power and energy into getting you well. As with most challenges you have faced, you stepped up with determination, humor and quiet strength. It wasn’t easy, but you did it. Cancer Free.
Our life began to flow again. A bit different than before the big ‘C’, of course, but strong and steady all the same. We moved forward with the gift of perspective.
Today, far from perfect, we are happy. We have a sincere affection for each other, rooted in love, laughter and security. There is no one else in this world I trust more or who makes me feel more at home than you.
Twenty years ago today, a wonderful adventure began…
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (c) Sundance Film Fest.
I watched it a few nights before the Golden Globes and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I’m not sure what it was about the story that really touched me – was it the experience I had growing up with a single parent, or the perspective that I have now as a parent watching and participating as my own kiddos mature and navigate their adolescence? The highs/lows of it — and ultimately the questions that arise like “what’s it all about if they just leave the nest?”. I often find myself glancing at my kids, being completely aware of the situation we are engaging in and noticing they seem just different to me — older maybe. The conversations we engage in have changed, their comprehension of what things mean keeps growing, their tolerance for parental affection and involvement weans. It’s great in so many ways, but heart crushing too. This movie, although not similar to my own family’s experience, brought the growing up experience to life. It was so brilliantly crafted that it didn’t matter that the story wasn’t my own. The characters were all of us – and experienced feelings we all can relate to. I thank Richard Linklater so much for having the vision and talent to make this movie – what a wonderful piece of art.
Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who loved this film – it won best director and best movie last night. Well Deserved!
It really spurred me to reflect on my own childhood and remember moments that profoundly affected me. Do you remember certain moments or experiences from your childhood that you can recall with such clarity including the emotions and thoughts? I have maybe da handful that I can attribute to thought patterns and behaviors that I still grapple with today.
Here’s some info posted in 2007, but still very relevant and helpful: 18 Habits from Childhood That Affect Our Relationships Now
Wanting to give back this holiday season and also get my kids out of the house, out of their normal weekend routine, I made plans to head into DC to participate in the Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery. The plan was to meet up with my friends Pam and Foxy at 815 at ANC and start spreading the joy.
Well, like I have said before life is all about surprises and learning how to be comfortable when uncomfortable things arise…
The kids got up well for once and although we hit the road a bit late, we were on our way. As we traveled down the street that led directly to the cemetery, we got stuck in a huge, standstill traffic jam. Seems most of the DMV area had the same idea and were on their way to the same parking lot. After about 45 minutes of hardly moving traffic, we noticed smoke coming from the front of the car. At first, I thought it was the wind kicking up the exhaust smoke from the car in front of us… Well, no – that was not it.
It was our car! The car starts to overheat and smoke starts to quickly thicken and billow out our car hood. It became even clearer that it was us when people started to look and point. Scotty didn’t miss a beat. He pulled over to assess the situation and a random nice guy pulled over as well to see if he could lend us some help – A big thank you to that guy! You rock!
Unfortunately, the car issue was not something fixable on the spot. Fortunately, we do have AAA! Scott told us to go ahead to the cemetery while he took care of the car and waited for the tow truck. 45 minutes later, the tow truck guy arrived and took Scotty and the car back near home to our mechanic and then on to home. And not to get into the details, but it of course is not a cheap fix – but the car is fixed and we are picking it up this afternoon.
But that’s not where the story ends…
When the kids and I arrived at the gates of the cemetery, I had to hit the restroom. Well what a shocker that the women’s rest room had a line –but not just any line – a mile long line. Imagine an event like this, open to the public, and the weather was pretty darn good. Then add in having only 8 bathroom stalls available for the women??? The men’s rooms had urinals (I am told) and had NO LINES – and 40 minutes later, I took my turn. When I left the rest room, the line was as long, if not longer.
And the friends I was supposed to meet? Well we never did meet up. They were in that same long car traffic jam and after a long time, were directed to park at the Pentagon and then had to take the metro over. When they finally arrive, they had to stand in that rest room line.
By the time they were ready to start, my kids had had enough. They did enjoy the first hour or so of walking the grounds – and putting wreaths down, when they are done, they are done. So we started to head out of the cemetery…
How will we get home?
As we were walking out, the reality of having to take the metro hit my son. And when he heard it would take over an hour to get home, well he was not a happy camper. All I said to him – calmly “Well, what would you like me to do?” and of course, he had no answer. Just shrugged and started trudging down the sidewalk to the metro station.
Which is where we encountered yet another line…a long line. It didn’t help that the metro card machine broke down while I was trying to use it. Which meant I had to wait for the mechanic to reset the machine. It took me a while to figure out what stop, because I have not been on the silver line before. But I found my destination on the map and bought my 3 tickets. The lady behind me asked me – with panic in her voice – if I could help her please because she had no idea how to buy multiple tickets. As frustrated as I was, I took the time to help her out – you have to be kind to expect kindness in return.
Then we have to get into a long line to go through the turn style – and head up to catch the train. As we are about to board the train, my daughter says “Mom, I lost my metro ticket down there…” (Between the escalators i.e. unreachable) “But don’t worry Mom, I have been on the metro before and we don’t need it anymore.” WRONG. I said in a very frustrated and even a bit angry tone – “Yes you do. How will they know where you get on when you get off?” You know kids know everything…
I had no idea what the deal would be when we got off the train, but we got on and headed towards home. When we arrived, Scotty was waiting for us, had already talked to the metro guy and they let us through with no issue.
A great husband…
Let me take a moment to share how much I love Scotty.
He had been really looking forward to this event and because of the car, he couldn’t. Not only did he take care of the car issue without getting upset, he was waiting for us at the metro station, had already talked to the metro attendant, so we didn’t have to wait to deal with the lost fare card and further more, when we got to the car – he had picked up lunch from one of my favorite places because he knew I would be hungry.
Keep this story in mind, when you go on Facebook and look at all the wonderful pictures I took from this event. Social media does not tell real story behind experiences… Wreaths Across America photo gallery
So, that’s what happens when the Hoaglunds try to get outside of our comfort zone and do something different. It never goes off as planned – but as Scott and I remarked later in the day, things could have been so much worse in this situation and in life in general. It’s all about perspective…
Hours after I published my last post, I saw the post that crushed my heart…
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our hearts shattered into a million pieces as of 5:00 pm , Sunday night. December 7th will be the date that our beautiful, handsome , strong, brave, athletic , smart, loving , caring, incredible , perfect…MVP decided to be cancer free & leave this earth. He was surrounded by love , as Chris , Troy & I were holding his hands & telling him how much we love him . #MathiasStrong
I wish the family healing, peace and love while they grieve and learn to live their new normal…
It was 6 years ago, during my last trip to Disney, I started to get my ass in gear and began taking care of myself. Having just gotten back a few days ago from my family’s latest trip there, it became clear to me how many people in the world need to do the same.
Before I go off on a rant about my observations, I want to preface it with the following: Everyone, no matter who they are, what size they are, where they come from, how much money they make, deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.
It seemed to me that something like 80% of the visitors to Disney were overweight. Every park, every hotel; There was an exorbitant amount of seriously obese people everywhere I went. And 9 out of 10 people who were using scooters, were obese.
I guess I live somewhat of a sheltered life in that my social circles – it’s not the norm. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of people who could stand to lose some weight and/or get moving but that’s not what I am talking about. The shock was how many out of control obese people were there. Before someone points out that it’s an economic thing – these were people visiting Disney! It’s not exactly the definition of affordable.
There are a few things that upset me about seeing this microcosm of our world:
- For a majority of the morbidly obese, something in their lives is out of control. It’s not about the food, it’s about what’s going on in their head. To see how many people are so out of control in their lives was shocking.
- I understand that everyone has a story and you can’t tell what’s going on in someone else’s world by looking, but it appeared that many of them seem resigned to accept their circumstances. They are obese, it is what it is and they ‘live’ with it. They eat the processed, crap, junk food as if that’s how you should eat.
- To add on to my second point above, renting scooters instead of walking isn’t going to help anyone’s situation. I pointed out to my daughter that the average human skeleton isn’t designed to carry a ton of extra weight. It’s hard on the knees, feet – joints in general so I understand the reasons for renting a scooter but there were so many of them in the parks during my visit. So many of the obese people I saw were also in scooters.
- They are passing bad habits on to their children. Obviously, being at Disney, there are a ton of parents. It was clear that children are growing up learning their parents’ bad habits. Many of the obese adults I saw had children who were also dealing with their own obesity issues.
- While everyone is free to live the way they want, it’s a fact that obesity costs everyone. “The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs.” PhitAmerica compiled 10 Flabbergasting Costs of America’s Obesity Epidemic that really highlights how obesity isn’t just a personal issue.
While I am totally for splurging while on vacation and Disney is a great place to do that – it is possible to eat healthy there…
The resort we stayed at Port Orleans: French Quarter had a fridge that had containers of fresh fruit and veggies available during all hours in their restaurant. I also noticed that each ‘quick snack’ store also had some options available. Also, if you have any special dietary needs, you simply ask for the Chef. The Chef will come out to discuss your needs and try his/her best to accommodate what you need. We tested it each and every morning with my son’s gluten allergy. I also brought some single serve Justin’s Almond Butter with me so I could dip fresh apples or celery in it for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack during the trip.
So, what’s my point? It was shock to me to see how many people are so out of control in their lives that they let themselves go to that extent. It was shocking, sad and made me angry too. We all have to take personal responsibility for who we are in this world.
Is the obesity epidemic caused by lack of education? is it because of economics? Is it generational? Yes, yes and yes but does that make it right? No.
We need to participate in the discussion and come up with innovative, strong ways to address it – together.