Parenting/Family

Time Flies: An Abrupt Wake Up Call

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I have had a series of recent light bulb experiences that have thrown me for a loop and served me a helping of reality…

Ack! My Parents Are Getting Old

I have 4 brothers and sisters and we have a half sister that is quite a bit younger. My Dad has been married to her mother since I was 6 – so a very long time. Since the early 90’s, my dad and step mother have lived in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Their health is failing and they have had serious financial setbacks for a myriad of reasons that I won’t go into. The bottom line is they can’t afford to stay in the Phoenix area and none of the family lives nearby. So, they decided to move to Ohio to be closer to their daughter, my half sister and they arrived there last week.

Seeing pictures of them during their drive out to Ohio shocked me. You know how you have this vision of your parents? Well, my vision didn’t match what I saw and it was a jolting reminder that time marches on and my parents are aging. Scott and I are very lucky to have both sets of parents still around – but health problems are starting to creep up and the unstoppable hands of time are spinning.

Seeing them look so frail, was a great reminder to me why taking care of my health and wellness while I am young is important. Exercise, eating healthy and maintaining a positive attitude towards any situation will go far as you age. Trust me on that one! Seeing the differences in how my parents are aging based on their life outlook and how they have taken care of themselves has been very educational for me. It’s night and day.

Oh No! I’m Feeling My Age

Brittany Marklin Britt’s wedding this past weekend was beyond lovely.  Not sure if I have mentioned, but Britt is a bit younger than me – and hence, the wedding crowd was young. It was one of those experiences where I felt old. Not old enough to be a granny or anything, but old in the sense that I really didn’t want to ‘hang’ out. It’s not a bad thing  — the wedding guests were nice but I don’t enjoy drinking and getting shit faced and it takes me forever to recover!

On top of feeling old at the wedding, yesterday, my tween daughter sent me pics her friend took of her (included below). Talk about feeling my age – she looks so grown up. How the heck did my little baby become a young woman? And to boot, she is about an inch or less away from being taller than me. She just seems so grown up.

It’s inevitable-we age, grow up, become adults, get old and eventually we will pass. The reminders this past week have left me feeling somewhat blah and melancholy about things around me.  I will get out of my funk but it was an abrupt wake up call…

Life is short.
Act with good intentions.
Say what you need to say to those you care most about.
Cherish the moments.
Be Kind.
Laugh a lot.
Spread Love

Grab Some Popcorn and Watch

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I’ve been quiet on here the past week or so. Nothing really going on and nothing to really inspire me to write and as I have always said – if it has to be forced, then it’s not right.

Brittany I’m about to head out of town to see a dear friend of mine get married. Brittany was my intern at K12 years ago, and then we hired her and she worked for me for a few more years. Have you ever met someone and you just clicked with them right away? That was me and Britt Britt. I instantly felt connected to her and we have always had each other’s back. At K12, in our department, that was really important since it was such a cut throat/mean environment with everyone trying to one up everyone else. Looking back now, the best thing about working there was Brittany.  She lives far away now which bums me out but I love that girl —

Have you noticed lately that it seems people seem to be over sensitive and over reactive about everything lately? I get some of the bigger issues but someone says an off color joke or makes an ignorant comment and the internet explodes. What happened to saying “Hey that person is an asshole” and moving on. Nowadays people rally together and the media grabs hold and before you know it -that person has been financially or publicly ruined or at least shamed. We all say stupid shit — some more than others and it’s not a crime. We are a free country and free to think and believe what we want to believe. When a celebrity says something super stupid – I don’t feel the need to publicly shame them. I just think to myself –well, they are out of touch, spoiled asshats and I move on. I may or may not buy their records, or give my money to their causes or movies. That’s my choice but it is still a free country isn’t it and we are FREE to say stupid comments without fear of what will happen publicly.

Grab some popcorn One of my favorite sayings is Grab some popcorn and watch what happens…

I have found asshat people tend to be their own worst enemy. Ultimately they will bring themselves down. Maybe you have a co-worker that is lazy and arrogant. Sit back and watch him hang himself. It may take time but it will happen. Same goes for mean spirited, nasty people. You don’t need to help them, they do the job themselves.

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Is your kid athletic? Do they ride a skateboard or bike? Both of you read this article: Teen fights for his life after skateboard crash 

“Robin wants everyone to remember this: “It doesn’t matter how old you are … you’d be a lot cooler if you wore a helmet instead of putting your family and friends and loved ones through this.”

Robin said she did not push him to wear his helmet because she wanted to be the cool mom, and she does not want anyone else to feel the heartache she does.”

I’m sure we have all been there – and made exceptions to rules that we know are in place for our kid’s safety. Some are more dangerous than others. Never compromise on them wearing a helmet!

The Bonds of Fitness

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Lidia Beer - CrossFit MastersI hit up a boxing class last night and then headed to Ashburn CrossFit this morning to workout with a dear friend I havent seen in over five years. I have written about Lidia previously and what an inspiration and kickass chick she is. It’s one of the greatest things about finding my fitness passion – meeting and bonding with the most amazing people.  Many of them have become very dear to me and even though I don’t see them regularly, they continue to inspire me and motivate me to be better than I was yesterday. I mean – come on now, these are strong, bad ass chicks. If I let myself go to pot after all this time – I think they would kick my ass. Not only are they amazing people – they help keep me accountable. It’s a win that keeps on giving…

As you probably know, I don’t do CrossFit regularly anymore.  The change was brought on partially by burn out. I was not getting the joy or seeing the results I used to from CrossFit. I also felt that my body wasn’t recovering like it used to which was causing me to not have as much fun while I was there. My shoulders weren’t healing either because of the constant stress on them. It’s only been since I stopped completely, have I regained range of motion in my right shoulder.

It is nice to revisit CrossFit every now and again and today it was quite a workout – a chipper.

Ashburn CrossFit In CrossFit, a chipper is usually a combo of 5 to 10 exercises designed to push metabolic conditioning. This morning’s chipper looked like this…

  • 50 Wall Balls (20/14)
  • 40 Push Ups
  • 30 Medball Cleans (20/14)
  • 20 Burpees
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 20 Burpees
  • 30 Medball Cleans
  • 40 Push Ups
  • 50 Wall Balls
    (20 min cap)

I chose to do it with a 10# med ball and finished at 19:37.  Yeah, Ouch. I am  now at work and the soreness is creeping in. It hurts just to walk.  I don’t know why, but it always surprises me at how sore I get when I switch up workouts even though I workout all the time!

I have to admit it was a great way to start my day. A group of strong ladies, a lot of laughs and creating a sweat festival.

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As a final sign off on today’s post – I want to wish my smart, sassy and super adorable niece Amelia a Happy Birthday. I wish I lived closer so I could be in her life more, but here I am living in ‘Grassyland’ (that’s what she calls Virginia bc we have a lot of grass and San Fran does not).

I love her to the moon and back…

Amelia _Birthday

Celebrating Mathias: 2nd Annual Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run!

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Team Mathias

This past December, Mathias Giordano lost his cancer battle. Tomorrow he would have celebrated his 14th birthday. I have not been able to get him out of my thoughts since first hearing about him and what an amazing young man he was from my friend Gwen. Gwen and I, along with her son and HB ran the 5K this morning to remember him and raise money for childhood cancer research.

It was an amazing feeling to start my day with a 5K run to support Team Mathias in the Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run 2015y

 

I was so proud of HB. I thought she was going to back out of coming with me early this morning but no. She stayed true to her commitment and did great. This is now the second race we have done together. I can’t even describe how much it fills my heart with so much love and pride that she is open to tackling the races with me.  I think one of the reasons that I continue to be moved by Mathias is my own kiddos are around the same age – and after seeing how hard Scott’s cancer battle was, I can only imagine how much harder it is for those younger.  During the pre-race speeches, I teared up thinking about him and his family. What an amazing example of faith and perseverance.

 

Partnering with the Team Mathias was Be the Match®, a global leader in bone marrow transplantation. They conduct research to improve transplant outcomes provide support and resources for patients, and partner with a global network

My last 5K was in March for Scope it Out Colon Cancer Awareness and my 5K pace was 9:36. This race I finished with a 8:45 minute pace. So I’m pretty pleased with that improvement. Boxing and Cycling are really helping my overall lung capacity for sure.

11301561_10152972810248741_263347669_nChildhood Cancer Statistics – Important Facts

Each year, the parents of approximately 15,700 kids will hear the words “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just fifty years ago to nearly 90 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Furthermore, the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.

  • Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
  • Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
  • The average age of children diagnosed is six.
  • More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
  • 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
  • There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
    • That equates to 1 in 530 adults ages 20-39.

Team Mathias 5K
Team Mathias

Stop Sitting on the Sidelines

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One of the reasons that I continue to live healthy and fit is for the example it sets for my kiddos. We do all this stuff so that they are active and healthy growing but many of us let our own health fall by the way side. We have lots of excuses related to not having enough time. I have been really vocal about calling bullshit on that excuse but the past week I noticed something else…

Rebounderz with the Hoaglunds Many times during the week, when I go box – I see parents either drop their kid off to a boxing session or sit on the bench and watch. Same thing happened when I took my kids to Rebounderz. I was the only parent jumping around the trampolines and having fun and getting exercise with my kids.

I don’t understand this at all — why not join your kids in an activity or if you drop them off at soccer practice, why not walk around the fields listening to music? Just MOVE YOUR BODY. You don’t have to go at it hard like some of us do but instead of sitting their on the sidelines watching your kid during a boxing session – put on a pair of gloves and join them. Not only are you helping yourself, you are spending time with them and setting a great example.  So, stop sitting on the sidelines.  Life is too short, kids grow up way too fast and you are allowed to make time for yourself! Who knows – you may even find it’s fun!

Here are some related parenting and kids fitness resources to talk about with your kids:

Rewind the Future

Is Dairy Causing Your Eczema?

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The Connection Between Eczema and Eating Dairy

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine about her recent case of eczema. I immediately said it’s probably dairy. She said that’s what her doctor said too  Fast forward to this morning, before our 6A boxing session, she said she stopped the dairy and almost immediately – her eczema cleared up! Well what do you know!! It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that a sensitivity to dairy can cause skin issues and congestion.

Before understanding how dairy affected me, I had hard, crusty hands all the time. To help alleviate the burning and itching, my doctor gave me a steroid cream. He never once discussed its possible cause.  Once I quit dairy – it was gone. Just like that!  Recently, I was reminded once again that dairy and I don’t mix. I started drinking a whey protein shake in the AM. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process and after a few days, my eczema started to flare up on my hands again. I switched to a veggie based shake and the eczema issues cleared up.

Eczema and Dairy Connection

As a general practice, I don’t eat dairy but maybe once a week. When I do have some, within hours, I feel congested and the next morning, my hands start to itch. If i eat it more than once a week, eczema on my hands starts to appear.  One of my favorite treats – ice cream – is almost not worth eating because my congestion gets so bad that getting a good night’s sleep becomes a challenge. Everything in life is a trade off and now, before eating anything with dairy or gluten for that matter, I ask myself if it’s worth it. Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often, it’s no.

Here’s a bit more info on dairy and food allergies:

How can you figure out if dairy is causing you issues?

It’s simple really. Try eliminating it for a week or so to see if any skin issues clear up, including acne. Then, add it back in. If you notice a reaction, then you know that dairy is causing you some inflammation issues. Keep in mind that a week may not be enough time to really eliminate it. As with most things, It depends on the person. The thing is, if you find you are sensitive to dairy, you are armed with the knowledge and can be more aware of how your body feels and reacts to your food choices.

Decluttering: Tidying Up Your Life

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It’s hard to come back to the ole work life after the long Memorial Day Weekend. It was such a spectacular weekend – getting time to workout, spending time with friends and being outside for much of it. It was one of those weekends that was perfect in it’s simplicity. I spent time with  kind, fun people including my own family. I got to appreciate the feeling a great workout gave me, got in some napping and the weather was perfect. Kumbaya! 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThis summer I am going to start to tackle one of my biggest challenges – decluttering and tidying up my house. I am going to start with my own closet and clothing situation.  It’s a trait I come by honestly by way of my Mom and it’s one that drives me crazy. I read this article the other day:

The life-changing magic of tidying up: How this 1 tip changed everything

“It’s not just about tidying up to get rid of things,” Ramsey says. “It’s about having gratitude for the objects you choose to be in your life.” So if something (or someone) doesn’t bring you joy, don’t try to justify its place in your world. Just say thank you and move on.

One of the points made is that you should try to get it done in one project. So not by room or bit by bit. You need to sit down and go through all of your clothes at once.  I am going to organize my clothes and closet by the end of the summer because it’s starting to  drain me of energy. Seeing the big piles of clothes all over my bedroom isn’t healthy and I can’t find any of the pieces that bring me joy and that goes against the principle of having the clothes I do.

Why Am I Not As Happy As I Think I Should Be?

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Believe-when-you-are-most-unhappy-that-there-is-something-for-you-to-do-in-the-world..-Helen-KellerBelieve, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world… Helen Keller

I’ve been doing some more soul searching the past week –

The past few days have been pretty stressful. Scott’s mom is in the hospital. My dad and step mother got into a car accident this past weekend. Their car is totaled, they are banged up but going to be OK. The thing is, experiencing your parents’ getting older is tough especially when they didn’t take particularly great care of their health in general. It’s another reminder that lifestyle definitely catches up with you as you age.  And when you are experiencing it from a distance – it’s hard to really see how bad a situation is. You have to rely on your parents to tell you what’s going on. Reality is different depending on the filters we put on.

In other stressful news, Scott and I are both not feeling well with different maladies. Nothing too serious but enough that we both went to the doctors last week and are on meds. And to top it all off – Scott’s car broke down on Friday evening and a bunch of money $$$ later, the car should be fixed by tomorrow.

All of this has me thinking about what I really want out of life and why am I not feeling as happy as I think I should be?

Career wise: Do I want to continue heading into an office and working for someone else? The culture and company I am looking for based on my experience with my last position is a lot more clear than it has ever been. The issue is, I’m not sure my current situation is meeting the requirements as I had hoped it would.  In the past 90 days of me starting, there have been a ton of changes and restructuring. Things I didn’t know about when I accepted the position. The changes aren’t really in line with my background, interests or what I was looking for. It’s disappointing to say the least. I was hoping to be able to grow, learn, be challenged and thrive in this environment. At this point, it’s not really looking like many of those opportunities exist. Never say never, of course, but having learned my lesson at my previous job, I realize that if it doesn’t feel right, I need to explore options.

I am stressed out and feeling a bit lost. Life sure doesn’t stop for you to catch your breath…

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May is Mental Health Month

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MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?

I’m sharing the stories in the links below because they got me thinking about how easy it is to look at someone’s life and assume everything is perfect. With social media, people’s lives look idyllic . All smiles and photo filters. If you took it all at face value, you would think that everyone has it good and living the life. But you know what? The reality is that we all have struggles and our stories. You never do know what is going on behind the filtered pictures on Instagram or the stories shared on Facebook.

Life today is busy. People are more stressed out and pushed and pulled in a bunch of different directions. Our bodies aren’t designed to handle this type of constant stress. Add in that some people have the type of personality that can’t handle things being undone. They can’t live with things being less than perfect. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety are these type A personalities.

Trust your instinct

The point of this post is to remind people out there that not everything is what it seems. No one’s life is perfect.  If you feel like something is not right with a family member, friend or acquaintance – ASK. And if they say Nothing – ASK Again and again and again.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy 11th Birthday Baby Nate

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Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet, funny, stubborn, loving, sensitive little baby Nate.

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