Month: January 2015

Laughter and Sweat

My anxiety gets its ass kicked quite substantially by exercise and laughter.  More on my anxiety, what works for me, and my likeness to Bob Wiley here.

We recently moved a TV out to the office and now my treadmill is facing it.  This is an improvement over bringing my iPad with me to the treadmill and placing it on the console.

We don’t have cable hooked up yet, but we do have the xBox, which has Netflix!  I am now addicted to watching comedy while working out.  I’ve gone through Chris Porter, Ralphie May, and now I’m totally burning through Kevin Hart stand up.

Thankfully no one comes out to the office while I’m working out, because it’s not always pretty.  There are times I start laughing while running, and then it’s awkward because I’m out of breath, but need to laugh, and sometimes it results in that ‘ugly cry’ type of thing?  Ya, I’d better lock the door from now on.

Double whammy to anxiety, sweating while laughing!


Picture Perfect Self…

 About a month ago I began listening to podcasts during bike rides rather than music.  I find that the time goes by super quick because I’m focused on what’s being said.  I like comedy, so it’s only suiting that my first podcast that I’m following is a comedian that I like, John Heffron.  I’ve listened to him with Martha Quinn as his guest, Danny Bonaduce, and also podcast that talked about personal safety.  The one I listened to today was with Jairek Robbins, son on Tony Robbins the motivational speaker.  The podcast was interesting because it was: 

A)  Funny.

B)  Applicable.

It talked about setting up your days so the most important factors to you are included, therefore making your days the best possible.  (That’s my lame summary, it’s much better addressed in the podcast!)   There are definitely things that I think about often that I know I should and could do to make my life more like the ‘picture’ I imagine as the best possible.

Anyhow, I liked it, it was interesting.  I think it will be something that lingers on my mind for a bit, so I thought I’d share it.  The link is below, it’s not heavy or anything, and there’s a bit of swearing, so there’s your warning.  If you have an hour while driving, or on the treadmill, give it a listen.  Hope you like it too.

If you don’t have the podcast ap, you can click on the link below and listen to it with what you are reading this with:


I am one step up from jammie bottoms.

About a year ago, I was walking my kids into school and I heard shuffling/scraping of feet.  One of my least favorite sounds in the world.  I must tell my middle child to ‘pick up your feet’ at least 4 times a week.  As I looked to see who the culprit was, my eyes discovered it was a parent, shuffling her slippers across the sidewalk, her slippers accompanied by her jammies and jacket.  OH COME ON!!!!!!

I love jammies.  My family knows that, friends know that.  If I have nowhere to be, I’m wearing jammies, into the home office to do work, around the house to cook, clean and do laundry.  I loved when the kids were little and they didn’t have schedules yet, we would have jammie days all the time!  The warmer the jammies, the better.  Over the years, my kids have gotten me Spongebob jammies, Eeyore jammies, and tons of fuzzy, fleece, flannel ones.

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As much as I love jammies, and would prefer to stay in them at all times, I don’t.  I step it up ONE notch, and throw on some sweats and a hoodie.  But that one notch is enough to say ‘I cared enough to get changed out of my jammies before going out into public.’  I did not get the gift of wanting to spend a lot of time on my clothes or appearance.  As a matter of fact, my New Years resolution was to put aside at least 5 minutes each day to use my flat iron and make my hair more presentable.  Resolution fail…I’m in a pony tail or hat 98% of the time.  There are times that I feel I should step it up, and others that I say ‘screw it.’  If there’s a reason, I will dress for the occasion, and clean up well.  But as much as I’m a slacker in the fashion department……jammies in public, I haven’t done that.

If you ever see me in Target and I’m in my jammies, it will be because my children puked on each and every pair of pants that I own.  And you will know that because I will tell everyone I see that ‘I’m in my jammies because my kids puked on all my clothes.  I’m here to get Children’s Tylenol, we ran out, and I had no puke free pants, I had to wear my jammies.’  That would be legit.

This is the text I received from my longest lifetime friend this morning:


And yes, I wrote wailing instead of walking on mistake, but the point of this is, we have had the jammies in public talk so many times, that it required the above acknowledgment text.

Hey, I’m not hating on anyone.  This below pretty much sums it up:

My littlest is sick.


This was the result of the morning store run by my husband.

Yesterday, my littlest stayed in jammies and laid on the couch watching movies all day, just not feeling 100%.  I was hoping it was a quick thing, but then this morning at 4:15 am, she came into our room and said she didn’t feel good.  She had a sore throat and a stomach ache, and once I took it, a 102.7 fever, and that was after drinking water to take her Advil.  Poor little one.

Funny, my alarm was set for 10 minutes after she came in to my room for my twice weekly early gym date with my friend.  The handful of times that I have had to cancel my early morning gym workout over the years, I usually feel a strange sense of guilt even though reasons are valid.  When I texted my friend this morning to let her know I wouldn’t be there, there was no guilty feeling like I’m missing out on my work out, or letting her down.  Just the reality of not being able to make it because my kid is sick.

I’m so thankful, my kids haven’t been sick too much this past year.  But it’s funny, when they are, things just go into auto pilot.  I take care of my sick kid, and somehow all the other stuff gets taken care of on the sidelines.  I texted friends who were awesome and able to get some small things done that needed to be taken care of today, as well as keep me informed of the poll results from my middle child running for school President, with her best friend as Vice.  I was hoping to be there for the announcement, but again, I have a sick kid, reality is I can’t be there.  Spoiler alert:  SHE WON!!!!!  I’m so proud of them!  Very thankful for my ‘village’ that helps keep everything going smoothly!

So, my computer is moved into the house from the office for the day.  Spongebob is playing in the background.  My clothes seem to say that I’m the one sick with my warmest fleece sweats and hoodie.  But, my little one’s fever is at bay for now until the Advil wears off, and hopefully all will be clear before her birthday this Friday.

I’m very thankful to be able to stay home and go into auto pilot when it is needed the most.

127 days of no migraines; new habit.

It’s been 127 days of life free from migraine headaches.

I’ve heard it takes 28 days for a habit to form.  I can say that after 127 days, I am in the habit of not having migraines.  And I do not want to return to the habit OF having migraines.

The word ‘migraine’ hasn’t been thrown around on a weekly, or even daily basis around my house by my children, husband or myself for quite a while.  That’s a new habit, because our old habit was being worried that a migraine was coming, had happened, or had occurred the previous day therefore I was still in the awful haze of dullness with the ridiculous headache that could stop me mid step.

I’d like to thank the Academy…oh no, I mean, Butterbur, Feverfew, B-2, and my green smoothie.  Otherwise known as my anti-migraine potion.  I honestly have no idea what the main contributor to my new habit is, but I’m thanking them all so they continue to work together.


For the love of dogs…

I’ve had dogs on and off all my life.  But my relationship with dogs didn’t really begin until I was 18 years old.  My good friend/roommate and I lied on the paperwork at the pound to get little black lab mix puppy sisters.  And then became life with my girl Vanessa, and her puppy sister, Jordan.

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Looking back, getting Vanessa was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  She was my best friend.  She was with me always.  She taught me a lot about responsibility.  She joined me on long weekend drives for hours.  Sometimes we ended up at the beach, other times, we just cruised and listened to music.  We went for walks, we watched TV together, we did pretty much everything together, and she went many places, and took many trips with me.

When I was in college, she was part of the family of my best friends/roommates.  They took care of her like she was their own when I wasn’t there.

Vanessa was kind of a badass.  She was the most loyal, loving friend I could ever ask for, but she was also my number one protector.  I lived by myself a few times in my life, and she was my roommate.  I was never afraid as long as she was with me.  I think she took on the roll as my protector because she knew that was what was needed at that time in my life.  She could be mean, she nipped at a few people in her life.  Some, deserving.  Others, not.  She was clear when she didn’t like new people that came around.

She was at every party we ever threw in college.  She just kicked back.  When it was time to go to sleep, she’d follow me up to my room.

My friend and I got Vanessa and her sister Jordan together many times through the years.  They always picked up where they left off, playing for hours.  Such a cool sight.

If you knew Vanessa, you knew that one thing about her was, you were never able to sit back and relax and take in a waterside setting.  If there was water, she was sure to find a ball or stick, and then bark relentlessly for the entire time you were there for you to throw it into the water for her to fetch.  It didn’t matter if it was 10 minutes or two hours, you were going to throw the ball for her the entire time you were by the water.  She was also not a good helper in the sport of fishing, as soon as you casted out your line, Vanessa was in the water to retrieve it.


When my now husband entered my life, he and Vanessa hit it off immediately.  It was clear to him though, Vanessa was part of the package.  No question.  He fully accepted Vanessa and enjoyed her.  Vanessa joined he and I on many weekend get aways.  They were best buds.  Still to this day he or I will break into singing a song that we had made up about and for Vanessa.


She was with us the day we found our house that we live in today.  I remember her running through the then tall weeds of our acre, just smiling.  She approved.  Soon after we moved into our new house, Vanessa had to learn how to share.  She didn’t like it at first I am sure, but she got good at it.


Vanessa had slept on my bed since the first night she came into my life.  To my kids amazement when we tell this story, Vanessa slept at the foot of my husband and my bed when we moved to our house.  She was known for growling at one of us if we moved her with our feet on many occasions.  There came a day that Vanessa did not want to come into the house at night anymore.  She made the choice to make the garage her room.  Each morning I’d wake up, look outside, and there she was, jogging the perimeter of our yard, making sure everything was in order.

She was also known for her catching abilities, even as she got older.  If we barbequed steak, my husband would toss a piece her direction, and there was no way it would ever hit the floor.  We were camping once, and it was our entertainment for a long while to watch my husband back up further and further to throw fastballs at her and she caught every single one without moving much more than her mouth.

When I had our first child, and we took him home from the hospital, Vanessa knew life had changed indefinitely.  After we got settled in the house that day, I looked out into the front yard, and Vanessa was laying down, looking into the house from the grass.  I went out and called her into the backyard, she did not budge.  It went on for such a time that I became annoyed for a moment, then realized, that as my first baby, she must know that something is up.  After much love, she was herself again later that day.  My son and Vanessa became good buds.  My middle daughter loved Vanessa so much.  As Vanessa became older, my daughter would bring handfuls of kibble to her in the yard and hand feed her, just to be sweet.  In Vanessa’s last years, my son came up with the idea of having a birthday party for Vanessa.  He was sad that she never had birthday parties like he did.  We put up streamers and balloons in the backyard, and got Vanessa special bones.  My son was so happy for her that day.


As the years added up, I often wondered when I would know it was time for Vanessa to leave us.  There were false alarms, but never a clear cut moment.  Until that day.  It was a Friday.  She had really slowed down exponentially in those last couple of weeks, and I had made an appointment for her to go in on that following Monday, that appointment most likely being the one where they would lay her to rest.  I figured I needed one more weekend with her, just to spoil her, love her, and make sure she knew how much she meant to me.  When I went out to see her in the garage later that day, she didn’t raise her head to greet me.  She couldn’t.  I knew it was time.  I called the vet, and let them know I’d be in later that day.  She was able to make it out onto the grass and that is where my family said good bye to her.  I was pregnant with my third child at the time, so unfortunately she never got to meet Vanessa.  My son was 5, he came outside and laid next to her and cried with me.  My daughter who was almost 3, was napping during this time.  When my husband came outside with her after waking her up, my son sobbed ‘Just tell her dad, just tell her about Vanessa!’  The four of us hugged and loved Vanessa, then I carried her into the car and went by myself to the vet.

It’s a horrible experience to go through, but looking back, our vet was so loving and caring in how they handled that type of situation.  Vanessa had been quiet, slow moving and a little weak for the last bit of her life.  So, when the vet injected the shot into her, and Vanessa growled, and moved her teeth towards the vet and the shot as if she may bite, I was secretly proud.  She still had her badass spunk!  Then, she farted.  Those last two actions by her have always made me smile.  We still tell our kids the story of driving to Tahoe in the winter with Vanessa in the backseat, windows rolled up because it was freezing, and Vanessa farting for about a 10 mile stretch.  We had to freeze and roll the windows down, or else we would have suffocated from her farts.  They were potent.  She was known for that.

Vanessa lived to be 16 years old.  She never ate fancy food, she grew up on Dog Chow.  At times during my broke college days, she’d eat rice and eggs (she loved this more than Dog Chow).  On a good payday, I’d buy her Pedigree.  She was a healthy, very strong dog all of her life.

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I like to say that Vanessa’s last gift to me was training our now 10 year old dog Zoe.  I think Vanessa gave Zoe some wisdom and a calm that has been embedded in Zoe all her life.


And today, we have our two goofy dogs, Zoe and Mara.  They are wonderful, funny, sweet loving dogs that wouldn’t hurt a fly.  At times I wish they had a bit of Vanessa’s badass to them, because I’m pretty sure they would just let a robber in and show them where we keep any valuables we have.  But I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

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 A few years after Vanessa passed away, I was at a 4th of July parade in Truckee with my parents and my family.  A truck in the parade slowly went by, and there was a black lab that was hanging it’s head out looking  at the crowd, and I met it’s eyes.  I choked up.  It was strange, that hadn’t happened to me before.  My mom said ‘that reminded you of Vanessa didn’t it?’


Vanessa has been gone nine years now.  Yet, my heart still fills with love when I think of her.  I think I’ll always enjoy having dogs in my life, although I don’t know if I’ll ever love another dog like I loved Vanessa.  Such a loyal, true thing, the love of a dog.


Be Quiet Brain!

This last week I have seen two quotes that have stuck with me.

This is the first:



Why can’t brains pull out a greatest hits reel when you can’t sleep?  Like, just keep rocking all the great things you’ve done, one after the other, so you’re smiling and high fiving yourself as you lay in your insomnia?

But nooooo, instead, when it’s dark, and you can’t sleep, it’s usually the time that regret gets focussed on.  I can recall things that I have regretted, and truly can feel the strong uncomfortable emotions that go along with that event, even if it’s been over 20 years.  In all honestly, the bad decisions that I can focus on really are only ruminated on by me.  There’s no one else sitting around at 4:00 in the morning thinking about some dumb crap I did in my early 20’s.  For some reason though, even though it makes no sense, middle of the night seems to be the perfect time to relive regrets (and to blow them way out of proportion).

Perfectionism is a crazy thing, and it leads to a ton of anxiety, because honestly, there is no such thing as perfect.  One persons perfect is another persons failure.  You can never win.  It’s hard to live every day to the fullest, but a big juicy creative life sounds awesome!