Radical Honesty

Authenticity, radical honesty, and simply put in the author’s own word: brutiful – Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior is sitting with a bookmark half way through it’s pages, begging me to finish it.

Seriously.

It is SO raw and honest. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. Reading this feels like when you stare directly into the sun. It’s piercing honesty will force you to set it down, simply to digest it before picking back up again. Her response of “how was your day” with 3 children left me open-mouthed, marveling at how brave she is to bare it all. It’s against the rules to say this stuff out loud. We are supposed to “cherish every moment” while raising our kids. Aren’t we?

B.S.

Not every moment is Instagrammable. Some of them down right suck.

“It was the best of times and the worst of times. I was both lonely and never alone. I was simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed. I was saturated with touch – desperate to get the baby off of me and the second I put her down I yearned to smell her sweet skin again. This day required more than I’m physically and emotionally capable of, while requiring nothing from my brain. I had thoughts today, ideas, important things to say and no one to hear them.

I felt manic all day, alternating between love and fury. at least once an hour I looked at their faces and thought I might not survive the tenderness of my love for them. The next moment I was furious. I felt like a dormant volcano, steady on the outside but ready to explode and spew hot lava at any moment. And then I noticed that Amma’s foot doesn’t fit into her Onsie anymore, and I started to panic at the reminder that this will be over soon, that it’s fleeting-that this hardest time of my life is supposed to be the best time of my life. That this brutal time is also the most beautiful time. Am I enjoying it enough? Am I missing the best time of my life? Am I too tired to be properly in love? That fear and shame felt like adding a heavy, itchy blanket on top of all the hard.

But I’m not complaining, so please don’t try to fix it. I wouldn’t have my day or my life any other way. I’m just saying – it’s a hell of a hard thing to explain – an entire day with lots of babies. If’s far too much and not even close to enough.

But I’m too tired to say any of this. I’m a windup doll that’s run out. So I just say, ‘Our day was fine.'”

-Glennon Doyle Melton, from Love Warrior

How often do we respond with, “I’m fine”? And how often are we not fine at all?

While not all the specific parts of her life are necessarily universal, most are symptoms masking the truths which are; shame, vulnerability, worthiness, etc.

I am a huge fan of Brene Brown. What she discusses in terms of shame and vulnerability in an academic way from the viewpoint of a researcher, Glennon “does her research in the field”. If you have read Brown’s work or seen her TedTalk, you need to know Glennon Doyle Melton.

I’m going to go finish my copy while you go purchase yours!

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Mishmash and Miscellany

We have rounded out the second week of school in our neck of the woods and it has been busy, as usual. Here’s the mishmash rundown…

My dear hubby thought what better way to start off the back to school season than with a school of fish?! Eric texts me from the pet store, where he was purchasing items for the pets we already have, and says, “The kids would like fish**.” I reply back, “NO. NO NO NO.”

**Later it was discovered that it wasn’t the kids who wanted the fish, it was Eric, and the kids wholeheartedly agreed.

He comes home with this:

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Fish?! Apparently it’s a yes!

I have to admit, the kids dig it. They are excited to get up and check on them each morning. (They check on them every morning now because the first school of finned friends were floating the first morning.)

I’ve been doing some reading. There are seriously not enough hours to read all the books I want to read! Fiction, non-fiction, text books, you name it – I want to read it! Here’s just a small sampling of what is on my short list:

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I just finished Rising Strong by Brene Brown. LOVE. If you read The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly, this is the next steps or the How-To manual for getting back up after falling. (HIGHLY recommend all Brene’s books!)

Speaking of falling…I sprained my ankle last weekend. In the middle of a 12 miler out and back. Mile 6 I catch a concealed dip in the grassy area along side the sidewalk. No, I did not bring my phone. I had to walk/jog it all the way back. Did I mention it was on a busy street? With cars driving by? Yeah, there was an audience as I totally twisted my ankle, went down on all fours in slow motion. Rocks digging into my palms, grit in my teeth, me and my bruised ego got back up and walked a bit before attempting to jog slowly on it. There were not-so-nice words spoken uttered spat as I kept moving forward.

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My swollen ankle. I can put weight on it. Doc says to stop running for 2 weeks, then marathon training will resume!

Hannah is enjoying kinder and has been “on green” all week (their behavior-color change system) and got to go to her class treasure box and picked out this gem!

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Not quite sure who this crazy is in my car! I thought I had picked up my daughter from school, but when I turned around I couldn’t find her!

Finally, we have entered the phase of extra-curricular activities. We dabbled in a bit of little league with Jacob a couple of years ago (herding cats, anyone?!) but he didn’t really dig it. We do believe that if we start a season, we finish it. So we make very sure when we commit, it’s something we really really want to do. (And that includes Eric and I!)

What I love (so far) about the Boy Scouts is the commitment to getting outdoors, as well as the community outreach component. All in a non-competitive environment. (No, competition isn’t a bad thing. I just like that it’s not a focus.) The kids earn their badges and their awards, all while learning, camping and experiencing other nature-based activities. They are in competition with themselves. (Which is also why I love the running community so much.)

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Could he be any cuter?! (The hubby isn’t bad either!)
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His first little Tiger uniform. In first grade they are Tigers. How appropriate since Eric’s childhood nickname was Tiger.
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Just love..and a dog begging for some fetch!

Now it is Friday. Ahhh, Friday. No homework, some games of Uno and Trouble are on the agenda. Spin this weekend, some fun training clients – and perhaps some holiday waterslides to cap it all off!

Happy 3-day Weekend!

I Knew You Could – by Craig Dorfman

I was doing some birthday shopping for Jacob yesterday and came across a couple of books, one of which is the title of this post. I thought it was going to be a take on The Little Engine that Could, and it is in part – but so much more. I think this book just may be my favorite. I love it so much that I just have to share: (it’s a bit long, but I thought it was worth it)
 
“I knew you could! And you knew it, too– 
That you’d come out on top after all you’ve been through. 
And from here you’ll go farther and see brand-new sights. 
You’ll face brand-new hills that rise to new heights.”
 
“I wish I could show you the stops that you’ll visit, 
But that isn’t my choice to make for you, is it? 
 Instead I can tell you some lessons and tales 
That I’ve learned and relearned in my time on the rails.”
 
“First of all, you must find your own track,
So you can start right away and not be held back.
But which track is yours? Well that all depends
On which way it’s going and where it might end.”
 
“Different tracks wind around
Over, under, and through,
So pick out the one
that works best for you.
Though the track you start out on 
will feel like “the one,”
You might take a few more before you are done.
And now, with your eyes on your new destination,
Start up your wheels and roll out of the station.”
 “On your trip you’ll make plenty of stops,
In deep river valleys and on high mountaintops.
Some will surprise you and some will be planned,
And you’ll roll through each one saying, ‘I think I can!'”
“You’ll go through tunnels, surrounded by dark,
And you’ll wish for a light, or even a spark.
You might get scared or a little bit sad,
Wondering maybe if your track has gone bad.”
 
“So here’s some advice to help ease your doubt:
The track you took in must also go out.
So steady yourself and just keep on going–
Before you know it, some light will be showing.
And then you’ll be out, heading to a new place.
You’ll be ready for the next tunnel you face.”
 
“Sometimes you’ll look up and see planes in the sky.
And you’ll think to yourself, ‘I wish I could fly.’
The cars on the roads will seem quick and free–
You’ll feel stuck on your track and think, ‘I wish that was me.'”
 
“But the plane might wish he could get out of the air,
Saying ‘I wish I could travel like that train down there.’
The cars will watch as you speed right along,
And they’ll say to each other,
‘Look how fast and how strong!’
Don’t worry about not being a car or a plane,
Just enjoy the trip you’ll take as a train.”
 
“Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn,
If you need to be heard or there are people to warn.
Or if being yourself just makes you so proud
That you want to share it and sing it out loud.”
 
“You’ll follow your track
through twists and through bends,
And stop at new stops and pick up new friends.
They’ll all come aboard with smiles and greetings.
You’ll have such great times
with the people you’re meeting.”
 
“On the days when you’re sad and feel you can’t go,
Speak up and ask a friend for a tow.
That’s what friends do, so don’t be afraid.
You’d do the same if your friend needed aid.”
 
“You might stop at some stops that you never have toured,
And look for new friends, but they won’t come aboard.
So you’ll have to head out with a creak and a groan,
Setting out once again on your track, all alone.”
 
“Try to remember that the world is so wide,
Full of all kinds of people with their own trains to ride.
Just stay true to yourself as you travel your track,
With no second-guessing and no looking back.”
 
“Once you’re on the right track, you’ll probably say,
‘This one is mine–I’m here to stay,’
Try to enjoy the track that you choose–
Stop now and then to take in the views.”
 
“If you rush forward, as a general rule,
Before you arrive, you could run out of fuel.
Don’t overwork, but save up some strength.
That way, every day, you can travel great lengths.”
 
“You’ll need all that strength on the days when you’re stuck,
Or tired, or sad, or just out of luck.”
“When your belief in yourself doesn’t feel quite so pure,
And your ‘I think I can’ doesn’t sound quite so sure.”
 
“That’s when to push and to strive and to strain,
To show the world you’re not a giving-up train.
And you’re wise if you know that doing your best
Means that sometimes you should just slow down and rest.”
 
“Speeding through your whole trip will only bring sorrow,
So slow down today and be happy tomorrow.”
 “There’s more about life that you’ll learn as you go,
Because figuring things out on your own helps you grow.
Just trust in yourself, and you’ll climb every hill.
Say, ‘I think I can!’ and you know what?
You will!”
 
I LOVE this little book. I thought it was going to be a book for the kids – but I’ve taken so much away from this simple little poem – there are so many parallels to all sorts of things like relationships, tough times, running, parenting, deployments, etc. I can’t get enough of it and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

More Deployment Positives

As I am getting along and finding my groove with the kiddos, I keep thinking of the positives of deployment and more and more are cropping up. I love how no matter what a person looks for – they will find it. If I am looking for the positives or the negatives of a situation – I will find it. It really is about direction of focus.

So here are my additions to the positives of a deployment:

Military movies! 

I love a good military movie whether Eric is home or not. I love to ask him all kinds of questions about the authenticity of the uniforms, the filming locations, etc. He laughs and usually rolls his eyes reminding me that it’s Hollywood, and not real but I still think it’s fun. Military movies help me to feel closer to him when he’s far away. My favorites include:

Top Gun (Hello beach volleyball scene?!)
Men of Honor (Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert DeNiro – need I say more?)
Pearl Harbor – Total chick flick, and I dig it! Plus having lived there, it’s fun to see our stomping grounds!
Officer and a Gentleman – An oldie but a goodie. I also like that it was filmed in the pacific northwest!
Antoine Fisher – Kind of a sad/dark movie, but anything with Denzel Washington in khakis is alright by me!

 
Random Back Burner Projects Get Attention

Little projects and things I like to do that I rarely have time for now can get done. Such hobbies/tasks include scrap booking, keeping up with the kids’ baby books, reorganizing the files (I love my label maker and rarely get any quality time with it!), reading, deep cleaning (I seriously need a 12 step program), blogging, writing, and trying out adventurous recipes!

Reading Books!!


I LOVE to read (as well as write!) and my Kindle makes it so convenient especially when I usually read in bed before I fall asleep. I’m currently reading The Black Stallion. I’ve never read it. It’s quite good so far. Some of my other recent reads include:

Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. Seriously anything by this author is sure to elicit a sob fest!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I had to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about. Very interesting, an original storyline if a bit on the dark side.
Born To Run by Christopher Mcdougall. A must read for all runners!
Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat by Jeff Benedict. So amazing! Also interesting because this outbreak was HUGE in the pacific northwest at the time it occurred. I also love anything on this subject by Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan. Also check out Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. I read this in high school and it forever changed the way I look at food and I credit it with starting this journey with food and how to eat healthier.
Bossypants by Tina Fey. Just good brain candy!
The Shack by William P Young LOVE LOVE LOVED reading this book! I cannot tell you anything about it because it would give away some of the plot – just a must read!

Sappy Music

I love a good cornball song as much as the next person. (Okay, maybe a bit MORE!) And when Eric is away, I do really love the songs with a patriotic twist. Here are some of my standbys to belt out in the car:
Adele – Anything she does is amazing!
Martina McBride – Anyway, Independence Day
Travis Tritt – Anymore
Brad Paisley – Remind Me
Toby Keith – American Soldier
Reba/Faith Hill – Sleeping with the Telephone (SOB FEST!)
John Michael Montgomery – Letters From War
Mariah Carey – Hero

New Friends

I’m always proud when people stop Eric and thank him for his service, and I’ve even been thanked too (totally made me cry!) but I love the little gestures and kind words my neighbors have offered. More than a few have offered to lend a hand if we need it. I love that!

We were even invited over for dinner the other night by a neighbor! The old me would have probably just stuck close to home and politely declined or made an excuse not to go out of fear, having to be social – what if they don’t like me? Ugh. All of those insecurities.

Since I am no longer the old me – I went.

And had a blast! This neighbor also invited another friend and her 3 daughters. It was so much fun getting to know these two ladies and then the opportunity to share this past year’s fitness journey presented itself. It was amazing as I watched their eyes fill with tears as I spoke – I realized that this whole process for me was about more than just miles and marathons and pounds lost. It has been about getting comfortable (and liking) who I am as a person, in my own skin. And then come to find out, one of these ladies has also done triathlons!! (Which is my goal for next year!) Oh – and she knows my sister! What a small world – and so cool how the evening unfolded.

And I would have missed out on all of this had I been too afraid to step out of my comfort zone. While I am so thankful for my physical strength, my smaller size and the “fun” side of losing weight – I am SO much more grateful for the things the fitness “vehicle” has brought me to: cherished friendships, amazing experiences, testing my mental and physical limits (and SUCCEEDING!) and a loss of FEAR.

And that brings me back to this whole deployment stuff….I will not be afraid. There are just far too many positives to waste any time being afraid.

Bring it!