Slim Jim …

A few weeks ago my 14 year old son G3 asked if he could try a Slim Jim.

Um … why?

I am a self admitted foodie with food phobias galore. I am most paranoid about chemicals and preservatives found in the food we eat. Don’t get me wrong, they sneak in there from time to time and we have our “cheat” meals and snacks, but as a rule they are to be avoided if at all possible.

So you can be assured I was pretty shocked when my G3 asked for a Slim Jim. I have never eaten a Slim Jim and have never thought to buy one. I guess I just assumed they were a food that happened by circumstance. One 18-22 year old frat bros happened upon at a 7-11 the morning after a major party. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my son would ever want one … but he did.

I posted about his request on Facebook and as usual my friends and family had me giggling up a storm. Yes, sometimes I can be quite silly in my convictions and I love that I’m quickly brought back to reality by the people in my world. The general consensus was: BUY THE KID A SLIM JIM.

Well, I usually don’t shop at commercial supermarkets and I can’t remember the last time I was in a 7-11, so the opportunity to buy a Slim Jim wasn’t presenting itself. That is, until the other day … um … sorta.

I had honestly forgotten all about G3’s request until I walked into Trader Joe’s … and there they were! SLIM JIMS …OK fine … the Trader Joe’s version of a Slim Jim! But there they were! I thought, “How perfect is this?!?!” G3 gets his Slim Jim and I don’t have to worry about chemicals and preservatives! WIN, WIN! Right?

Um … no.

According to my Facebook family it was a fail … somehow I was more “un-cool” than before … and even worse … G3 said he didn’t like them … BIG SIGH. I did, however, laugh hysterically at a Slim Jim video my friend posted explaining things like “man-ergy” and the “man gland”. Who knew?!?! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

So today after school, in a DESPERATE attempt to earn my way back up the parenting scale, I took G3 to 7-11. NOT ONLY did I buy him a few Slim Jims, but I ALSO bought him a TROUGH-SIZE ICEE to wash down that chemical laden MEAT STICK!

THE VERDICT: G3 does NOT like the Slim Jim … and the best part, he thinks I’m a pretty COOL mom 🙂

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are COOL again!!!

The good and bad … and scary wind and dogs too …

When my alarm went off at 4:55 this morning the wind was thunderous. I knew it was supposed to be windy today but I never imagined it would be this kind of wind. It was LOUD and SCARY.

I started fearing my 6-miler was going to have to be taken to the gym and done on the DREADmill. The thought scared me more than being blown away in the wind, HA! So I got ready and decided I would do my best with what I was given. I looked at it this way, it might be unpleasant and fairly painful but it would only benefit me in the long run. Plus what would I do on race day if it was windy? Say, “Meh, it was just 20 weeks of my life … MY BLOOD … MY SWEAT … AND MY TEARS … I’ll just do it another time. No biggie.” Um … no.

So I left and it was everything I thought it would be. HARD. SUPER DUPER HARD. There were times when I felt like I wasn’t even moving forward! My quads were on fire, I had dust in my eyes and leaves in my mouth!

Mental note: I need to learn to run with my mouth closed.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I won this training battle or lost it because this run HURT and I was SLOW! But it’s done. And now I’m six more miles closer to my goal.

Now you would think my story would end here. But no, that is never now life goes. This awful run wasn’t enough of a strengthening lesson for me. Apparently I needed more, because just as I was rounding the corner to my house and finishing my epic battle against the wind I heard my neighbor screaming. Yes, SCREAMING! I had just passed her house and turned back to see if she was OK. She was fine. But her two medium size very strong happy to see me dogs were on me. It was a little scary to say the least. They were determined to catch me and jump on me … and they did. My stomach bears the battle wounds of their excitement.

Again, I’m not sure if I won today’s training battle. But my war isn’t over yet … and it won’t be until I cross that finish line in September. So I’m going to just appreciate the challenges I faced today for their ability to make me stronger … and I’ll be thankful for another day that I was able to run.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you take the good with the bad!!!

Caught off guard …

Have you ever had one of those days where what you thought would happen didn’t? Not. At. All. I’m not talking one thing either. I mean all day long, over and over, you are left telling yourself “Welp, I didn’t see THAT coming.”

Mind you it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, but it’s just not how you thought your day would go down. Aaaaand I guess you can tell I had one of those days today. HA! You would think in my 45 years of “things not going as planned” I would be used to this … nope. I’m always totally surprised!

Well, I hope you all had a day where you weren’t caught off guard!!!

Loving and appreciating Sidney …

Sidney Donna Henry is my oldest daughter. My first born … and all that means to a mom. She was named after my mother, given my mother’s first name as her middle name. It’s truly bonded her to my mom in such a special and unexpected way.

Sidney’s first name came from an odder source. Shortly before I became pregnant with her I had two trips planned. The first to Denver to see one of my best friends from college and the second to North Carolina to see my Ya Ya.

On the trip home from Denver we had an extremely rough flight. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The airplane was bouncing all over the sky. People were sick and crying. It was awful. Thankfully we survived.

Although I vowed never to get on another plane after that, there I was just a few short weeks later armed with a bag full of goodies from a friend to keep me distracted. The bag was filled with children’s toys and coloring books. It was a great idea!

Well, the flight to North Carolina, despite my white knuckles, was flawless … until we tried to land. If you can believe it, we ended up in a holding pattern above a terrible storm. We couldn’t land because it was just too dangerous. Lovely. The pilot said we were in for some serious rough weather and had to remain seated. I was terrified … again.

Well, all I can say is that my bag full of goodies certainly came in handy because it allowed me to become the new BFF of a little girl who was on the flight with me. She was 2 years old. Her mother was very sweet and let her come sit with me and play. We colored and giggled and somehow managed to have a delightful time flying above that menacing storm.

Her name was Sidney.

I thought to myself, that if a child named Sidney could get me to actually have fun in a place I was terrified to be, then having a daughter named Sidney would probably be the best thing I could ever do.

And so … about a year and a half after meeting the first Sidney in my life … I met the second.

When I held my Sidney for the first time and looked at her I knew that in some miraculous way she saved my life. You see, after my mother died I never felt quite right. Of course not! How could I??? But immediately upon holding my Sidney, a healing I never thought could happen … happened. A repair to the mother daughter bond that I never expected occurred in an instant. Although completely different than the bond I shared with my own mother … it just somehow completed the circle that had been broken when my mother died. My life, extremely altered from the death of my mother, was now somehow complete.

I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to put all that into words that justify the feelings. But I gave it a shot.

So, last night my Sid, that baby that changed my life and helped heal my broken heart, went to her Junior Prom. She looked so beautiful. She has become a confident, poised and charming young woman almost ready to take on the world all by herself. All of this brings me a joy I have never known. I would be lying if I said my heart wasn’t breaking just a little too. But I am also excited to share a part of life with Sidney that I didn’t get to with my mother. I’m looking forward to experiencing the friendship that a young woman finds with her mother.

For a long time after my mother died, I couldn’t look at mothers with daughters who were my age. My heart would just ache. But now I realize, that not too far off in the distant future, I’ll be a part of what I couldn’t even bear to see … and THAT simply astonishes to me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you love and appreciate your amazing daughter!!!

My 3-year Blog-iversary and a WHOLE LOTTA hope …

So much wonderful emotion was rolled up in this day for me and it’s still not over yet. I can’t even begin to write out the details yet! But know that tomorrow I will GUSH!

I do however want to mention one little thing. Today happens to be my 3rd Blog-iversary for my original Facebook blog page LIVING IN LALA LAND. Go me!

What started off as some friends noticing I had an uncanny ability (or some unidentifiable level of crazy) to come up with a HOPE for each new day, has grown into a blog on WordPress! Whoda thunk?!?!

Certainly not me!

Wow … 3 YEARS … THAT’S over 1,000 daily hopes! When I started LIVING IN LALA LAND. I really wasn’t sure how long I could keep up my daily posts. Heck, I didn’t know if I would even want to, HA! But I did and I still do! Each day I am inspired by my followers. And honestly, I am humbled that people actually care about what I have to say. And so, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and encouraged me over the past three years. You make my world a happier place ❤

I'm still not sure how long this HOPEFUL streak will last, but I am grateful to have the opportunity to keep writing … So, if you want a place to come and find just a little bit of HOPE you know you can count on finding it in my LALA LAND.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you keep on hoping!!!

Finding out who your real friends are …

If you haven’t noticed, there are A TON of posts on Facebook about friendship. Heck, my best friend and I are at the top of the list when it comes this one! There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are BFFs, HA!

But seriously, there have to be 1,000s of daily posts about best friends, being hurt by friends, and friendships ended. We’ve all been there on every one of those levels. It’s why these posts are so popular … we totally get it.

I have said this before and I know I will say it again, I love my friends. I really do believe I have the best ones out there. But I want to address the NOT friends. The UNFRIENDED. The ones we leave on the way side of life. Or them us. Particularly those people who chose to end friendships because of a conflict with mutual friend. For the record, I have NEVER, nor will I EVER understand this.

Even as a child, and certainly now as an adult, I have always been able to maintain friendships despite a conflict that developed between mutual friends. I firmly believe that one friendship has nothing to do with the other. Now mind you, I said I can do this. But this hasn’t always come easy for my friends … or rather, my now NOT friends. BIG SIGH.

Before I get any farther into this one, NO, I am not currently dealing with this issue. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t receive a bunch of messages and calls worrying about me. See, I have amazing friends 🙂

This blog entry actually just came out of a short conversation I had with a friend today. And you know me, when I have a thought in my head, sometimes it won’t go away unless I write about them. So here we are 🙂

Anyway, during this conversation I said that I believed one of the true tests of friendship comes when a problem arises between mutual friends. Can a conflict be so bad that it actually ends a friendship with someone who was never really involved in the conflict to begin with???

As crazy sounding as all of this is, none of us will be immune to it happening. I know I haven’t been. And wanna know what’s worse??? This issn’t something that was left behind in my high school quad! This crap-o-la is also done by 40+ year old women! And to THAT I ask: WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THEM?

Sadly … I guess we already know what is wrong with them …

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find out who your real friends are!!!

My world sparkles …

There is something wonderful about running in the early morning hours, especially at Spring time, that sets the tone for my whole day. Now don’t get me wrong, as I get deeper into my training I will revert back to calling this time of day the UN-DEAD hours. But right now I’m still basking in the glory of being able to train again.

In the early morning hours when I leave my home it is still dark and the Spring air is still cool. The darkness begins to fade quickly to a blue gray, then blue, yellow and pink. The clouds become clearer and whiter. The sun brightening the sky more and more with every passing second. The air warms but not enough to be unpleasant. It’s still cool and perfect to run in. Everything smells wet and clean. All of this is beautiful and enjoyable, but my favorite part of these early morning runs is the dew.

Yes, the dew.

For a long time I can only smell that damp smell, but it’s appearance never ceases to amaze me and take me by surprise. As the sun begins to rise higher in the sky the dew makes it’s presence known, always appearing when I least expect it. But suddenly it’s there … spectacularly blanketing everything … and it ALWAYS makes me smile.

Well, I hope you all have a day where your world SPARKLES!!!

Believing in myself …

So this morning I was feeling SUPER PUMPED! I finally feel more like myself at the gym again. Time off is good for your body, but it is so awful getting back at it. Anyway, it made me really look forward to my run tomorrow and excited about my training. So much so, that I charted out my entire 20 week training in detail. Yep, I am THAT nuts.

Except I think it backfired, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown by the time I was done. OH. MY. GOD.

Let’s just say that there are a WHOLE LOTTA run days, miles and hours of cross training in 20 weeks. YIKES!


Perhaps if I hadn’t written it all out in detail … every … single … aspect … I’d feel a little more at ease … I want my mommy.


OK, I’m good now.

God help me … because as frightened as I am, I’m still doing it. Yep. Me. Because if I do, when I stand at that start line in September I will know that I did everything possible to run that race the way I want to … and you just can’t ask more of yourself, than that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you believe in yourself!!!

Do your part …

Happy Earth Day everyone! I was reading some articles today on ways to celebrate Earth Day. I found some really great ideas I want to implement. The biggest new thing I want to tackle is getting a compost bin and actually using it.

I believe Earth Day should be celebrated, on some level, every day. In our home, we aren’t super diligent about EVERYTHING Earth saving. But we do what we can. We have always recycled and planted gardens. There are, of course, other smaller things we do, but those are the BIGGIES we are pretty consistent with. Sadly there is so much more we could be doing. But realistically, most of us can’t do ALL OF IT. I think the key is to pick what comes easiest for you and your family and stick with that. Like everything else in life, our gifts might look differently but they are no less important than another’s.

Today I’m did some planting, made sure all our light bulbs are energy efficient, and I tried to not jump in and out of my car for errands. If my Ree and I could walk from one destination to the other, we did.

Well I hope you all have a day where you do your part!!!

Inspired …

Today was the Boston Marathon. I felt so many emotions throughout the day I thought my brain and heart were going to burst!

I was so HAPPY for the runners who ran last year and were able to come back. They deserved a JOYFUL finish. I hope their return to that course helped them rid themselves of any demons that may have followed them since the bombings last year.

I was THRILLED to see posts go up on Facebook as my teammates finished. I was MESMERIZED by the pictures of the medals these amazing athletes earned. And I LOVED seeing pictures of the elites. GO MEB! GO JEPTOO!

The best part was realizing that the world got something out of this race today, runners and non-runners alike. Kathrine Switzer said, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” And I couldn’t agree more.

Today on that race course, every single athlete, from the first to the last, showed EVIL that it CAN NOT and WILL NOT EVER WIN. Today we rose from terror, pain and fear … to find VICTORY, HEALING and HOPE.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are INSPIRED!!!