Friday, September 28, 2012

Night Before Freestyles...

This post is for my own documentation and for my dance teachers to know what a newbie like me is thinking and feeling about this whole dance competition event...*cough* Taras this is the first of several posts for you.
 
Tomorrow I will be driving to DC and competing in the Arthur Murray DC Freestyle event.  It's my first dance competition and I am beyond excited!  I thought I would be more nervous than I am at the moment, but then again sleep hasn't come to me yet, so maybe I am nervous...I am visualizing every dance step in my head and repeating mantras such as shoulders down, head high, long back and neck, follow my lead, stress the hold, and the list goes on. I had two great practices this week and absolutely love and trust my dance teachers.  I know this will be a wonderful experience for me if for no other reason than I will be doing something I love to do...dancing. 
 
I have the biggest suitcase I own packed for TWO DAYS.  Normally I can pack pretty efficiently, but I threw all my normal packing rules out the window for this weekend.  I need to be prepared for everything and anything...bobby pins, safety pins, needle and thread, multiple dresses, comfy clothing, costumes, dance dresses, dance shoes, regular shoes, camera, bag, jacket, tons of makeup and hairspray, fake eyelashes, curling iron, straightener, a book of course and other randomness because I just don't know what I am going to need.  If I could pack my steamer I would...I hate wrinkles. 
 
This time around there are three ladies, including myself, competing from the Virginia Beach Arthur Murray Studio.  We are all in different levels; I'm the least experienced, but I plan on watching them closely and learning as much as I possibly can from them.  I also plan on taking lots of pictures and documenting this event as creatively as possible.  It's like Dancing with the Stars in person!  That's what I told my little sister who just happens to be celebrating her birthday today!!!  Happy Birthday little sister!  Love you and see you tomorrow!!!  My parents, sister and brother are all coming to see me dance!  They've never seen me dance, so this will be nice for them and for me. 
 
Tomorrow morning I am cleaning my car, packing my car and hitting the road.  Eeek!!  I am soo freakin excited!  I belong to the best studio ever!  Great teachers, amazing students and just a wonderful energy!  This evening I received so many supportive and loving posts on facebook from other students and my heart swelled!  Thank you lovelies!  You are beyond sweet!  I plan on making you very proud! It's almost dance time!!  Heck, it's always dance time! 
 
If you think this post is all over the place, just imagine what's going on in my noggin!  I'll try to post a bit this weekend, but no guarantees. 
 
Much love.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend Update


Its Monday and its actually a little chilly.  Ok, it only feels a little chilly because we just had 4 straight months of 90+ weather with high humidity and strong sun, but I am going to rock with the chilly and be happy because its the first glimpse of fall so far!  I wore a scarf today because my office doesnt believe in opening windows or turning the AC off, so I am FREEZING.  I also refuse to wear pants, so its partially my fault.  Oops!
 
 
This week is absolutely crazy for us, so I am super glad that I cleaned the entire house this weekend and finished all the laundry!  I generally try to get all my cleaning done before Monday, but most of the time I am at least going into Monday without the laundry being finished.  Not this week. Go me! 
 
Our weekend was fun!  Friday night I danced and posted about that below.  Saturday, little man and I cleaned in the morning and then went to a WWI Air show with some friends!  He was in heaven looking at all the planes, telling me everything he knows about them (which happens to be an insane amount), staring at guns, walking through the mock camps, watching planes fly and eating a shaved ice. That evening we all went to a birthday party for one of my friends!  Great friends, good food, homemade games, it was a blast! 
 
 
 
Sunday morning little man and I went to church and met up with some friends, then we headed home, finished cleaning and went golfing with Ryan. 
 
 
 
We only played 9-holes and I shot 47 on a par 36.  If that doesnt mean a thing to you, dont worry.  Its a big deal for my husband because I broke 50.  It was whatever for me.  After golfing, we went out for fish tacos and then gelato!!  Yum!  I got pumpkin spice and vanilla bean!  Holy heavenly pumpkin pie in my mouth!  Totally worth the calories.
 

A walk with my lovelies and puppies concluded my wonderful weekend!  I love nightly girl walks!  We are safe because we have a Boxer and a Mastiff mix. 
 
How was your weekend?  Here's a cute baby to put a smile on your face!
 

Much love.

Monday, September 24, 2012

CCD

Little man is starting CCD tomorrow at our local church and we are both very excited!  Im really impressed with how excited he is about it because its another hour of class.  CCD stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.   Im not sure he completely understands what it entails, but since he has gone to other Christian studies groups (Rock Salt, Bible Study) there is a good chance he has an understanding.  I went to Catholic school my entire life, so I never had to go to CCD or any Christian education class.  I know what he will learn, but I am not familiar with the speed that it will be taught.  I hope to learn a lot in my CCD Parent Orientation tomorrow night.
 
Jared has been going to church with me ever since he moved out with us and he sits quietly either reading his Childrens bible, listening to the priest, or staring into space.  Regardless, he is definitely listening and remembering things about Mass.  He knows some of the responses, asks me questions about the homily and why people bless themselves at certain times.  On several occasions he has said things along the lines of Well, the priest saidat church this morning. Or Remember that story about the fishing and the bread?  There are certain stories that stick with a little boyand fishing is one of them.  Hes also asked me what a Virgin isI told him a virgin was an unmarried young woman.  I was proud of my quick thinking.  Im definitely NOT ready to have any conversations about virgins, sex or the like with a 10 year old. 
 
I hope his excitement lasts.  There are a few other children on our street that go to CCD as well, but I am not sure that they will be in the same class or not.  Luckily, Jared doesnt seem to have any worries about knowing anyone. Im sure he will do great and I hope that he absolutely loves his teacher and his class. 
 
At the end of Mass, he collects all the missalette (books with readings) that people left in the pews.  Its his mission along with multiple other little kids to collect the most.  Several older people hand their books to him and smile.  Its priceless!   
 
Tomorrow I will hopefully have an update on his CCD class.
Much love.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dance Spotlights

Next weekend I will be competing in the Arthur Murray DC Freestyles and in preparation for that, I performed two spotlight dances this Friday.  There is no choreography with these dances.  It is simply lead and follow. 
 
Triple Swing with instructor Eric.
*It ends abruptly because there as a slight malfunction and I don't want it broadcast over the internet. 
 
Salsa with Rico, another student of Arthur Murray Virginia Beach.  He is an amazing dancer with a cool personality!  If there is ever an amateur competition, he's my guy! We randomly picked the song seconds before running on the floor and did not practice any of these moves in advance. 
 
 
As always, it was an absolute blast!  I am more excited than ever for DC Freestyles now!  Thank you to all my Arthur Murray friends for being such great teachers and supporters!  I love you all dearly! You rock!
 
Thoughts on my dancing, my dress, anything and everything are appreciated!  Also, I've been told that getting spray tanned is the popular thing to do.  I think I am going to embrace my whiteness and rock with it.  Let me know what you would do. This is actually a big debate in my head...  I am getting fake lashes, wearing a lot of makeup, and smiling big...I just really don't know about the spray tan.  I've never gone tanning and being orange is soooo not attractive.
 
Much love.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coffee Talk - Week 2


1. What is your favorite kind of coffee? Iced? Hot? Frappe? Or are you a tea kind of person?
 
I am definitely a cappuccino kind of girl with 2% milk and one shot of espresso!  I can be super picky because I work at a coffee company and have been trained to froth milk properly to make capps. It's quite glorious for the coffee lover that I am. 
 
As for tea, I love tea too!  Green tea is the first thing to hit my lips in the morning aside from a kiss and it's definitely my go to drink when I am cold, sick or just in a hunker down and read a book kind of mood...which is often these days.
 
2. What is your dream computer/laptop? And what kind are you using now?
Macbook I guess...really any computer that is portable, has a ton of memory and allows me to edit pictures without freezing up on me.... Oh and is FREE!  In my dreams!  I'm not too picky.  Right now, I have a Toshiba Satellite and I love her!  She got me through graduate school, many moves and travels and is still going strong.  I'd like a bit more memory, but an external hard drive gets the job done!
 
3. Have you ever regretted a blog post? What did you say?
Not yet, but I'm sure I will in the future.  I've only recently started to get a bit more brutally honest and opinionated about certain aspects of life.  Some call it jaded, I call it being more comfortable with my views and accepting that I am not perfect and neither is anyone else.  It's what makes us unique and this world interesting.  
 
4. What is your favorite book?
Oh Heavens...this is a hard question for me.  I read so much and love so many books.  I'd have to say that my favorite book is Cider House Rules, but I also love Bloom by Kelle Hampton, Finding Ben by LaSalle, Pioneer Woman: From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond, Anne Frank, Out of the Dust, and a ton more that I am completely blanking on.
 
5. What's in your bag? (pictures too please!!)
Inside my purse...
An agenda with reservations for upcoming and past trips, monthly calendars for my dance studio, and lots of sticky notes.
A book.  Always a book.  This time it is Ten Thousand Saints.
My notebook filled with song titles, dance steps, Christmas lists, and ideas.
My dance shoes...they come with me almost everywhere...
And inside my wallet...
Gum, Library Card, School ID, Military ID, License, Credit card, Debit card, Cash, Hair twisty, Earrings from New Orleans, a note from my little sister, LOVE stamps, lots of receipts...especially gas ones with the mileage written on them, change, check book, tampons, dance studio calendar, address of a friend, Arbonne lipgloss, pen, sharpie, a decade of the rosary ring, and generally my keys and phone. For being a little wallet purse, this baby packs a punch!
 

Much love.
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Finding Ben"

Last night I finished reading Finding Ben: A Mothers Journey Through the Maze of Aspergers by Barbara LaSalle.  It wasnt a feel-good read, but it was very educational and very interesting.  Finding Ben is written by Bens mother, but with the guidance, approval and internal thoughts of Ben, the individual with Aspergers syndrome.  Ben was born in 1969, a couple decades before Aspergers Syndrome was a true known medical disability with a scientific name, and he was misunderstood well into his 20s and probably still to this day.  He was labeled a genius because he could read at the age of 18months and memorize entire radio shows, commercials, etc., but he couldnt walk, ride a bike, throw a ball, write, jump, etc. until much later in life, so he was labeled slow, retarded, mentally disabled.  His social skills were very poor and making friends was extremely challengingvirtually impossible, even his own mother wanted to change him. He seemed selfish because he dominated conversations, never asked how others were or was even aware of others feelings. 

Throughout his life, he went from school to school then from assisted living home to assisted living home to hospital wings for mentally unstable individuals to jail to homes againit was a long a painful process for both Ben and his mother.  It wasnt until Ben was in his 20s that he was given the diagnosis of autism and it wasnt until his 30s (I think) that he was given the diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome.   

This book details the good and the bad of having a child with a disability and wanting to fix your child as opposed to accepting your child for whom they are.  The moral of the story is that mental disabilities arent necessarily anyones fault and while they can be challenging to handle, they make individuals unique and we must accept and love everyone for who  they are as opposed to trying to conform them to societys standard of normal. Everyone needs love.  Everyone yearns for acceptancemaybe not everyone, but the majority.  Being the outcast isnt a fun role to be in.

Before reading this book, I didnt know anything about Aspergers, but now I have some insight into the mind and the lives of individuals with this diagnosis.  I enjoy learning about mental and physical disabilities through personal encounters as opposed to textbooks.  I am by no means an expert on Aspergers, but I do believe that I have gained an appreciation and an understanding of how different the mind can be.  Every now and then you just need to be reminded that everyone needs to be loved and that is exactly what Ben needed.  He needed his mom to listen to him and love him for him as opposed to trying to change him. 

Much love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

25 Ways to Stay Calm...

So, I was browsing Pinterest and I came across this...25 Ways to Stay Calm as a Parent and I was instantly drawn to it because I feel as if I am not the calmest parent in the world....I worry a lot.
 

I was actually surprised to see that I did a lot of them because I think I am a pretty high-strung mom at times.  Not having any influence in little man’s life for the first 7 years is a challenge.  I expect certain things and consider them normal such as chores, not talking back, respecting adults, etc. but when those things weren’t instilled at a young age, they aren’t commonplace.  It’s a constant challenge for me.  I was raised one way, my husband was raised another and his son a third.  We have a unique dynamic.  I could care less about kids being dirty, but if I ask you to do something, there’s no negotiating, you do it.  I’m the silent punisher…silence is deadly with me.  My husband is much more the loud voice disciplinary.  He wants clean kids and tends to be open to negotiating.  It’s frustrating at times…  I’m also not home nearly as much as I used to be since working, so I don’t have as much of an influence.  It’s a learning process.  I think it may be that way for most parents, but I imagine it being way easier when you have a child together that you raise from birth as opposed to acquiring a child at a much older age… Heck, I don’t know.  I’ve only experienced the stepmom role, so I can’t really make any comparisons.
So, back to how to stay calm...
Inspirational Reading – I read a lot.  Inspirational reading isn’t my style, but reading for enjoyment is, so I guess in a way, it is my version of inspirational reading.  I am certainly escaping into a good book which is plenty good for me.
Working Out – Heck yea!  I have that one down!  Between running and dancing, I think I get a decent amount of working out in a week!  Would I like more? Yes. Would that require me either quitting my job, failing as a wife and mother, or more hours in the day? Yes. I’m just going to be happy with the amount of working out I get in on a weekly basis.
Waking Up Early… Epic fail.  I am the snooze, snooze, snooze, snooze, I have 2 more minutes, snooze, I don’t really need to shower, snooze, kind of person.  It’s annoying as hell to my husband.  Sorry L  I really like my sleep.  I did really enjoy getting up early and running so maybe I should start doing this again.  It would definitely offer some much needed and much loved quite, alone time.  Gotta be honest, I don’t have high hopes for this one.
Cleaning – I always said cleaning was therapeutic for me and what-do-ya-know this blog says the same thing!  Golly, I’m a smarty pants!  See honey, I wasn’t lying when I said a clean house is a happy house i.e. a clean house is a calm wife and that makes for a happy house!  I should clean more.  Tonight, the master bath and bedroom will be spotless.
Meditation/Praying – Every single night I pray the rosary.  Ive made a promise to myself and a promise to some very close friends that I would pray for them daily and I am a woman of my word.  I may drift off in the middle of my 15th Hail Mary or Our Father or random conversation with God, but He knows whats in my heart and He hears me loud and clear.  I pray when I drive.  It truly keeps me calm, especially in poor weather or when other drivers and being rude.  I really enjoy chatting with God. 

I need to focus on remembering that there isn't a code for a perfect parent because each child is unique and each family has its own special dynamics.  Are there general guidelines to good parenting? Yes indeed.  Do parents overreact at times and handle situations with less poise than they'd like to admit at times?  Yes.  Does that make them a bad parent? No, it makes them human. 

I have a very high standard for myself and lately I have been failing miserably at it.  I am pretty good one on one with little man, but I feel as if when we are in a family unit I falter.  I am having a difficult time predicting how husband is going to handle a certain situation and it makes me tense.  Since I've been working much longer hours than husband and dancing two nights a week in preparation for a competition, I have had less impact in little man's day to day life.  It's not good.  Once October comes, I will have more family time, but I fear I won't fit in the way I used to.  If you can't tell, my mind is in a million places at once and I am a worried mess.  Lord, Oh Lord, I need a vacation...a mindless vacation. 

Finally, I need to be more affectionate.  I have really closed that part of my life off lately and that is sooo NOT who I am.  It's a protection mechanism for me, but it is eating away at my core and making me really sad.  I've recognized it, but I am having a hard time digging it back up and making hugs and kisses and affection part of my daily life again.  It sounds horrible and believe me, it is.  I hate it.  I really needed to just get that off my chest and admit it.  Hopefully my free loving spunky self will reemerge in the near future.  Praying big time.  

Moral of the story, there are some great suggestions in the above post, but each family and each parent has to figure out what works best for them and their family.  We are all unique and we are all doing the best we can and that's pretty darn awesome. 

P.S.  Thanks for listening.
Much love.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luna Moth

On Saturday, I was working in the garage when I noticed this beauty chillin on my mint plant.  I had no idea what kind of moth it was until looking it up.  Apparently, it is a Luna Moth.  They are slightly endangered in some parts of the world, only fly at night, die shortly after mating and are bright green caterpillars. Their bodies are quite large and almost furry. 







 
Thoughts?  Do you think it is as pretty as I do?  Would you have run from it screaming or would you have run for your camera and called the kiddos and hubby to see it?
 
Much love.

Mondays & A Little Bucket List.

Monday.
You are so not a Funday.

Mondays have never been my favorite day of the week for the obvious reasons, work, school, getting up early, etc.  But they are really not fun when it’s still dark outside and my alarm goes off.  You know a few months back when I was talking about how nice it is to get up before the rest of the house and go for a run?  Well, those days are over.  I can’t run in the dark. Well, technically I can run in the dark, but the sane part of me won’t run in the dark.  If I am going to run in the morning, I am going to have to rekindle a relationship with the horrible treadmill. 

I fall on treadmills.
Then I have scabbed knees.
Totally not pretty.
My knees are ugly as they are.
ACL reconstruction does that.
I could be more careful…
Pay more attention to me feet placement…
Actually pick my feet up…
Heck, I am making excuses. 
I need to get back into this running thing.
And mornings are best.
Ugh, this is going to stink.
 
So, as I think you can gather, I need to start running again.  I have an 8k run for Ovarian Cancer and a 5k Mud Run coming up that I need to actually do well in. 

Bucket List time…

1. Run.
2. Make a skirt from the sweet black and white striped fabric I bought last weekend! With whatever is left over, I will be making pillows for my bed!
3. Edit pictures of this crazy moth I saw over the weekend.  You will see them soon and think Holy Cow!  What is that thing?! Because that’s what I thought when I saw it and then proceeded to run inside for my camera!
4. Figure out all the Christmas presents that I will be making.  I have a good list so far, but I really need to firm it up and get a legit plan in place for completing all the crafting.  Yes, I know it’s still September, but working fulltime and having a pretty busy life makes planning ahead completely necessary. 
5. Finish the book Finding Ben. 
Happy Monday…
Much love.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brothers Rock.

It's time to brag.
I have the best brothers.
Ever.
No questions asked.
 
My two younger brothers, whom I like to think of as boys, but are actually men, good men. They are bother very different, but both call me to talk and brothers, I love it.  Thank you so much!  You have no idea how much my heart swells when I see your name pop up on my phone and then I hear your voice say something along the lines of...
Are you busy?
I'm bored, so I thought I'd call you.
I have a story for you...followed by laughter!
Whaaat's up Sista?!
 
It's almost as if once you become a college student, you start calling your older, school-loving sister for advice.  Tom did it first and Mike if following in his footsteps.  It's perfect!  I would drop everything to talk to my brothers...even at 2am for an I love you so much, Sarah.  You are the best sister in the whole world.  I mean who actually answers the phone at two AM.    Only you.  And that's one more reason why I love you!   (Yes, that conversation has happened on a few occasions and I chuckle and generally talk with him until he is home safe and sound.) 
 
These are the goofs that I love dearly!  They seriously are the most amazing brothers I could ask for.  Here are two pictures from a very fun trip to Canada.  The "kids" went out in one boat while my parents were on a fishing date in the other boat.  This is what happens when the kids are alone...
 
We take TONGUE pictures!!  Well, this night we did :)
I'm the oldest...

  Then comes Tom...



Then Mike...
Then Bonnie!

Sweet tongues and total look alikes, eh?
 
See, my brothers know how to have a good time!  Heck, we all do!  It's in our blood to embrace life, feel passionately and love with every ounce of our being.
 
In the words of my brother...it felt so good to be (fill in the blank). 
Just promise me you will feel.
 
Much love.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Busy Body.

My life has been a whirlwind of change for the past 3+ years, but instead of hating it, it has become a way of life.  A comfortable way of life at that.  I am good at being busy, but I am not the best at embracing change, unless it is for the better or easy.  I’m not horrible at it; I’m just not a pro.  Being busy helps me come to grips with change…the uncontrollable.  I have a hard time understanding why in a sea of uncertainty, someone wouldn’t want to keep their mind and body busy.  If I am unsure or nervous about something, the purging, cleaning, crafting, go-go-go Sarah emerges.  She came to the forefront last night.  I’m redoing the office.
I’m not talking about moving existing furniture around and cleaning, I’m talking about making an L-shaped desk from doors, painting the desk, painting chairs, purging magazines, books, paperwork, fabric, arts and crafts, pictures, everything.  The office will look like a new room when I am done with it and I am really excited!  Through this process, Jared will get a desk in his room.  This is something that he needs.  Doing his homework at the kitchen table is no longer effective.  He needs to be in a quiet place without distractions.  Fingers crossed the novelty of a desk helps him get his homework done faster and more efficiently. 
I don’t know if life is changing now or if I am just worried about the future.  I think the latter is more realistic.  Nothing is in stone, nothing can be in stone.  Jobs are constant…for now.  We are renting when we really wish we owned.  Jared will need to switch schools next year because I don’t approve of the middle school in the area.  The holidays are around the corner and I have this goal of making all of the Christmas presents…that’s a huge task when you are one of 6, have 2 sets of in-laws, and a huge extended family.  Pinterest, I think we are going to be good friends in the coming months. 
Maybe my need to purge, reorganize, etc stems from my brain being overwhelmed and a jumbled mess…if my house is in order than all will be well in the world.  A clean home is a happy mind…just maybe that is the key to this maze, just maybe.
A glass of wine and a good workout outside never hurt to clear my mind either. J
How do you handle uncertainty or being overwhelmed with life?
Much love.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kelly Clarkson for $10...Umm, Yes Please

 
Music is powerful. 
Fresh air is essential.
Great friends are priceless.
Together they make for as perfect evening.
 
Watching the sky turn from beautiful hues of pink and orange to pitch black speckled with white stars…and an occasional Navy jet…while listening to Kelly Clarkson sing with the utmost passion was how my evening was spent last night.  It was perfect.  We all escaped into the music, talked about how perfect the weather was, actually felt chilly for the first time in month, sang to every song and lived in the moment.  It wasn’t an easy day being 9/11 and married to military men, but it was a day and moment we will remember for quite some time.   
 
Kelly has pipes.  She looked great, had a ton of energy, and sang her heart out!  It was obvious that after 10 years of performing, she still loves what she does.  It’s beautiful.  Definitely a great first concert for Hannah!
  
 
The entire arena had a sense of calm.  There were lots of families and groups of girl friends who obviously were out to have a nice evening.  The only thing that bothered me about her concert was that she didn’t mention 9/11 once.  Not a moment of silence, not a God Bless America, not a patriotic song…nothing.
 
The jets flying over were a constant reminder of that day 11 years ago and the battle we are still fighting today.  I am proud of our military.  Very proud.  They are good men and women with a sense of loyalty that is compared by no other, especially our special forces.  
 
Much love.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget September 11th 2001


Never forget those who sacrificed their lives on September 11th 2001 and since then. This country is blessed with so many brave and honorable men and women, both those on our frontline, the silent petitioners, the families that support and love from the homeland, and the list goes on.

I vividly remember being a sophomore in high school right outside of Philadelphia, walking from Chem study to lunch when my English teacher pulled me into his classroom to watch reruns of the first plane flying into the World Trade Tower. After standing there in shock and asking “what does this mean?” I was sent to my 4th period lunch. As I walked into the cafĂ©, the second plane hit. It was at that moment that we knew we were under attack and that this was not an accident. Panic struck. Parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, loved ones of all relations were contacted…or attempted to be contacted. We were sent home immediately.

I walked into my house, hugged my mom intensely and quietly sat in front of the TV for the rest of the day while events played out…the pentagon, United Flight 93 that was heroically taken over and crashed by innocent passengers. The world seemed quiet. I remember walking outside, seeing the sun shine bright in the sky and thinking why? I was confused, lost, hurt, saddened, and really angry. I still am.

God Bless all those who love this beautiful nation and especially those who sacrifice their lives for our freedom. You are loved. You are always in my prayers.

Much love.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Little Weekend Recap & Cute Puppy Pictures

This weekend had absolutely no plans aside from a 5k on Sunday morning.  That is a rarity for this household, so with that, we did what we wanted to do when we wanted to...for the most part. 
 
Friday.
Friday night I came home to an empty house because the boys were golfing.  While that may be sad to some, it was a nice for me after the week I had.  I quickly vacuumed, emptied the dish washer, and swept all while rocking out to some tunes!  It was oddly nice to be alone and do something monotonous without anyone looking over my shoulder. 
Dinner was made and the boys were watching some boy movie...like Rambo or Rocky or Star Wars.  I've seen all far too many times, so I headed to my dance studio to get an hour of practice in.  It was a great decision.  I danced a wonderful waltz, tango, foxtrot and hustle with my instructors and then I danced some rumba, cha cha and salsa with another student that has some great moves and was super patient with me. It felt great to dance out some stress. 
I came home to a text "come play board games with us" from my bestie down here, so across the street we went! It was a trivia game and Ryan kicked butt.  I knew some random questions that no one else knew thanks to my Catholic upbringing, but overall, I appeared to be pretty challenged at this game.
 
Saturday.
Oh Saturday how I love you!  I slept in and woke up to a text at 9:30 asking me if I wanted to run.  My first thought was, run with you?  Hell no.  You are fast, male and totally going to dominate me.  Then the overly ambitious Sarah came out and said you can do it. Well, I did go on the run, but I was slow...really slow.  The drinks the night before and the lack of any prep probably didn't help, but then again, I might just not be a good runner.  I do it, but I've never claimed to be good at it.
After the run, I mowed the lawn, hedged the bushes and went golfing. Active day.  The evening commenced with Mass with a few friends and a spur of the moment potluck with three other couples at my house!  The guys were glued to Saving Private Ryan and the girls sat around the table and chatted.  It was a very nice ending to a busy day. 
 
Sunday.
Jared and I did the 5k Hero's Run for 9/11 victims (I blogged about it earlier) and then came home and relaxed.  Ryan was golfing while we were running.  Once we were all showered and very hungry, we headed over to the Parish Picnic where Jared played games and ate far too many sweets, while we socialized and stood in line for food tickets.  The weather could not have been better and the company was very enjoyable.
 



Little Lira got a trim today.  I basically chopped her...not on purpose, but she wanted nothing to do with getting her hair cut, so I had to hold her down and did the best I could as quickly as I could.  I've seen worse...I've done worse.  The cooler weather and haircut has added some spunk to her personality.  She has been doing figure eights around the house for quite some time :) Enjoy some photos of her eating grass in the backyard...
 



Farewell weekend...you will be missed.

I'm off to enjoy a cup of tea and a good book.  Night.

Much love.

9/11 Hero's Run

This morning Jared and I and a few friends from work ran the 9/11 Hero's 5k!  There was an emotional ceremony to start the race off.  Testimonials of loved ones who sacrificed for this country through all branches of service...military, fire fighters, police officers.  The National Anthem was sung with pride, the colors were displayed, trumpets played for the unknown soldier.  It was very emotional. 
 
The weather was perfect!  It was overcast and 68 degrees!  We haven't felt cool air here in months.  It was perfect!  Since it was Jared's first 5k, I had to take a few pictures.  Here he is before the run:
 
 
Here he is after the run:
Here we are after the run:
 
I have this little problem...I always have to go to the bathroom (#1) about 2 miles into the race.  It is horrible, excruciating bladder pain.  I purposely tried not too drink much water the morning of and it will happened.  Any runners out there that have strategies for not having to pee during a race.  Maybe I'm just messed up, but it's annoying.  I ran about a quarter mile off the route to the bathroom and then back and finished the race in 32 minutes.  Horrible time I know, but hey, I technically ran 3.5 miles and I went to the bathroom. In all seriousness, I'd love to not have to stop in the middle of a race to go to the bathroom.  Help please. 
 
Jared did great!  He sprinted in the beginning and then realized that wasn't the best idea (even though I told him multiple times not to sprint in the beginning).  Listening isn't his strong point these days.  He is in that "I know it all" phase of his life and in reality, he knows very little.  I cannot wait until this cocky phase is over...I pray and hope there actually is an end to it because if there isn't, he will learn the hard way.  Overall, it was a fun race and everyone did great!
 
Much love.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon...

You know the saying Once In A Blue Moon?  Well, that once, or should I say rare occurrence happened on Friday, and I  captured it in all its glory over the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.  Sadly, the moon isn't blue, it's just the term used when there are two full moons in a single month.  To add to the occasion, I toasted the blue moon with a Blue Moon beer of course!
 
I sped home from work...yes, I speed...changed into my bathing suit, fired off texts to friends to meet us at the beach, packed the car with the puppy and family, made a pit stop at WaWa for some hoagies and headed to the beach!
 
The flies were horrible, but I was able to catch a killer sunset before the beautiful moon dominated the night sky. 
I caught a sunset at the beach.  Bucket list check.
 

 The grasses were calling my name as well as the sky this evening.

I love how they look golden from the glow of the sunset. 
 
Little man had a blast riding waves.  I taught him how to catch them and then when night came, guy friends came and were pushing him off into the waves.  Night swimming in the ocean is soo much fun!   
 
 
And the moment you've been waiting for...the Blue Moon dancing in the sky and all across the ocean.  Perfection.  
 
 
Much love.
 

"The Golden Hat"

My posts keep getting deleted or error in the upload process.  Lesson learned: Keep a copy of each post in MSblogger.  How to do that is the big question? I know there is a way. 
 
Ok, back to my post.
***
 
Sometimes you need to forget about all life's duties and just read a book.  That is exactly what I did last night after a fun night of trivia.  I climbed into PJ pants that are a few sizes to big, zipped up a hoodie, but let my teal bra show just to add a bit of spice and sexiness to my reading experience and sprawled out on my living room floor to read The Golden Hat. 
 
 
I had a few extra minutes to kill while I was at the library on Wednesday evening and this book was calling my name.  It's full of pictures, poems, email correspondence and an interesting story of learning...about yourself, those with nonverbal autism and people in general.  I love books with a powerful message.  I love people with an extra something...autism, down syndrome, a lazy eye, an insane spirit for life, an overly active imagination (if there is such a thing)...I just love people who are different and kind.  This book embodies those types of individuals as well as those who appreciate good people and being good and different themselves.
 
There are pictures of and quotes from individuals with nonverbal autism in the beginning of the book.
 

 
And there are quotes and self portraits of famous people in the golden hat. Some quotes are inspirational, some are funny, some are ordinary, all are from the heart and meaningful to the individual.
 
 
My favorite part of the book are the poems written by Keli, the boy who wrote The Golden Hat and who inspired Kate Winslet, yes the famous Kate Winslet, to create this book and the foundation to raise awareness for nonverbal autism.
 
It's not a book that is a challenging read, but it is a book that most will enjoy, especially if you appreciate self portraits, good quotes and learning the human side to disabilities.  I know I sure do.
 
Much love.