whselfie_23july

Weekend in DC

In July, I attended a week-long conference in Baltimore. One of my dearest friends had recently moved to DC and I had not seen her in years. I realized how close I would be to her and decided if she could meet me in the District that I would make it happen. I booked a great hotel at a great price. We packed a ton of fun and great food into our weekend. Wanna see? It’s on the other side of the jump!

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2012to2016

Milestone Year

This year marks an important milestone year for my family. My oldest is a senior in high school and my youngest is in 8th grade. Each daughter finishes their respective level of schooling this year and then moves into their next major level of education. My youngest astutely pointed out [as I was gasping for breath trying to recover from this realization] that when my oldest is graduating from college, she will be graduating from high school so we can do this all over again in four years. She certainly does love seeing her mother in shock!

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This beautiful scene capped off an evening of paddle boarding. I am definitely a lake girl.

We Love Michigan

My youngest and I make no secret that we are big fans of Michigan football. After spending a long weekend in Holland, Michigan with some of my workout friends, my youngest is an even bigger fan of the state. I enjoyed the weekend too–it reminded me of traveling to Michigan as a kid. Back then it was fishing all the time…I mostly read books…but if we could have gone to the beach?! I’d have been in heaven! Want to see our photo album from our trip? Click through! [Hold your cursor over the pics to read the captions.]

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Our Baby Turns One

13920471_10101048634574920_5292909464915378302_oWhen we brought Lily the Lab home last fall, I thought it would be fun to create a photo album on Facebook and do weekly photos of her like the new moms on my friends list did monthly with their infants.

When my girls were small, we didn’t have all the Pinterest-inspired ideas to try. Most of their first year is documented in a scrapbook album. While I did a pretty decent job, I didn’t keep up with the task as much as I would have liked.

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Adventures in Bunnysitting

As the owner of a good-sized, fenced backyard, I have seen my fair share of neighborhood wildlife. Without fail, we usually serve as landlords to at least one wild bunny hutch each summer. Prior to losing our 12-year-old golden retriever a couple years ago, we had the occasion to have a baby bunny [uninjured, but slobbery] delivered to our backdoor. Annie had a very soft mouth and a motherly demeanor–even for bunnies. Another summer, our small dog, Gibson, was not as diplomatic or careful–Annie did not speak to him for days. After that unfortunate incident, I have kept an eye on Gibson. Lily, our black lab, just turned 1 in August and it was her first summer for bunnies.

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When “Type A” Becomes a Problem

For as long as I can remember, I have been a hard-driving, take no prisoners workaholic. My senior year of high school, I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” and although I have enjoyed some pretty terrific successes in life, I have never trusted them. My current position is fantastic and those who hired me consistently praise my work product, my work ethic and how the serious way I take my position shows in my performance. But, if someone says, “May I see you in my office a moment?” my mind immediately launches into a spinning reel of every recent action to determine why I am in trouble. Note: I have never actually been in trouble when called into a meeting and my boss has consistently said his goal is to help me downshift because my top speed is entirely too fast to be my daily rate.

I have done things like complete law school in two years with two small kids, worked full-time with small kids and a deployed spouse, or worked three jobs when my husband was off work on disability so my kids could eat and stay in their private school. I have faced immense loss that is so personal I do not even discuss it anymore. And NONE of those things have ever precipitated a decline in my general health.

It’s been almost four months since something happened that rocked my entire world. I’m not trying to vagueblog on purpose, but what precipitated the fallout isn’t the point of my post. Sufficed to say, it shattered pretty much any notion I had about life as I knew it and left me reeling.

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Eloise Had It Right

When I am staying at a hotel, it’s because I have traveled somewhere to do something. I have a speaking engagement, a conference, a wedding or sports event to attend, or something that likely prevents me from having a good night’s sleep while I am not in my own bed–no matter how comfortable the bed at my temporary spot is.

When I used to read the Eloise stories to my girls when they were small, I always thought “living in a hotel would be pretty sweet.” I have only slightly modified my thoughts on hotels, but now I think to myself, “If I could spend a weekend every month or two at a hotel, I would have a chance to do some work, take a nap, and RELAX.”

I have a chance to test my theory this weekend as my husband had to travel not too far from home for an all-day meeting. I tagged along because our anniversary is approaching and this is one way to be sure we have a chance to go out to a nice dinner. It also seemed a lucky coincidence that this meeting fell on a weekend that was 1) close to our anniversary; 2) after the two prom weekends of my oldest, and 3) on a weekend when no soccer was scheduled.

It’s a little after noon and so far, I’ve showered, had breakfast (and a great cup of coffee is still beside me), tidied up the room, started the process to have an email for this domain name created, began on a customer newsletter for my Scentsy clients, and found an Empire marathon on the television. I have not had a chance to catch much of Season 2, so I’m binging today and will be all set for the upcoming season finale.

I still have some reading to do [book club book & Scentsy leadership group chapter] and I want to work ahead on a few projects. But, I definitely think I’m on to something–this is way better than going into the office for a day or sitting in Starbucks!

 

June Book Club Choice

My Pure Barre studio’s Book Club has provided me a reason to put “reading” on my to-do list. It’s sad that reading for pleasure makes me feel guilty, but it does. It requires me to sit comfortably somewhere and do nothing else. So, I rarely do it. But, if it is an ASSIGNMENT with a DEADLINE, well, the obsessive-compulsive overachieving task master in me takes over and it becomes a MUST lest I be unprepared for the meeting.

¬†This month’s reading to prepare for June’s meeting is Some Women by Emily Liebert. I don’t know anything about this book except that I like its cover. And given that I often select wines by their labels, I am guessing I could like this book. The old cliche about judging books by its cover aside, I am thinking this one might be a keeper.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Mother’s Day Approaches

We have a local florist that has been a part of my relationship with a very special person for over twenty years. My first mother-in-law [I refuse to call her “ex” because that makes it sound like she is no longer in my life] fell in love with Oberer’s, as did I, when I was planning my first wedding. As a mom to three sons, she didn’t imagine she would be included in wedding planning. But, we hit it off and even though she lived in Connecticut, I wanted her to feel connected to the wedding. Once I selected the flowers, I asked the florist to send her a bouquet with examples of all the choices so I could walk through them with her by phone and tell her how each one would be used.

She took on planning the rehearsal dinner with gusto. Because we had so many friends and family from out of town attending the wedding, she planned a larger event and invited many more than traditionally might be included in such a dinner. It was a great night with friends, family, shared memories and new ones made. And the centerpieces she worked to design with the professionals at Oberer’s were absolutely breathtaking.

For as many years as I have been a mom, my first mother-in-law has always remembered me on Mother’s Day. She plays a very instrumental role in my oldest daughter’s life and, as the first grandchild, my daughter has enjoyed a special relationship with her grandmother. It’s hard to believe my oldest will be a senior in high school this fall!

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.46.37 PMFor the past handful of years, I have been gifted with a gorgeous patio pot from Oberer’s for Mother’s Day.

These patio pots never fail to be healthy and gorgeous and they really liven up my lackluster porch. When you live in a 1972 tri-level in an older neighborhood, you need all the help you can get!

Sometimes the pots involve perennials, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the season. I always like to add fresh plantings in future springs/summers because you cannot go wrong with gorgeous full containers of flowers. The girls don’t even mind watering them either and the pots do thwart hungry rabbits ¬†better than some of our flower beds do.

Not to be outdone, my girls sent me some fantastic orchids today. They also included a Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.46.50 PMpretty vase–if I didn’t know better, I would think my oldest picked a vase that would look great in HER room once the blooms fade.

I know my husband ordered the flowers and penned the sentiment on the card, but he did it in the girls’ voice which made it very sweet. We have been married almost 14 years and have recently had some major moments, but he’s trying very hard and being the most mindful he’s been since very early in our marriage. I appreciate that.

This year, like most, the Army has scheduled something for him to do during the weekend closest to our anniversary. But, like any ride-or-die who waits out all distractions including Mistress Army, this is the LAST such anniversary. His outprocessing after 22 years of service is scheduled for the Saturday before our 14th wedding anniversary. I’m thinking we are going to celebrate two big moments that day!

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.04.03 PMLast Sunday was his final duty day. It was bittersweet. Luckily, it worked out that the girls and I could attend–especially given that our youngest had a soccer tournament. Sometimes it works out when you don’t play in the championship match!

What was just supposed to be us watching his final formation, turned into a bit of a special moment. He received some beautiful gifts from the troop and from or youngest plus had a chance to speak to all those assembled prior to them being dismissed.

It’s been a long road on many levels and we are forever changed by his service. We know that we are stronger for it and, for better or worse, we live with the edge the Army gave us. I don’t think we would be as tight as we are without his service and I know for a fact that I would not have met some of my closest, dearest and most fantastic friends who are now like family without it.

Are Macros Just Food Math?

After a year of working out and only half paying attention to what I have been eating, I know I have reached the limit of my 40-something body to continue to be more fit than fat. I have lost weight and I have been maintaining. But, I’m kind of to the point that I would like to go ahead and not see a loss of firmness around my middle if I have to miss a few gym appointments. Annoying.

I have heard about macros and counting them and all that, but I have never completed more than a cursory Google search to understand what all the letters stand for in the acronyms. Once I knew most of my personal numbers that needed slotted into a macro calculator, I, of course, plugged them into one. So now, I have ordered my personal macro blueprint and I am still not sure what I will do with that information once I have it. I see where I should consider downloading a tracking app [I should have bought the iPhone with more storage…total lapse in judgment] as well as purchasing a food scale.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.27.52 PMIt seems like at some point in the next day or so, my mind will start racing about whether or not I will be able to master this mathematical-sounding approach to being flexible in my fitness.

It isn’t lost on me that I was reading about this during my lunch hour while I ate Jif on white bread–so help me GOD if you just silently judged me, I can’t EVEN with you right now!–but this wouldn’t be the first time I know better, but didn’t do better.

What is the hubbub with macros? Do you count them? Do you use a tracker app? Are there good sources online or otherwise that really helped you start your macro mastering?

Do you have a food scale? Is one like this adequate? It doesn’t even cost $12, but it has a bunch of positive reviews…

Reasonable Price and Good Reviews, so should I order it?

I’m willing to learn and I think this could be my next level fitness coming to call. So, help a sister out & give me the full report.