Wednesday, May 30, 2012


On our fifteen minute drive to soccer practice the other day M pulled out and book and started reading.  "Am I that boring?"  I asked her jokingly.  "No. I'm just really into this book right now mom. You know how I am."

And I do. M has had a book in her hands since they were large enough to hold one. At any given time her backpack will be filled with three - maybe more - that she is currently reading, and her nightstand will be piled high with current, pending and completed reads. She loves reading so much that a few months ago when in a puberty-driven hormonal rage she found herself using a few choice words to let me know exactly how she felt about me her punishment wasn't to take away her iPod, computer or television time like most kids, but rather her books. She was devastated. And yes, I thought to myself "I cannot believe I am doing this".

While the voracious reader in her is definitely inherited from my mom and sister, M and I definitely find common ground in literature. When making a list of our current favorite books yesterday, for example, we overlapped on three different books including The Help, The Hunger Games (which I started reading only to make sure it was okay for her and then couldn't put down) and Little Bee (which I read for a third time after she decided she wanted to read it).  I too find myself reading more than one book at a time. Right now, for instance, I'm in the middle of five different books, most of which you will find in my suitcase-sized, Mary Poppin-likes purse (I've tried to downsize several times but always wind up back with my Big Buddha). 

But while M's choices are largely based on what her best friends are reading, the New York Times Best Seller List and whatever Auntie Paula has recently suggested, my choices are more based on the season, my job and my exercise of choice at the moment.  

For instance, here is what I am currently reading: 

My six-week hiatus from running while the stress fracture healed has come and gone. It's time to get back out there.  These women know their stuff.  They're funny, strong and REAL.  They've created an entire movement around their writing.  Totally inspiring.

I'm of the school of thought that summer reading should not require too much brain power. Okay, so it's not quite summer yet, but close enough for me. Though this isn't nearly as witty as the last Rendahl book I read, it's at least kept me mildly entertained while waiting for soccer practice to end and I am still curious to see how it ends.

I came across this book while searching for a different one and bought it because it looked funny.  I was right. Her writing style in this book is similar to mine, although she usually writes murder mysteries.  A lot of great anecdotes to life in general, and as I've said a million times before - I love to laugh. 

So I haven't actually had the nerve to crack this one open yet.  Not sure if I'm quite ready for the "marked improvement" in my sex life that I keep hearing I will have...

A far cry from 50 Shades of Grey, but all play and no work makes Amy poor and unable to buy great new summer shoes!

So, now you know what I'm carrying around in that suitcase-purse of mine.  I probably don't have a pen or a stick of gum if you need it, but I will have something entertaining to read if you're in the market for that (and I usually have at least 3 not-quite-right shades of lipstick).  

And when you see M walking down the road with a backpack that weighs more than she does don't blame the school system - blame JK Rowling - she's currently re-reading books 4 and 5 of the Harry Potter series!

Friday, May 25, 2012

On The Move

They say that moving is one of life's most stressful events. Having done it over 6 times in the past 15 years I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the subject and I, indeed, concur with "them".  Moving sucks.

But now, three weeks later, after having packed, hauled, unpacked, and organized everything (well, almost everything) once again, I have to say I'm elated.

In a matter of three weeks we've managed to have two parties - one big Cinco-de-Derby Party that included a surprise visit from the Spicy Chicken's best-friend-for-life, Andy, as well as an intimate "surf and turf" 40th b-day party - that allowed all of our friends to share in our excitement!

Things have finally started to settle down and we're mostly back to our usually schedules.  There were, of course, a few blips along the way, however.  

For instance, the cat went missing within the first 48 hours we were here.  We found her four days later in an old, abandoned dog house on the property cowering, injured, dehydrated and covered in scratches that indicated that she'd gotten in one heck of fight - and lost.

A trip to the Emergency Vet (we found her at 5pm on a Saturday, of course) and $200 later she was pumped full of fluids, antibiotics and pain killers - on the road to recovery.

Several days later, however, the limping, lethargy and complete freakishness had not dissipated. So, a trip to our regular vet and $200 more she was once again pumped full of fluids, antitiobics and painkillers - on the road to recovery.

Oh, and did I mention that they also sent me home with antibiotic pills to be administered by mouth and instruction to "take her fecal temperature daily" to ensure her fever has gone down? You are all aware of the fact that I am, indeed, an animal lover, but there is not enough love in the world that would motivate me to attempt to put a thermometer in that all-claws-included-cat's butt.  Not even close.

(not actually our cat but a fair representation of her reaction)

But the fun didn't stop there.  

In attempting to ramp my exercise regimen back up again I was happy to find that if I park at Fairview (our swim and tennis club) I can get a good five mile walk/run to the end of the   Meadowcreek Parkway and back.  Regardless of which side of the debate of the Parkway you stand on, the County's section is already there so I figure I might as well use it. I paid for it, after all. Not to mention that the trail along it is great.  It's paved, fairly flat, very pretty and currently being used by very few people.  Scout and I love it.

So after 5 happy miles we returned to my car in the Fairview parking lot ready to head home.  Out of the corner of my eye, however,  I noticed something moving on the tennis courts.  I got out to find a deer trapped inside the fencing around the courts.  I quickly ran down to open the doors and attempt to veer her toward one.  Just as she was finally reaching it (after thrashing and crashing into the fence for five minutes) Scout came out of nowhere. Before I knew it both were gone and I was standing in the middle of the courts looking like an idiot. 

As my friend Ginger said, I was, indeed, the idiot that left the dog in a car with the windows down when I knew there was a deer around.  I guess I deserved this.

At least I now know the infamous green bathtub in our master bath works. And that goofy handle sprayer that I couldn't determine why anyone would ever need? It's perfect for cleaning mud off the dog's ass.

Who's idea was this moving thing anyway?

Oh yeah, mine.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who Is That?

I caught a glimpse of myself in the window as I was walking in to pick up the girls at school yesterday. I hardly recognized the woman staring back at me.  Actually, that's not true.  I recognized her all too well.  She looked entirely too much like somebody that I used to know (and no, I do not mean she resembled the sexy skinny chic that sings in that Gotye song).

I'd like to say I have no idea how this happened, but I'd be lying.  I know exactly how it happened.  After the Ten-Miler I was injured, burned out and busy.  I limited my running days to keep up with my life and my psyche.  Once I got the stress fracture diagnosis I slowed it down even more.  While taking time for recovery after an injury is certainly necessary, I took it a little too far - skipping classes, turning my runs in to walks and coming up with a million and one excuses ("moving all those boxes was a lot of work" - "I got my exercise today just going up and down the stairs a million times unpacking" - etc).  

The downfall of my healthy diet followed neatly behind my slacking exercise regimen.  While I didn't start hitting fast food drive thrus on a daily basis or anything, I did stop paying attention to what I was putting in my mouth.  You know how it is - a half a cookie here, a few Cheez-its there, just one more piece of pizza...

I haven't stepped on the scale yet.  I don't have to because I can tell from the way my clothes don't fit.  I'm not back to where I was before, but I will be soon if I don't get out of this rut.  Isn't it interesting how you it takes so long to get in shape but so little to get out of it?

Tomorrow is Friday.  If there's anything that can get me back into the groove it's one of Sandy's Outdoor Athletic Training classes.  McIntire Park - here I come! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Since this blog is about my journey through life and this weekend is Mother's Day I thought I'd take this time to post a few favorite photos of my wonderful mother - who I count on continually for support - and my daughters - who inspire me daily to be a better me.

Ah - one of the first joys of motherhood - pregnancy. This was taken few hours before Maggie was born - and no, she didn't weigh 27 pounds. Not sure why I felt it was a good idea to have the Spicy Chicken take a photo at the absolute largest point in my life, except for that it is kind of fun to look back on (though don't get me started on that horrible lipstick, those awful shoes or that sorry excuse for a mantle...).  Looking at this makes me wonder if no matter how many hours I work with Hyam my stomach will ever be bikini ready (unless there happens to be a tummy tuck wrapped up in that little box next to my Mother's Day card...)

Yep, those two skinny little things are related to me. My older sister can wear a bikini at 40 and my mom could at 65 if she wanted to. We all live in different states so we don't get to be together as much as we'd like, but we don't waste one second of the time we do have together. They are both fabulous mothers of whom I go to for advice on a continual basis.
In the 1000's of photos in our family archives there are very few photos of me with the girls because I became  more and more camera shy as I packed the pounds on.  While I really don't like how I look in this one, of course, I do love the photo because it was one of our very best trips to Hilton Head.  It was a week in October when the girls had a random Monday off. It's a long drive so it hardly seemed worth it for a long weekend, but the Spicy Chicken and I needed a break and in the end it actually turned out to be more than worth it.  We spent the weekend riding our bikes, digging in the sand, jumping waves and just having fun with one another.  It was a good reminder of how lucky we are.
The girls are less than two years apart which lends to two very different scenarios - they are either the best of friends or fighting like cats & dogs. The older they get the less they seem to get along so I can't get enough of moments like the ones seen here.  If my memory serves me correctly they were making fun of me by dressing up in my clothes - talking on pretend cell phones and acting like - well - me, but they laughed so hard they cried and looked absolutely adorable so I was willing to take a little "constructive criticism".  They both have really great senses of humor - I hope they don't lose that as they grow older because it's such a valuable asset.
While she probably won't be thrilled that I have included this photo I had use it because I think it portrays just how cool my mom is. She is almost 70 years old, yet here she is playing wiffel ball with us during one of her visits.  While this is a fairly  normal weekend occurrence for our family, it probably isn't how most grandma's spend time with their grandkids.  This, however, is how my mom is.  She's not just beautiful, smart and caring - she's fun and always up for anything we throw (literally) at her.  Yep, my mom rocks.
And though she's not my mother I would be remiss not to include my mother-in-law, Rita, who (along with his equally wonderful father) is responsible for making the Spicy Chicken the wonderful man he is today.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without his support in all areas of my life - especially raising our two little girls.  I could not be the mother that I am without him.  

It's actually kind of hard for me to look at these photos of myself but here are a few from the archives...
October 2003 - yes, that flip hairdo was in style back then
(or at least I thought it was)!

Mother's Day 2008
Barboursville Vineyards, 2009
NYC, Feb 2011

Boston, October 2011

Wintergreen, March 2012