I wouldn’t go to Costco hungry if I were you …

So I went to Costco this morning … hungry.

Do not … I REPEAT, DO NOT … go there hungry. It is a BAD BAD BAD idea. VERY BAD.

If you do, you might find yourself in your car in the parking lot devouring a bag of, what seemed like at the time, the best darn chocolate ever created on earth! EVER EVER. Not to mention stealing a sandwich out of of the sandwich tray that was headed to feed your daughter’s tennis team.

Not that I did that … nope … not me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have NO SHAME!!!

Tacos and caramel …

I started this day in a great mood with positive thoughts flowing through my little head. All I can say is that life beat me with a stick and after yoga tonight I found myself eating mini Trader Joe’s tacos and Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels … at the same time.

I’m not sure if it made a difference in today’s matters but I rather enjoyed it … even though I kinda grossed myself out too.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you found a way to make yourself feel better!!!

Uninterrupted time …

Today we went on our annual apple picking adventure in Oak Glen, California. It’s my favorite Autumn tradition to do with my family. I literally feel propelled into a different time … and world. I love it. Cell phones don’t work there and there is nothing taking away from the time we are spending there together. We are no where near home and no one can contact us. It’s heaven.

And the actual area itself is absolutely beautiful. Oak Glen is situated in the lower mountains but the views are still quite magnificent. Today there were blue skies, white puffy clouds and chilly fall air. A perfect autumn day.

There is something special about walking through apple orchards and pumpkin patches with your family. Serenity comes easy. Your mind relaxes and your heart connects with the beauty surrounding you. Conversation flows. There are no distractions. To me … this is priceless.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you got to spend some uninterrupted time with the people you love most in the world!!!

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Accepting what I cannot change …

There comes a night sometime in late September that the air changes. Tonight was that night.

Despite our extremely warm weather the past few weeks, I’ve been expecting it. I am in and out of our home all day long. Frequently well into the evenings. It’s been very warm lately. Still. But tonight when I walked outside I felt it. The chill.

It wasn’t much. But it was there. A coolness that has been absent from our evenings for months. It was refreshing. Yes, I love summer. But there is an excitement that autumn brings. The holidays are coming. In fact, my favorite holiday is coming, Thanksgiving. I enjoy the increased sense of coziness that comes along with cooler weather. And I love our family traditions. Apple picking, baking, Halloween parties and other celebrations. Time spent with family and friends who have become family. Because of all of these things, I am often reluctantly WOWed into adoring this change of seasons. I may fight it all I can at first, but eventually, you will find me decorating the house with pumpkins and scarecrows. Gourds and ghouls. Turkeys and pilgrims. I ultimately surrender …

Well, I hope you all had a day where you accepted what you cannot change!!!

Relaxing …

Almost every day, in the later part of the afternoon, our day goes crazy. My H-Crew gets home from school. Then it’s snacks and homework. Sports. Dinner. Showers. Some laundry. More chores. And getting ready for tomorrow. It’s like our day explodes with busyness!

But then, there comes a point in the evening when all the busyness starts to mellow. Tasks are done. Lights are dimmed. We are comfy in our jammies. Tea is made and our house grows more quiet as the hours pass. I look forward to that moment each day when I realize the busyness is gone … at least for today. It is our calm after our storm. A stillness that creeps in. A peace that blankets the end of our day … and I love it.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you finally got to relax!!!

Running free …

Despite still being a little sick and it being WAY TO FREAKIN HOT I was determined to run today.

I have developed a little recovery schedule for myself after running a marathon. Rest for one week. The second week after the race I fill it with easy runs and cross training. Third week after, I cross train and have my “just run”. By “just run” I mean exactly that. No pace being monitored, I’m “just running” whatever I am moved to run. It’s natural, not pushed or controlled in any way. I consider this my first REAL run after a race. I look at my pace after the run is over and then consider that pace my starting point for my next training. It all makes perfect sense in my little noggin, even if it makes no real training sense whatsoever, HA!

The reason I mention this is because I love these runs most. There is no pressure. Just gaining perspective about where I’m at. Seeing how far I’ve come. And what I need to do to improve.

You can get caught up in the methods and madness of training. I know I do. Not so much for half marathons anymore. Although I do train specifically for each course I run. But I definitely get caught up in marathon training. Truth be told, I think you have to. It AIN’T easy and that commitment is something you should NEVER take lightly. People die on marathon courses … I don’t ever want to be one or them!

I’ve told my family and closest friends that since finishing Ventura I feel like I’ve been given a pardon from prison. It’s hard to describe because the stress is self imposed, but the freedom I am left with in not having to care about my pace or what the training tells me I should be doing, is just straight up awesome. Let me tell you, if even for just a brief moment, to free myself from my own expectations, is a gift.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you got to run free!!!

In over my head …

A few months ago I registered for my umpteenth race, the Revel Canyon Half Marathon. It’s a downhill race that looks absolutely beautiful. The race is fairly close to where I spent some of my growing up years too, so that made it even more appealing. And being mostly in the mountains I thought it would be a great course to do in autumn.

As usual, before I registered I checked out the course map. Now I have to tell you. I miss read these things all the freakin time. So I should be used to the little (BIG) surprises that come up on race day. But this one … I REALLY MISUNDERSTOOD. And thank goodness I found out way before race day. YES I saw the elevation changes but none of it really looked too intimidating … until today.

This morning I had planned to check out the course for Revel Canyon. I thought I would drive up to see what I could expect on race day. I figured it would be a nice drive and I planned on running at least a portion of it.

Um … yeah … that didn’t happen.

It was a two lane highway that had no room for a pinecone let alone a runner. On one side was rocks and uneven dirt. What I came to call the “break an ankle” side. And on the other side, it had vary degrees of, “Oh my god, if I slip I’ll plummet to my untimely death.”

Yeah … NO RUNNING THERE TODAY. Clearly the only safe option was the road when it was closed, and it wasn’t, so I passed on risking life and limb.

BUT I did take a lovely 11 mile drive up the mountain. I started calculating my distance from where the finish line will be in November. Up I went. I didn’t need to go the full 13 miles up … I got the picture. Crystal. Clear.

This course is outta my league.

Way.

Out.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually love running hills. It’s a weird qwerk of mine. As much as I loath climbing a hill, it’s downright indescribable how I feel after reaching the top. Hills at a race generally don’t scare me either, especially after running Nike’s full marathon in San Francisco. That had 10 miles of hills and I survived running that course TWICE. But Revel appears to be a different kind of beast altogether … and for some reason this both terrifies and excites me.

Revel Canyon … sigh. Yep, this one is going to scare the heck out of me. But I’ll just keep reminding myself that it’s in those moments, when I am absolutely pushed to my breaking point, drowning in my own aspirations (and sweat) … that I feel … most alive.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are happy to be in over your head!!!

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High hopes …

I came across something today that made me think. As a clinician I would diagnose. That was my job. I just had to figure out what symptomology presented itself. Identify manifested behaviors. Evaluate feelings. And BOOM … I had a diagnosis.

However, I was never in a hurry to diagnosis. Of course I could if I wanted to. Heck I graduated at the top of my class and can spot a disorder a mile away. BUT … I didn’t. The process of discovery and treatment meant far more to me than any label ever could. I wanted to respect the person … not just treat my patient.

Labels … hang with people. I’m not saying I never got around to diagnosing a patient. I always did. You had to. It was a necessary part of the process. But discussing it with them was almost something I never had to do. We forged through treatment together dealing with situations and feeling, not names or categories. These were people. With pain and wounds and a history. With hearts and souls and dreams. Those are what mattered more to me … and them.

I have said before that I believe that I had been being prepared to be my Reese’s mommy my whole life. And today that point got driven home just a little bit more.

As I scrolled through Facebook I saw a picture posted by Special Miracles – Down Syndrome that was a repost from Produce – Where Hope Grows. Totally giving a shout out to both these groups for this one. The picture said:

“When you judge someone based on a diagnosis, you miss out on their abilities, beauty and uniqueness.”

… well, ain’t that the truth.

Yep, this was my philosophy as a young social worker … and it still is. I loved my career and the people I served. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the experiences I had working. Being a part of the lives of my patients truly helped shape mine … and Reese’s.

I am not naive to think that people will not judge Reese before they know her. Sadly, they already do. But it is my hope that one day maybe they won’t. That we could live in a world that holds their judgments and labels until we actually know the heart and soul of another …

I know it’s a long shot … but for some reason I’ve just never been one to dream little. Especially when it comes to my children.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have high hopes!!!

Finding a little bit of hope, in a very special place, even when I didn’t want to …

About three and a half years ago I started my blog page on Facebook called Living in LaLa Land. I was encouraged by a group of friends to start a blog. Those nutty peeps thought I had an uncanny gift for finding hope in each new day, HA! I would often (OK fine, daily) post about my life’s little mishaps and then I’d somehow flip it to a positive hope. I don’t even know how I started doing it. Or why. It just sort of happened … naturally.

It took my friends about 6 months of convincing but I finally decided to do it. I hesitated because I really wasn’t sure I could keep it up. Could I really keep finding hope in every new day I faced??? Well, I decided that giving it a try certainly couldn’t hurt … and so, I did.

I have to say that after almost 1000 posts later, I think I’ve succeeded. It also turned into one if the biggest gifts I could have ever given myself. You see, it forced me to keep seeing the positive, no matter how small it may be, even when I didn’t want to.

It REALLY hasn’t always been easy either.

To think that I’m just THAT happy would be a mistake. Yes, I am a very happy person. Self admittedly, probably more than most. But I certainly have my days. Putting myself in a situation to consistently look for hope, even in a poopy day, is no easy task. LET ME TELL YOU!

I have struggled through many days in the past three and half years. There are days that I had spent in tears. Some, have have been very dark and scary. I have felt alone and lonely. I have experienced loss and pain and devastation … just like everyone else. Yes, some I blog about … but many others … I don’t.

There are days when the last thing I want to do is to find some kind of hope in the mess I call my life … but for some reason, that commitment that I took alll those years ago, actually means something to me.

Darn it, I WANT TO FIND HOPE IN EACH NEW DAY … even if all I really want to do is bury myself like a mole under my blankets. Oddly I have found through all of these posts that I can actually do both! I can find some hope AND be buried under all those blankets like a mole… whoda thunk!?!?

So … here I am. Today. Having one of those days. Where I just felt … BLAH. Where I felt run down and sad. Where I missed people I loved. Where I wished for things I knew I could never bring back or have. Where I cried and just felt lousy.

But … here I am. Trying to find hope. Here … yet, again.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you found a little bit of hope, in a very special place, even when you didn’t want to!!!

The last day of summer …

Today is the last day of summer … BIG sigh. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the fall. I look forward to our family’s autumn traditions. Thanksgiving is also my favorite holiday. It is definitely a cozier time of year that makes be feel like nesting … but, let’s face it, it ain’t no summer.

Well, I hope you all had a day were you didn’t feel like you were saying good bye to a dear friend!!!