239 to 40 – Rest and Recover

Just a quick note today. No exercise today. Just my most wonderful ever hair appointment.

When I quit teaching, I started making a point to “treat” myself to regular hair salon appointments. I was in a pattern of only getting my hair cut once or twice a year, and covering my grays sporadically with box color.

Those days are gone.

Yes, it costs a ludicrous amount of money, but I have decided that it is worth it to me, right now, in this space of time. Once you decide what you need for self-love and recovery, do it, without hesitation.

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The Hill

There’s a hill on my road that I despise. Well, despise might be a little strong, but I don’t like it very much at all. It makes me uncomfortable. It’s steep on both sides, creating a blind spot on the road until you get to the top. This causes a few problems:

  1. Hills are tough.
  2. I can’t see what’s coming from the other side.

The highest point is about a half a mile from my house, and there is yet a way I have managed to find so that I don’t have to be in a “run” section of my run/walk program when I get to it. Warm up walk for 5 minutes? It it square at the beginning of the first run. Run straight from the house? Find myself grinding out little baby steps and panting as hit the top of Mount Sufferage during the last 30 seconds…20 seconds…only 10 more seconds till I can walk again!

It’s always there, waiting for me to realize it’s always going to be there.

It really wouldn’t be as bad, but for the blind spot. Since I can’t see what’s coming, I’m always a little more preoccupied at the hill than I would like to be. I’m worried about if someone is going to crest and run me over because they are hugging the ditch a little too hard. I’m worried if I should go to the right side so I don’t have to worry about what’s over the other side. Now I’m worried about what’s coming up behind me now that I’m not on the proper side for running.

It just makes me worried.

Quite honestly, I have talked myself out of going down the road to exercise many, many times because of this hill.

I’m too tired. I don’t want to bother with the traffic. That dog is probably out and about at the top, too. It’s just not worth it. 

Those thoughts almost won over me again this evening. The sun was going down and my running intervals were longer and I just didn’t want to get out and run up that hill. And it was juuuust about the time the entire community would be passing me in all my glory (running tights) as they came home from work. Nope. No thank you.

But I went anyway. You don’t have to want to do something to do it. I knew I needed to.

And as I was running up that hill this evening, 4 times, I thought about why I am trying so very hard right now to change my habits. I have tried over and over and over again these last few years and nothing has stuck. I feel the stickiness all over me this time. Why now?

Because I have another hill to climb.

240 days till I hike four days of the Inca Trail into my “Over the Hill” birthday.

  1. These hills are tough.
  2. I can’t see what’s coming from the other side.

I’ve spent a lot of time over these past few years being in a lot of physical pain. I can feel the other side of “the hill” creeping into my bones. My muscles don’t work the way they should and inflammation in my joints is becoming a standard. Being uncomfortable in my own skin is not a feeling I want to take to the other side of this hill, and laying on the couch is not going to teach my body that it needs to be strong again.

I must climb the hill.

I must climb it over and over and over again. There is no end. And there is no view from the other side as I climb. I’m blind to what’s coming.

I just trust that it’s better than what I see right now.


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241 to 40

Tired of me yet?

I was tired of me today. Felt blah. Did blah things. I had a run on my schedule but procrastinated and napped until it was dark and I couldn’t go.

I looked out the window and realized my dog was feeling the same way. Apparently we decided that lying around and hoping for something to come along and get us excited was the best way to spend the afternoon.

But here’s the deal. I have goals.

So… I went ahead and did tomorrow’s lifting workout tonight, so that I am free to get my run in tomorrow.

Options are great.

Our home gym has been a lifesaver for us! We love the friendships and community made at Crossfit, but it just didn’t fit into our random schedules anymore. It’s nice to be able to decide at 7:48pm that enough is enough and is time to go lift weights, and then stroll on out to the garage.

I still really, really didn’t want to workout, but one of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year is that



I knew I needed to get it done in order to achieve my goals. Having the want-to is really just a mental blessing, not a physical one, and I proved that to myself tonight. As I woke up from my grogginess and worked through my set, I ended up with a PR (personal record) on my dead lift tonight.

So now I’m sitting here feeling empowered, strong, and satisfied with my day, instead of still wallowing in the fact that I didn’t feel like doing anything today.

That’s a good lesson to learn..

Here’s proof that I was a sloppy mess today. Only slightly worse that my average, everyday mess look 🙂


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242 till 40

Sunday. The Man got called out so I used it as an excuse to stay at home and leave the kids with some much-longed-for pajama time while I watched our church service on live stream. It’s a great substitute but not quite as sweet as the real thing.

This weekend has been a great reminder of how important having down time at your home can be. We usually just don’t have any. Time is filled with leaving again, or grinding out a project here or there. It’s been different this weekend. We blocked it off to start putting tile down in our house, but the tile is not going to be available for another week or so. That left us with a couple of days of just


I’m not going to lie, it’s been pretty wonderful. Jerod got to dink around on Mr. Toad, our ’90 Land Cruiser project car, and I finished one book and started another.

And we binged Netflix and slept in and stayed up and cooked and played Monopoly.

It was everything that a weekend should be, and a great reminder of why we work and hustle and seek out and procure…

So that we may have a home to enjoy and be at peace in.

Oh, and I recommend that everyone own a hammock. The packable ones are great but this time I mean a big obnoxious one. I received one for Christmas and put it up this week and it’s been my BFF ever since.


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243 till 40

Something in me is pushing me to write daily until the big event on September 27 (when I turn 40 on top of Machu Picchu!). I have a lot of things I need to accomplish before then. I am working on a running program, a strength program, a stack of books to read, and a house updating project.

Along with my occasional larger posts, I want to challenge myself to keep daily posts on my progress for self-improvement. Much like the artist doing a daily drawing challenge… but with words. My goal is to improve my consistency with getting my words down, and of course, accountability towards my goals.

Exercise posts seem to be self-serving, but I have actually been motivated to get out and go run this week because of social media post that my friends have made about getting moving. Maybe this will help someone with their own personal growth.

My running program is from the guys over at the Whole Life Challenge. It’s a slow moving beginner progression to running for 60 minutes straight. My goals for completing this program are to increase overall stamina for the hike in September, and prepare for the Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash that I will be participating in this spring.

You can find the program here. I just finished week 4 today.

That’s it for today. I hope to share what I’m doing with my physical training, my nutrition, and my intellectual studies through reading and podcasts. This year is all about discovery  and implementation. I’m enjoying the journey so far.


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The Perfect, The One She Loves

I have made my way to understanding the reason that I don’t write as much as I used to, even though I have an unending supply of things to say.

My daughter, Abby.

When I started writing about life here on my tiny blog in 2009, Abby was small and innocent and … well, quite frankly, in love with me. One of my favorite memories is in this post, written after a beautiful moment was shared between me and my cotton-topped 5-year-old.

She’s 13 now.

She’s not small anymore, as she’s nearly as tall as I am. In fact, she now wears some of the clothes I was wearing when I wrote about the 5 yr old. She’s not as innocent, either. The world, and everything in it, has been revealed to my daughter. She knows it’s out there because she is smart, curious, and eager, like most 13-year-old kids. They are explorers.

As a mother, I still want to protect the 5-year-old. I want to lie about the scary things and pretend the bad things don’t happen. I want to be the mother that has no imperfections, no faults, no dark places.

I always want to be The Perfect, The One She Loves.

And that’s how it happens. Or at least that’s how I see it happening to me, and I don’t want it to be that way anymore. I don’t want to be the mom that starts closing off because she thinks she is protecting her children from the reality of the world. My children already know the world. Or, they will, whether or not I am there to try to hide it from them.

And when you realize you can’t hide the world from your children, you start hiding yourself instead.

You hide you weakness.

You hide your pain.

You hide your sins, you faults, your cracks.

You close off, close the door, walk away, and pretend that the world doesn’t happen to you, because you want to cling to the hope that you are still The Perfect, The One She Loves.

But here is the reality–

The daughter has weakness, pain, sins, faults and cracks. And now she has no place to go with them. She has no sisterhood with you, The Pretender. She wants to love you AND relate to you.

So, I have a story to tell. It’s my story, my version of the world. The world that my beautiful, smart, eager and curious daughter can find, literally, in the palm of her hand with today’s technology. I want to be as transparent  to those that I love the most as much as I am to the stranger that might happen upon these words.

I have been wanting to write this for a few weeks, but I haven’t had the push I needed till last night, as I was watching Season 2 Episode 9 of This is Us, when the young character Kate is talking  about her fear of disappointed her mother, Rebecca.

“You know, If I don’t get in, I think it’ll crush me. But, I just could not deal with disappointing you on top of that.” – Kate

“Bug, for the record, I would be disappointed for you, not for me” – Rebecca

“Sometimes it’s hard to feel the difference.” -Kate

Wow. I know this hit home for a lot of people. Especially the following lines about Rebecca’s closed-off mother and her early goals to have “open arms” for her daughter. Generational patterns of shutting out the world. Expectations of the younger to not following the paths of the elder. Hardness  on both sides when those expectations are not met.

This episode is also centered around the adult Kate’s miscarriage. Something that I have also experienced and written about here on this blog. When I wrote that post, I opened myself up to intimate conversations with other women that had gone through the same thing, and never had anyone to tell. Why I am I afraid of opening up myself to my own growing, strong, young female daughters?

Because I have been afraid of losing The Perfect.

But here’s the deal. After the curtain drops and the world is revealed to a young heart and a young mind, you don’t get to have it all anymore.

So I’m going to do my best to keep The One She Loves.

“Fold up your flag
Your tattered battle sheet
Lay down your arms
You don’t have to fight with me

Show me your wounds
And I’ll wrap your bandages
If you still bleed
I’ll curb the damages

Let go of fear, trust in me dear
‘Cause I’ll keep you safe while you’re still here
Through all the days of all my years
This I can promise you: I’ll still love you dear”

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There are a handful of spaces of time in my life where a decision had to be made. A decision to follow {the heart, the gut, the mind, the Spirit}, or remain.

When I was 14, my Mother asked if I wanted to stay in Wyoming or move near family in Louisiana. I said, “Let’s go.” The South is, and will always be, HOME.

When the boy showed up at school, and I knew I had to be with him for the rest of my life. We’ve been together for 18 years.

When I quit teaching at Ouachita Junior to move to Dallas, only to be surprised with an offer to teach in Calhoun. Where I found family in friends, and true fulfillment in teaching.

When we turned the car around to go talk to The Man’s dad about helping him with his business. They now run a growing and successful business together.

When I left teaching to help take care of my grandparents. After seeing my Grandad to the other side, I was also free to take care of my newly diagnosed daughter.

Of course, there have been more, less significant, moments of decision-making along the way. These five moments in time, however, are the Life Changers. The 180°s. The decisions that, once decided AND acted upon….well, they changed everything.

Do you know what that feels like?

Of course you do. The feeling, the disturbance, the pressure of movement. It’s like having to move your leg after a long sit in a tight airplane seat. An impulse inside that tells you that you might go crazy if something doesn’t happen; you must make a move.

These moments are different from dreams and goals. You can wish for things all day, every day, and they will not come to pass.

These moments are organic. These moments are natural and unforced. These moments make your life better in a way you could have never imagined when you honor and follow the path you are set on.

Which leads me here.

Months ago, I felt compelled to buy a passport holder on a random shopping trip.

I didn’t have a passport.

But I bought it, and stored it in my bedside table. I saw it. And looked at it. And thought, over and over, “I should go get my passport”.  And then closed the drawer. Months, and months, I kept the drawer closed and the moment hidden.

And then one day.

I dropped the kids off at school and drove straight to the post office. And then left, because it wasn’t open. Then drove back and went straight in.

Then waited for another 10 minutes in the lobby for the passport office to open.

And then I ordered my passport.

And then I got my passport.

And then I followed my gut, my heart, my mind, the Spirit.

Which leads me to today. The day I filled out my booking information and paid a deposit for a trip for two to a place I know I must go.

If all goes well and my dates are accepted (and they should be, as I am booking early)…

I will be standing at the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu as the sun rises on my 40th birthday, September 27th, 2018.

Part of this moment is sharing this journey. I know that I am supposed to go on this trip, and I am supposed to share it. To write and write and write about all the things that I have to do to prepare. To be on top of the hill as I go “over the hill”. To put myself in a vulnerable position of openness and honesty as I set out to get ready for a trip of a lifetime.

I don’t know if Machu Picchu is on your bucketlist, but something is.

Something gnaws at your bones.

Something won’t leave you alone.

Something is waiting for you to go get it.

So go.

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Accept the darkness

The “time” changed this past Sunday. The end of Daylight Savings and the return to Standard. The Man and I have decided that we would much rather stay on Standard all year around, but that decision doesn’t matter much so we won’t dwell on it.

According to the handy little iPhone sitting next to me, I know that the sun is setting now at 5:12pm.

That seems awful early.

It’s always a little shock to the system when the day  seems to end so abruptly at the same time as the end of the majority of work shifts. Work is over. Day is over. Goodnight and let’s do it again tomorrow.

I’m going to embrace this winter season a little more this year. I’m going to embrace the dark evenings and savor the opportunity to slow down and allow my mind to rest in the evenings. Be at ease with my family relaxing into the couch for Netflix without stressing out that they aren’t putting away their things, or helping me with the after-dinner mess in the kitchen. Maybe even sit down and relax with them. No more things to do today. They can be done later.

The Universe gives us a season of long days of light and warmth to produce and grow, but it also gives us just as much time to become dormant and store up energy; to recuperate and rest.

Yes. This year I’m going to accept the darkness. I’ve got big plans for the next growing season, but it’s not here right now.

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Bloom, regardless.


Maybe you’ve been neglected for a season.

You haven’t been watered.

You haven’t been fed.

No one has checked on you to see how you are fairing.

You were never planted. Your roots are bound in a pot

that’s too small.

You haven’t been pruned.

You haven’t been shaped.

You haven’t been treated for disease.

No one has rid you of the pests that hover day in

and day out.

This season has been so very, very long.

—————-Bloom, regardless. 

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The Girl With The Wings



I was going to just reshare this on my social media, but I quickly deleted as I had a feeling in my gut that I needed to expound on what this means to me. More and more, I carry around stories in my belly as though they are children waiting to be born. Waiting to make their mark on the world, in whatever way they can. I am continuing to figure out how to be more intentional with bringing them to life, and that starts here at 11:23pm on Monday night.

I want to talk about the above poem, but in a different view. Not of the boy, but of the firefly.

The girl with the wings.

The girl that thought she had to shine bright enough for her Daddy to finally love her like she needed.

The girl that shined bright enough to keep boys around to chase, but they never seemed to want to put her in a jar, even when she wanted to be kept.

The girl that worked with boys that didn’t like her at all. They tried to smother the light out of her.

The girl that worked with boys that liked her too much. A false spotlight that distracted from true light.

The girl that has the boy. The boy that holds the firefly in the palm of his hand, the jar smashed on the ground. But she can’t fly because she thinks the jar is still there. The invisible glass that was there for so long.

The thing about the above poem is the fact that the firefly allows itself to be trapped in the first place. So many women, myself very much included, are waiting for a man to validate their existence. We can not feel value in ourselves until someone shows us, convinces us, that we are wanted. That we are needed. That we are indispensable; so highly valued that we must be preserved in a jar. The jar that holds us in.

This is unfair. And I’m going to talk about myself from now on, because we all have our own journey and this is mine.

The girl with the wings should fly higher than the hands that want to trap her.

The girl needs to love her Daddy like he didn’t know how to love her. Everyone needs love.

The girl needs to shine bright enough for anyone that needs light can find their way to her.

The girl needs to fly away from the ones that hold and trap.

The girl that has the boy. The boy that holds the firefly in the palm of his hand, the jar smashed on the ground. She needs to trust that boy, because he wants her to fly and shine as bright as she can. He always has.

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