Friday, January 29, 2010

She's Got Game (and Heart)

I am not athletic. I didn't play sports in high school. I enjoy watching sports, such as football and baseball. I like playing golf, but I don't think I have a future in it, unless there's a club-throwing contest involved. I'm like the quote from Grease - "if you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter."

Maddy, however, is the opposite. She's played soccer since she was five, softball signups are next month, and this year she has added basketball to her repetoire. My garage resembles a Sports Authority.

We bought her a basketball hoop this summer, and if it's daylight and above 30 degrees, she's shooting hoops. On her first snow day off school, she was happy for no school but sad when she realized that she couldn't play ball because of the snow. Of course when I suggested that she shovel the driveway, suddenly it became too cold outside. Uh huh, too cold to shovel but not to play? Where is your dedication, young lady?!

She tried out for a select team, but didn't make it. She was disappointed, but didn't give up. It just reinforced her determination to make it next year. We signed her up for a league through the local Y, and she's loving it. She works hard on her mad skillz, and has fun while she's doing it. I'm glad she's found a sport that she enjoys.

This year her school is participating in Hoops for Heart, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Students raise money, learn about heart health, and then play a basketball game during school. She is so excited because she loves helping others, and she loves basketball. This year she is raising money in Jessica and Kelli's memory.

If you'd like to support Maddy, you can donate online here. All donations are tax deductible, and appreciated.

Look at that form! That hair!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Last week's post alluded to some goings-on that I couldn't talk about. Don't get too excited, I still can't talk about it.

My stomach is in knots. I'm slightly nauseated from the anticipation. The only thing keeping me sane is running at night. There's something oddly soothing in the quiet and the dark. I find if I worry all my worries while I run, it takes my mind off the fact that I am running. When I'm done, my body is tired and my mind is less muddled, and I can sleep, at least for a little while.

However, by this time tomorrow I should have news that I can share. And when I do, you'll be the first to know.

*Edited to add - by noon on Wednesday I should have news I can share. Totally unhappy right now about that which I cannot discuss and now cannot discuss for a longer time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Could Tell You, But Then I'd Have to Shoot You

In case you were wondering what's been going on with me lately, due to my sporadic posting, the short answer is "a lot." Some of it I can talk about, and most of it I can't.

I follow other blogs and when the author says things like "lots going on, but can't tell you yet!", the speculation in the comments begins. Let's just get a few of those out of the way:

  • I'm not quitting my blog
  • I'm not pregnant
  • I'm not getting a book deal
  • I'm not going on The Ellen Show

Of course, if any of those became realities, I'd be thrilled.

  • I am working on trial preparations. The criminal trial is set for March 22, and the civil trial is set for April 19. I am drafting my victim impact statement - talk about writing for therapy. I can finally say most of the things I've kept to myself for over two years.
  • I am working with other mothers who have lost children to help them set up fundraisers and scholarships for their children.
  • I am working with Voices Insisting on Pursuit Safety ( Jessica and Kelli's pictures and story are now included in their promotional and marketing materials.
  • I hope to soon be working with another advocacy group to make some policy changes.
  • In the meantime, I'm working full-time, cooking, cleaning, enjoying married life and helping Maddy with her homework.

So, now you're up to date, kinda. I can tell you to watch this space around the beginning of February - I should have an update on something I mentioned above.

Friday, January 8, 2010

If This Were An Actual Emergency...

Lately, the weather in the Midwest has been harsh. I believe the technical term is "effing cold." When the weather forecast called for a few inches of snow on Wednesday and Thursday, this area was gripped by panic. Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with "Is it snowing yet?" and wondering if your office would close due to the inclement weather.

Because I am an idiot, I attempted to run by the local grocery store on Wednesday night. I didn't need milk, bread or eggs, I just wanted some garlic bread and salad to go with our planned meal of baked ravioli. Big mistake. The snow hadn't started yet, but you could smell the desperation. I couldn't even get through the parking lot, let alone find a spot, so I left. I didn't need salad that bad. When I got home, my darling husband suggested getting takeout from Bandana's BBQ, so I had BBQ Chicken Nachos. Delish!

Anyway, it got me thinking about this penchant we have to stock up on milk, bread and eggs when the forecast calls for snow. Do humans have a genetic predilection for french toast when it snows? Personally, I'd rather have soup and grilled cheese, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes. (Leftover meatloaf sandwiches - mmmmm good).

As there are three more months of winter, I'm making of list of essentials to keep in my pantry in the event of an actual emergency. Interested? Head over to my new project - Cooking Without A Net - to see what I think is important, or add your own suggestions.

One thing that is definitely on the list:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Flawed Logic

If you had a cleaning service, would you clean your house before they came in to to clean? I don't mean pick up the shoes and hide the pile of junk mail on the counter, I mean clean, like run the vacuum and mop your floor?

Ok, I'll answer it - yes, yes I would. Why? Because I'm afraid my cleaning person would judge me because my carpet is now the color of my greyhound. Never mind that my cleaning person would probably think "why is this idiot wasting money on me when her house is already clean?" See, I'd be judged again. That's why I don't have a cleaning person.

Now that you know how dumb I am, I'll tell you this: I joined the gym near my house in August. I have yet to set foot in it again. We did try to go a few times but it was crowded, and then we got busy and then someone hurt their ankle and then I broke my toe and here we are 4 months later.

However, I have been walking the stairs at work, and in the last week I started running at night in my neighborhood. Yes, it's 8 degrees and I'm running in the street, when I'm paying $15 a month for a nice warm well-lit gym.

My logic behind this flash of brilliance? I'm embarrased to go to the gym until I get in better shape.

Yes, I know - the whole reason for a gym is to get into shape. However, I'm not comfortable going in there with all those strangers laughing and pointing at my faded pink sweats and old t-shirt, or my inability to run for more than 5 minutes without gasping or tripping on the treadmill. It's high school lunchroom all over again.

Yes, I know that no one is looking at me and if they were, I really shouldn't care - I'm there to get healthy and fit, not to impress anyone.

At what point do we actually believe it when we say we don't care what other people think?

Monday, January 4, 2010


Well, here we are, a new year, a new beginning, a new attitude.

I'm really hoping that 2010 shows me a better time than 2009 did. Not that 2009 was totally rude - there were a few happy moments - but for the most part, it was not very nice. So! Moving onward and upward! Out with the old, in with the new! Shedding the detrius and reveling in a clean slate!

I have a couple of goals this year. I hesitate to call them "resolutions," as they usually don't last. So we'll say "goals". Eupheisms are my friend.

Eupheism No. 1 - "Healthy Lifestyle Choices" (instead of "diet," "exercise," "weight loss," or "put down the cookies.")

I've been working on this since mid-December, with more success than failure, and hopefully I can keep my momentum going. I would like to do Master the Met again and hopefully my walking buddies will join me. Even though I don't work downtown anymore, I'm planning to head to Cahokia Mounds and climb Monk's Mound for training. I have been doing the five flights of stairs in my building twice a day for the past couple of weeks as well. Every little bit helps.

I'm also going to start cooking meals that are healthy, as well as quick and easy. I plan to start a side blog about that venture. I'm still working on the details of that new blog, so stay tuned.

Eupheism No. 2 - "Be Thankful" (instead of "stop being angry/whiny/bitchy/focused on the negative or just plain crabby).

A friend of mine lost her husband in early December, quite suddenly and unexpectedly. She was a great support to me after Jessica and Kelli died. Recently she said she was choosing to rejoice in the time she had with her husband instead of focusing on the time she won't.

I have been struggling to reach this point. I want to be able to let go of my anger and resentment instead of sealing it up in the wound. Her words have given me a renewed sense of hope and a mantra of sorts, something to repeat to myself when I feel like wallowing in my self-pity.

I am going to make an effort to look on the bright side. Instead of complaining about traffic, I'll enjoy the extra few minutes of time away from the office. I will try to say to Maddy and Craig "thank you for doing _____" instead of "why can't anyone around here help me by _________."

It's only two, but those are two big attitude adjustments. I'm telling myself "one day at a time," because that's all I can do. Sure, I can plan a week's worth of dinners, but when traffic is ugly and I get home late and don't feel like cooking dinner at 7:30 so I break out the frozen pizza, I feel like EPIC FAIL and I just throw up my hands and quit. Well, not this time. We'll eat frozen pizza and tomorrow is another day, right?

So, I'm taking baby steps, and making little adjustments here and there, which hopefully will lead to bigger and better things. Just not a bigger butt.