Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday: Anything Goes!

I was so glad to see that my theme for today is Anything Goes. I can leave the thinking behind for today and plow through with some easy updates. It also gives me an opportunity to show my son with the 100 piece Melissa & Doug puzzle we completed the other day. He was SO proud of the accomplishment! And, yes, that is a mini piano in the background - and yes, it DOES get played daily.

On the kid front: Tuesday is the 1st day of school for Mr. Music - look for a fun event here on that day to celebrate the start of the school year (and get ready to tell your friends - because this is BIG)! Unfortunately Little Sister is a bit off kilter with a snotty nose and a bit of a cough, but maybe this low-key weekend will get her back on track.

On the home front: I'm feeling inspired to get back to work on Little Sister's big girl quilt. Here are photos of it, as I've been promising. I'm not sure if you can tell, but half of it is quilted, the other half of what is there needs quilting - and then another big row will be added. The quilt is reversible, with 60+ fabrics making up the scrappy front and 7 composing the back.

On the work front: More balance is needed here. We're working on it!

On the running front: More balance is needed here, too. I'm working on that, too. Something tells me that if I can get THIS in order, other things will fall into place, too. Baby steps.

I know I didn't keep up with my promise for the book review on Thursday or Friday . . . so it will have to wait until this next Wednesday. I'm frustrated with myself for letting this ball drop, but I don't like to do important things like book reviews in a hurried fashion - and everything this week seemed to be done in a hurried and stressful fashion. That wouldn't be fair to the book, its author, OR its readers. Important things deserve true focus and concentration.

Well, the sun is shining and the weeds are calling. Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone! Wishing you a happy balance in your life (I'm wishing that for myself, too, today)!

Friday, August 29, 2008


After one heck of a long week, and an even tougher day today, I find myself reflecting on the optimism and positive energy of my first blog post. You can find it here:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday: Lost in the Pages . . . quite literally

One three-hour block of time each week I'm treated to kid-free time. This is achieved by taking on my friend's two girls for a different three-hour chunk in the week so she can have some kid-free time, too. I usually reserve this time for one or more of the following:

1. A business meeting with my mom (top priority)
2. A run (if it weren't for the importance of #1, this would get top billing)
3. Finding my kitchen
4. Running errands
5. Pulling the too-small clothes out of my children's closets when they aren't there to object

Today took on a bit of a twist because I headed with my dad (a piano technician who runs his own business) to a marketing writing meeting about an hour from here. So, it was sort of like a business meeting with my mom . . . except my mom wasn't there (she was quilting, lucky gal!). And, it was sort of like running . . . except I was in my "fancy" jeans (ie - no kid spit, food, snot, etc. on them) and nice tops and the distance was covered by my car rather than my feet.

It was a great experience, despite the fact that I didn't get to do my usual kid-free stuff. We figured out a catchy headline to use for upcoming marketing stuff (that goes to print in the next 2 weeks - clock's a tickin'!) and got a few other things figured out. It also helps that I sold and signed 2 books at the interactive lecture, too.

So, you are expecting a review of Carol Goodrow's Treasure book. And you shall have it - tomorrow! I've read and digested the book and shall be prepared to report to you in tomorrow's installment of my TRUE Wednesday: Lost in the Pages . . . despite the fact that it is Thursday. I can do that because this is my blog (I say this with a mix of authority and apology!). And, this is a remarkably accurate reflection of how life has been rolling as of late - a true peek into the life of an author on a shoestring budget!

For now, I'm lost in the pages of the notes I took, those darn press releases, and another newspaper article. I can totally see why there copy writers and ad agencies that you can hire to handle these things!!! If only I had the moolah to pass on this more tricky and precise writing so I can be left to the creative end of writing - you know, the FUN stuff: special interest newspaper pieces, another book, emails to long-lost friends . . . . *sigh*

Before my brain shuts down completely for the night, I'd like to remind you that I'm looking for books and book reviewers to spotlight/do a guest review (I originally set the deadline for August 31st, but since this is the start of the school year and tends to be a chaotic time of year, I'll extend the offer to September 15th). Send your suggestions my way, folks! I'm all ears and can't wait to get my hands on the books you share!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday:Starting With a Thankful Heart

Ah, Monday.

The kind of day when you walk a half mile up a hill with two small children with the promise of going to the park . . . and then the rain comes down.

And then, when you get home, the rain stops. The sun comes out.

And you consider starting the journey again, because, well, the kids could really use the excursion. And, let's face it - so can you.

But then the clouds return. And the rain starts.

And so you decide that lining up toy animals while making their sounds and spouting random pirate-isms sounds pretty darn good.

True story. Today's story, actually!

Today I am thankful for:

- the bouts of sunshine between rainshowers
- my son's adoration of chapter books (current read: Stuart Little)
- the new Japanese Maple we planted in our front yard on Saturday (and all the free water it has received since!)
- the fresh start of half-marathon training
- sweet toddler snuggles at bedtime

Have a wonderful week! Best wishes to all of you who sent your children off to school today for the exciting First Day of School!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday: Gearing up for the Week (School Open House!)

First, I'm happy to report that I DID get out for a run on Thursday afternoon, which made both Albus (my faithful dog) and me happy. It was just a 20 minute number, but it was just what we needed and it fit perfectly into the afternoon before I had to pick up the kids and get going with dinner stuff.

I started today with a run. That really is one of my favorite ways to start a day. I should do it more often - Albus thinks so, too. Another short one, at 23 minutes, but it was nice.

This is the last week of vacation - holy moly! And, even though this week marks the end of one chunk of the year and the end of our "lazy days", it is one my son has been looking forward to for a few weeks: his pre-school Open House is on Tuesday! He's anxious to see his teachers again, see familiar faces that will be in his class again and maybe even visit for a few minutes with some of the kiddos who are moving up to the big Kindergarten class.

I'm confident that the year will be another good one for us. Mr. Music (for those of you who are "new" readers, that's what I call my son) attends a Montessori School, so he'll have the same pair of teachers this year as he did last year. His class is a multi-age pre-school group with kids ages 2.75 - 5. It'll be a great mix of kids from last year and younger kids entering school for the first time. The start of the year is always exciting - and I'm happy to see my son's confidence and independence blossom as he builds a solid foundation at pre-school.

His teachers are FANTASTIC and do a great job of introducing the kids to a balance of learning experiences - and quite thoroughly, too. After their tree unit in the spring, Mr. Music could clearly identify which trees are coniferous and which are deciduous - using those terms! (Coniferous Photo Credit. Deciduous Photo Credit.)

I also like how calm and respectful the Montessori environment is. Conflicts are resolved with conversation and kids discussing how they feel about what happened - and after just a few weeks of modeling by the teachers and older students, these little folks really do put the problem-solving and conflict resolution techinques to work on their own. I'm hoping those lessons work their way into solving sibling conflicts at home soon, too! One step at a time, right?!

This week also kicks-off my Half Marathon Training Plan for the Seattle Half Marathon! I've opted to go with the running plan from Marathoning for Mortals. I followed the run-walk full marathon plan from that book in 2003 when I ran the SunTrust Marathon in Virginia and I found it to mesh nicely with my chaotic teaching/graduate student/wife life. I found a few other plans in Runner's World and on-line, but I do find some comfort in sticking with the "known". And so - tomorrow I'll get it going. I'm REALLY doing this! (Photo credit) And, yes, for those of you who are sticklers for details, I KNOW that marathons don't have runers start in starting blocks!! I just though the image was an appropriate one for the start of something BIG in my life -and running-related, if not a perfect match.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday - Hanging in There (And swinging wildly!)

So, I mentioned the other day that I have some things developing for my book. Today one of those things came to life - hooray!

The Seattle Marathon will have my book, We Are Girls Who Love to Run (Somos Chicas y A Nosotras Nos Encanta Correr), available on their merchandise page!

So, it isn't there today . . . but it will be up soon. If you know anyone who is pondering participating in the race, let them know they can order my book through The Seattle Marathon, too! It will be available with 2 other children's book titles: Pellie Runs a Marathon and Coco Loves to Tri, both of which have been reviewed by Carol Goodrow on Check them out and then order the trio to share with your favorite budding runners!

On the running front, I'm determined to get in a run this afternoon. With the chaos before our trip to CA, the adventures there and the chaos post-trip of getting the kids back on schedule, I haven't been running. AGH! And, that's not good with the Half coming up! So, after a bit of work while the kids play with friends, I'm lacing up those shoes and heading out. I'll probably leave the Garmin behind because I just want to go and enjoy being back on the road without worrying about what this lull in running has done to my speed.

I hope your week is going well. Happy running - and hooray - tomorrow's Friday!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday - Trials & Achievements (A healthy mix of both)

I'm pretty sure I've never posted at 6PM before, though I'm now 125 posts into this little blogging experience (how'd THAT happen?!), so maybe one or two of them were post-dinner ramblings. I'm writing now because my husband and dad took the kids to Lowe's so I could have some time to myself. I even passed up the opportunity to join my mom and her sister for a trip to Ben Franklin to look at quilt fabric and then a viewing of Mama Mia. Yup, sometimes it is just nice to be able to sit back and breathe once and awhile.

Can you hear that? What, you don't hear anything? Me neither!!!! That's because there is nothing to hear but the sound of the click-clacking of the keys as I type. I can even take a break from this to make myself a cappuchino because I'm not trying to get it all in while one kid is napping and the other is listening to the shortest book on tape in the world!

This is me leaving to make myself that yummy coffee treat (I'll of course follow it up with a tall glass of water, because if I play my cards right, I'll get a run in this evening after the kids go to bed - could happen!). And there's no danger of little fingers typing their own little message while I'm gone!

OK, the machine is warming up. I love our espresso machine - and to think I thought my husband was crazy for wanting something a bit more "splurgy" (if that isn't already a word, it is now) like our Magnifica!

So, here are my current trials:

- There's a business event I SHOULD go to on Thursday night (and I want to go, too). BUT, that same night would also be great to get back to yoga or even attend a Design Your Own Annabelle Handbag Party (here's a sample from the Spring line. The fall fabrics aren't on the site yet - they're being unveiled on Thursday!). Know how I can be in three places at once? Me neither. POM - I see how you feel with wanting to ditch the "special stuff" to just have down time!
- summer is nearly over and I'm trying to cram the remaining items of our "Summer Wish List" into these last 2 weeks, which seems silly because . . . the onset of school doesn't mean that we can't have adventures and, as recorded history shows us - summer shall return!
- I have 2 newspaper articles to write in the next few weeks (I'd never make it as a staff writer, it just takes me too long to get things the way I want them)
- a stack of press releases need my attention if I'm going to keep book sales going like they are (and they're going well!) without forking out too much of our budget on advertising
- I've verbally committed myself to run the Seattle Half Marathon the weekend of Thanksgiving (sort of a 2 week late 30th birthday gift to myself) but haven't picked a plan
- I'm not sure that there are any training plans that allow you to run while sleeping - know of one?
- My daughter's quilt sits half finished. If I can get it done in the next 2 weeks it can go in our town's annual quilt show.

That being said, there ARE some achievements to celebrate:

- the laundry from our CA trip is DONE!
- After a week of eating out and simple oven-warmed dinners, I made a lasagna from scratch tonight - and the dishes are already in the dishwasher!
- My newspaper article about our quilt shop, The Quilter's Garden, will be in tomorrow's paper
- I have some promising nibbles on some big opportunities for the book

But, enough about me . . . what about YOU? Anything pressing going on this week? Anything you feel like celebrating?

I'm off to find a spoon to get the last of the foam from the bottom of my cup. Yum!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday - Here We Go! becomes Starting with a Thankful Heart!

We took our first vacation in ages last weekend - 4 full days in Palo Alto, CA with my husband's brother's family. It was a fantastic, sunny adventure filled with trips to multiple parks, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and lots of walks through the streets of Palo Alto - just lovely. The beach photo is from our stop at the beach before finding lunch and rides on the boardwalk.

As you can see from the photo of my daughter (dressed in her big brother's shorts over the top of her own - oh, and those are his shoes, too), we had a great time and everything was fun and smiles! I just had to include this photo - it cracks me up because it captures her personality so well. She's a ham!

We returned home late last night to find that we missed a heat wave in Seattle - 3 days in the 90s. Today is cool and rainy, which is fine by me. We're getting unpacked, doing laundry, and falling back into our normal routine. No worries about the outdoors calling to us to come and play. I can just dig in and get things off that pesky to-do list!

In all of my organization for my new blog daily topics, it didn't dawn on me that my Sunday and Monday plans were quite similar. SO, I've decided to change Mondays from "Here We Go!" to "Starting with a Thankful Heart!" Mondays can get bogged down with negativity as people leave the carefree fun of weekends behind to return to work and obligations (like that post-vacation to-do list!). Maybe if we can start Monday with a sunny outlook (there's my yellow hat again!), Monday won't seem so blah.

This new topic makes me think back to my elementary days when I was going through a negative patch. My mom was fed up with my black hat and wanted to help me discover the good things in my life (of which there were many). Before bed I had to write a list of 10 good things that happened that day. Some nights I would have much prefered just going to bed (which is crazy for a kid, right?!), but I made my way through the negativity and cranked out 10 good things. And really it wasn't too long before I found it easy to stretch the list beyond the mandatory 10 things - sometimes even making it to 20.

I'll keep things simple and list out 5 things I'm thankful for on my Mondays. In your comment (PLEASE COMMENT!!!), you can feel free to list anything you'd like to share - big or small, simple or complex.

Today my heart is thankful for:

5. A safe trip back and forth from California
4. The warm greeting from our dog, Albus, upon our return (dogs are great, aren't they?!)
3. The kindness of my parents for the taxi service to and from the airport and for letting Albus bunk at their place for 4 days
2. The plethora of public parks (and that my kids' fabulous Aunt & Uncle knew how to find the best ones!) available to kids in the Palo Alto area (and one kickin' water play park in Redwood, CA)
1. The partnerships and friendships that develop between fellow authors/small publishers

BONUS gratitude for the readers of the 75 books ordered today!!!

I'm feeling sunny already (despite the rain, which really does feel nice). How about you? What makes you thankful today?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday - Lost in the Pages: Book Review of Carol Goodrow's Kids Running

This is a guest post by Sheila Schencke, the other half of Balanced Steps (she also happens to be my mom!).

Sheila is an award-winning administrator, educator (K - graduate) and business woman. After years of classroom experience, she started the STARBASE Robins program at Robins AFB in Georgia and then put her experience to good use to start the STARBASE Louisiana program at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. These two programs were her "babies" - until Brianna's two kids came along. After Brianna's son turned one, she knew she couldn't stay away, so she and her husband, Marty (retired US Air Force Officer) relocated to Duvall, WA where they are within walking distance of those treasured grandchildren (oh, and Brianna and her husband, too).
Carol Goodrow’s Kids Running book has the perfect subtitle: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther. Note the first premise, Have Fun! She keeps that emphasis throughout the book and that’s why it is a winner in my eyes, and in my heart. The illustrations are colorful and cheerful, with childlike simplicity that pulls you into the book. This book is chock-full of information and ideas. Carol is a teacher, a late-blooming runner and the founding editor of, a Runner’s World site.

Carol speaks to the “everykid”, with lots of enthusiasm and encouragement to get running in a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are enjoying the Olympics, but from the couch. Do the athletes make sports look impossible to you? To me, learning to run can be like trying to eat an elephant, way too much to even consider. However, Carol breaks the huge mental, physical and emotional tasks into small bites. She takes the intimidation out of learning how to run. Kids Running incorporates all you need to know about running: getting started, cardio, ways to have fun running, healthy snacks, cross-training, goal-setting, journaling and more good books. Carol sets us up for success. She starts with choosing the right sneakers for the job, and adds little hints, like “Double tie your laces so you don’t fall on your faces.” Carol coaches with humor and passion that jumps off the page, and finds ways to eliminate all your excuses not to join in the run.

Often, the children in the book share the information in a dialog, which keeps the learning upbeat and counters any “know-it-all” jock attitudes. I love that they model great group dynamics, noting different ways to achieve their fitness goals. Everyone can be a winner without going the fastest. Carol explains terms like cardio fitness and why it is important to healthy living. She also has the children talk about their progress during the book, like, “Remember when I used to gasp for breath?” “Your heart and lungs weren’t strong enough to run far.” “Now I can.” “I can even run a mile IF I pace myself.” We all learn right along with the kids in the book, celebrating different kinds of success. It’s easy, and taking it one step at a time it is not intimidating.

I know about being intimidated about sports, as I’m not an athlete like my siblings, two of whom are PE teachers. I was a skinny little kid, usually one of the last chosen for teams. I played outside a lot as a kid, but never set goals for sport. I did race on a swim team, more as something to do with my older sister than something to achieve. I was even a cheerleader, and a life guard, more as someone to be, to take the edge off my nerdiness. (That was before Title 9, and the only sport for girls at our school besides bowling. Our high school didn’t even have PE classes!)

As a teacher, I love that Carol puts learning into action with this book. Healthy bodies build strong minds. She integrates important learning into fun activities. It’s so much more fun to practice counting by 2s, 4s or 10s while you’re running. It also keeps spelling practice from becoming boring. And your brain remembers it more easily, too because you have more senses involved in the experience. A plain journaling assignment becomes inspiring when it centers around your own personal running experience. And powers of analysis come alive when you compare how far you’ve come with where you started. This book has more power, a list of children’s running books and websites. You can even read her reviews of other running books there (including Brianna’s We Are Girls Who Love to Run).

Love to run? I never even considered running, as a child or an adult. I never imagined I’d try it as a grandmother! Yet, I did this year when I trained and participated in my first 5K in our hometown’s Duvall Days in June. OK, it was part run, part walk, but I did it! My race goal was to finish, and in the cold pouring rain, that was a big accomplishment. To my amazement, I even won a ribbon for 3rd fastest in my age category.

My new goal is in Carol’s subtitle, Go Farther. I just joined a group to do the Seattle half-marathon at the end of November. Notice I joined a group, like the kids, so I can have fun. We are going to train together beginning in September. Dr. Scott Lynch has the whole training planned out for our group. He is leading us through the process one step at a time. We will practice on the Snoqualmie Trail between Duvall and Carnation.

Take the step to move Kids Running to the top of your reading list and share it with the kids you love! It was written just for kids, but speaks to the kid in all of us.
Next book review (by Brianna): Carol's lesser-known, but "treasure" of a book: The Treasure of Health and Happiness

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good News for Runners

Studies show that runners live longer!

Not surprising, is it?

Happy running!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday: Flashbacks (to High School - AGH!)

Quick sleep update: I'm at 2 nights in a row with little sleep. So much for the great start to the week! I'm hoping to knock out at least 8K (not 8 miles, I'm just not there) tonight or tomorrow morning to take part in the 8 on the 8th Race that Nancy's organizing, but . . . this sleep thing is a priority. Though I'm excited about the Olympic-themed event and don't want to be a party pooper! We'll know soon enough how things pan out . . .

Quick project update: No more progress on the quilt because I'm a bit of a random thinker (like you haven't caught on to that) and tend to bounce from one thing to another. I'm refinishing the chest of drawers that was my dad's as a child . . . passed to me and now passed to Little Sister. In high school we painted it white and did the accent pieces in a bright green. Since I'm all about keeping things simple, I'm just touching up the white and changing the knobs and trim from green to a lovely purple. Little Sister is a fan of purple (which is GREAT because I'm not too into pink), so it should work out well with some yellow walls and the scrap quilt. Photos to come when I locate the camera.

And now . . . onto the flashback!

I mentioned awhile back that I've been feeling sentimental since jumping into the crazy world of Facebook. I moved before my senior year of high school from a close-knit Air Force community in IL to a more rural school in GA. Talk about a big change! Anyhow . . . Facebook has "reunited" me with a number of my IL high school friends and now I'm eyeball deep in reminiscing (the good, the bad and the ugly - all of it!).

In the midst of all of this wading through memories, I recently discovered that a good friend of mine from those bygone days now lives in Seattle - just a 30-60 minute drive from us (depending upon traffic - you know how THAT goes). We're working out a time for him to come out to the country to meet my "new family" - i.e. husband & kids - to have dinner and enjoy one of those concerts in the park that we love so much. The plans have fallen through a few times, but there are a few summer weeks remaining, so keep your fingers crossed that we can get something to work. I haven't seen him since I went back to IL for a friend's memorial service 6 years ago - so timing wasn't right then for much chit-chat and story swapping.

I chose to finally blog on a Friday because one of my classmates from high school posted a picture this week of the first day of senior year on his Facebook page. Picture this: a giant (12 feet tall, perhaps) 96 with 5 guys in matching "Class of '96" t-shirts (ironed, no less) with khaki shorts or jean shorts ("jorts" as they laugh about them now) lined up in front of it. Their poses so clearly radiate their personalities:

- Guy 1: Tall, beaming smile, arms folded across chest, black sunglasses (this one is now Chief Resident of Orthopedic Surgery at a hospital in IL)
- Guy 2: Tall, stoic face, hand on Guy 1's shoulder (this one was a Center for the football team and went on to play rugby at Auburn, if I'm not mistaken - you didn't want to mess with him, though if you looked hard enough you could locate his nougat center, it was just well-protected)
- Guy 3: tucked behind Guy 2 & Guy 4, peeking out with arms around #2 & #4 (this is one who was always around but only had something to say if it truly mattered - thoughtful and to the point)
- Guy 4: looking straight at the camera as if it was waiting for his punchline (joker all around, this one)
- Guy 5: one leg crossed over the other, one hand on Guy 4's shoulder, confident smirk (a favorite with the ladies, though never one to commit - this one is now a pilot in China)

I can't vouch for #3 & 4 as to whether the personalities are still a match, but from what I can tell, the others are still dead on. Sure, they're older and most-likely a bit wiser (I hope!), possibly more mature (true with Guy 5 for sure), and scattered across the world, but I'm willing to bet they are very much the same as they were on that sunny first day of school nearly 13 years ago.

It leaves me wondering what a photo on my first day of senior year would reveal about me. Would it be as accurate a reflection since I was diving head-first into a year at a new school? If we could rewind even further to the first year of junior year when I was more "in my element" what would that photo have shown? I'll have to go dig something up to see . . . and if I'm feeling daring and can figure out the scanner, I'll post it next Friday. Stay tuned.

Happy 8 on the 8th . . . happy running . . . happy sleeping . . . and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday - Hanging in There!

For those of you looking for the book review yesterday, my apologies. Life happens! Come back next week for the scoop on Carol Goodrow's new book with a guest review from my mom.

I'm not sure how today is Thursday already. It seems like just yesterday that I was cheering about the fresh paint job in our Master bath - which continues to make me smile, BTW - but that was Monday and yesterday was really Wednesday. Holy moly!

I had planned to go for a long run this morning, but I didn't sleep so well (but one night out of four ain't bad) and the kids were being returned at 7ish this morning from their overnight at my parents'. I'll revert to an evening run today and get up tomorrow to do more of my yoga/strength training routine before the kids get up. I'm dedicated to making this morning thing stick!

My husband and I had a good date night last night: take out from our favorite Mediterranean place that we haven't visited in awhile, a planning trip to Lowe's to talk about options for a possible kitchen remodel in our near future, and a viewing of The Dark Knight. We capped it off with a few minutes in the hammock under the stars - it was a warm, clear, quiet night, perfect for playing the "Where do you think that plane is going?" game as we tracked a few planes overhead.

So, on the work end of things, we're gearing up for some advertising. That means more work with writing copy, whittling down ideas until they're JUST right, and figuring out how to sqeeze as much as possible from our little budget. Tough work!

Off to feed my growing boy YET AGAIN! Have a good remainder of your week - the weekend is in sight, folks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday - Trials & Achievements (Achievements - hooray!)

Last time I was focused on some trials, but today I'm feeling rather cheery (must be the sunshine instead of fog outside today!), so I'll celebrate some achievements (big and small!):

- Over 50 copies of my book, We Are Girls Who Love to Run were ordered yesterday by wholesalers across the country
- I'll have an article about our local quilt shop in a local newspaper next week (part of year-long weekly series to highlight the local businesses in our little town)
- I'm in the process of writing an article for our OTHER (and my favorite) local paper about a fellow writer (our graphic artist and an amazing illustrator) and his series of children's books about fly fishing that will go to press later this month or early September (the article, not his books - 2 of them are already out!)
- I fell asleep before 11 without taking melatonin and got up around 6:15 without trouble!
- Our master bath now has a fresh coat of warm yellow (what other color would you expect?!) paint, courtesy of my husband (though I DID take the kids to the park for distraction and DID roll half of 2 walls . . . and our son "helped" a bit, too)
- I'm already drinking water this morning. Increased hydration is one of my new goals.
- I have 4 of the 7 rows sewn together for my daughter's quilt (2 are quilted, 2 await my time on the machine!)

Hopefully since the last time I've done a Tuesday post, MizFit was able to finish her article in time for deadline . . . which reminds me that I need to send in my article today.

Nitmos might feel better knowing that today's early morning achievements aren't as grandiose as yesterday's, but I am on the right track: 30 minute stretching/strength training session and a start at blogging by 7:05. Somehow the kids are still sleeping (though now that I've mentioned it, they're bound to wake-up - Murphy's Law).

Have any exciting achievements to report from your daily grind? Have any new goals or trials that are on your plate? Any new knitting projects, Running Knitter?

Ah, and I hear Little Sister stirring now . . . have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday - Here We Go (it started with a run!)

My sleeping for the past few months has been shotty at best. Most nights I end up reading from about 10:30 - 11:00 to have some down time and then lie awake until about midnight or later. More often than not in the last month you'd be likely to find me engaged in my yoga practice around 2:30 in a desperate hope that it would focus my mind and stretch my body to be relaxed for sleep. Sure enough, that worked, but the kids are up at 6:45 or 7ish, so my sleep was inevitably cut shorter than I'd like. Vicious cycle. Over and over. And over and over and over and over and . . . I think you get the picture.

One cannot function this way with two kids at home and a career that needs nurturing. Not to mention the lack of SANITY that ensues! And you've certainly seen how it has affected my blogging (2 posts/week - at best), because blogging is pretty close to the bottom rung of what needs to be done in life, as fun as it is.

Saturday night I made a firm stand that my sleep would get back on track. I took some melatonin (smallest dose available) and my husband got up with the kids yesterday morning so I could get a full night's rest. It worked! I was asleep around 10 (much better time!) and got up around 8:30. Granted I didn't get out of my pajamas ALL DAY (really, I changed right before bed . . . something that's probably only happened 1 or 2 other times in my entire life - not counting my bout with mono . . . ), but the result was a better-rested and more patient woman. Whew!

Wanting to go for my runs in the morning instead of evenings like I've been doing all summer, I made a plan a few weeks ago to get up at 5:30 or 6:00 so I can run before my husband leaves for work. This is also good in theory because I'm happiest if I can get in a morning shower and feel clean all day. With night running, I've been showering at night. While it is nice to go to bed clean, I've spent the summer craving my morning shower and I just can't justify 2 showers/day. I'm trying to be environmentally conscious, people!

So I took a melatonin again last night (but won't tonight - I'm just trying to jump start my natural sleep rhythm again and don't ever like to rely on chemicals). I was alseep by 10 again and when the alarm went off at 5:45, I was able to open my eyes and think, "Today's Monday. My running clothes are out and ready. Cool!" My husband grunted some sort of greeting and I threw on my gear, leashed up the very happy Albus dog, and headed out.

Though my eyes may not have been totally open until I hit the top of the hill (a good 3 minutes into the run), it didn't matter because mornings here are ultra foggy and there was nothing to see until I reached the top anyhow. And, I had my trusty guide dog.

It was a 25 minute run with a few little walk breaks (and a little potty break for Albus because he was too excited to pee before we left), but it averaged out to be 10:00 miles for 2.5 miles. Not bad for the first early morning run in months! And my mind is alert and clear - woo hoo!

So, now I'm home, showered, dressed and blogged and it is just now 7:02 and the kids just came scampering in to see me. THIS is how to start the week - with accomplishment! I can get used to this.

Wishing you a great week filled with happy running!