Thank you for sharing 2014 with me …

On January 1, 2014 I posted several pictures to my personal Facebook page that were my New Year “resolutions” of sorts. Truth be told, I am not a resolution maker. I believe if you want to achieve your goals and live your dreams you must embrace a lifestyle that ensures your success. It’s an inside job that requires commitment. Every. Darn. Day. There is no faking it. But, I do believe the coming of a new year can be a great motivator as a “DAY 1” of making the changes you want to see in your life. It’s also a great time to pat yourself on the back for ongoing successes in areas like parenting, careers, etc. To say to yourself, “Hey, you got that right, keep up the good work.”

As I looked back on the pictures I posted that day, I found the ones I included at the bottom of this blog entry. They are my favorites. They sum up my 2014. My joys. My successes. My failures. My hardships. And all the people and things that somehow managed to keep me going through all of it.

My children. My H-Crew. The loves of my life. The reasons my heart beats. My true joy. My heart in four equal parts. Without them all the other pictures here make no sense.

Bravery. I battled many demons this year all surrounding the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing and the fact that I turned the age she was when she died. It wasn’t easy. At times it was downright awful. It was painful. And scary. But I did it. I showed myself that this is my life and my story. And I will bravely continue to write each page … on my own, with hope, as I know my mother would want.

Hope. I brought my blog off Facebook, renamed it and I have utterly enjoyed this new journey. Living in LaLa Land and Living and Running in LaLa Land have become my life’s testimony. To encourage others (AND MYSELF) to always find hope in each new day, even if we don’t want to or feel we can. It IS possible. And when you (AND I) realize this, life instantly becomes a happier place.

Slow down and enjoy life … at every opportunity I was given. No regrets. My life is a gift. Every breath I take. Every experience, good or bad, precious. Time spent with the ones I love proved, as always, to be the only real thing that matters. I’m thankful I learned this, although painfully too young, because it has made for a good life. Despite the pain and difficulty, I won’t ever let one moment pass without a heart full of gratitude.

P. R. Despite every physical and emotional setback I faced this year, I somehow managed to run a personal best in every race level I ran. 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. I far exceeded my own expectations by placing 2nd in my age division at the 5K. All of this completely humbling to me because I didn’t do any of it on my own. Love achieved all of this … and I am forever grateful for those who stood by me. My family and friends who believed in me even when I no longer believed in myself. The cheerleaders in my life who kept cheering me on when my joy for running turned to an daunting task. They believed I could make the comeback … and I am so very thankful that they did.

Quality versus quantity. I chose quality in all that I did. Quality time spent with people. Quality experiences. Quality conversations. Quality relationships. Quality in my training. Quality in the races I chose. Quality in my performance in whatever roll I found myself in. I took nothing for granted. Moments mattered even more. Life quality perfected … as it always should be.

So there you have it, my 2014 in a nutshell. Thank you all for sharing it with me❤️

Well, I hope that 2015 brings you all a multitude of joy and success in everything that you do!!!

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I’m not ready to say goodbye …

The relationships that we have with one another are gifts. People who touch our lives in wildly positive ways, are heroes. Valuing each encounter with people like this is insurmountably important … because one day they may be gone. Today I’m not writing about the ones who have passed away. I am writing about the ones who move on. People who no longer will serve the role (so to speak) that they did in your life as they had before. And not for a negative reason either. No fight or disagreement occurred, just life getting in the way. Or rather making another way … for them. It’s hard when you are the one being left behind. Tears fall. The loss, painful. It’s at times like these when I try to be thankful for the moments I did have with these wonderful souls. But my grief often gets the best of me, and for at least a little while, I am sad.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you weren’t ready to say goodbye!!!

2014 … BRAVE indeed …

Before every New Year begins I come up with a new one word mantra. Not to be confused with my birthday mantra or my life mantra. My New Year mantra is a word that is chosen to snap me back into the feelings I had when I first thought of if. An instant motivator to keep me on track.

My 2014 mantra is BRAVE. I was not super excited to experience what 2014 had in store for me. On top of it being the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing, it is also the year that I turned the age she was when she died. Talk about a DOOZEY.

But, finally, on the 28th day of December I feel I can confidently say, I MADE IT THROUGH.

The anniversary of her passing was in February. February 2nd, Groundhog Day, to be exact. I got super sick at the end of January and stayed that way for a hideous three weeks. I am pretty sure my emotions got the best of me. I ran a half marathon in Ventura on the actual day of her passing. I was feverish and coughing the whole way. To put it in perspective, I was on an inhaler for the first time in my life! Yet there I was … running a half marathon in the cold. Good. Lord.

As MISERABLE as I was the entire time I was there, it was my first opportunity to, in fact, be BRAVE. Typically on Groundhog Day, I can hardly move. Yes, even after 20 years without her, it still hurts THAT bad. I oscillate between the couch and my bed all day. I call it, “My pink fuzzy robe coma” … and it’s awful. Although I promised myself that I would NEVER again force myself out of the house on that day and be away from my family, the race proved to me that I am much stronger, emotionally and physically, than I ever give myself credit for. But I am still not doing that again. Nope. Not. Ever.

Throughout the year the opportunity to be BRAVE reared its’ head a multitude of times. Truthfully, too many to count. But none probably more poignant than facing down my birthday. The day I would turn the age she died. Forty-six. Wow.

Sure I know people MANY people who have lived far beyond the age of 46. But the person I identified most with … didn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain how that feels. Words don’t seem to serve it justice. But I can tell you this: it’s scary, nerve-racking and sad. It was up to me now. I had to lead the way for myself. I had to write my own story and live without her example. At times, the thought completely overwhelmed me. But I took everything she taught me and forged on.

Here I am, over 5 months into 46 and I don’t think I’m doing too badly. I’ve faced a lot of demons this year. NONE of them went down without a fight … and many, I know, will soon return to try to break me all over again. Will it be hard? Absolutely. But this time I will do battle knowing that if I can survive the emotional warfare of 2014 … I can survive anything.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you prove to yourself that you are BRAVE!!!

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I wanted to barf …

We have been cleaning out our garbage today and I came across an old box of candles. Some of those candles were hidden when I was pregnant … AND FOR GOOD REASON.

When I was pregnant with all three of my girls I was sick beyond belief. With my son, I virtually experienced no sickness at all. I was just super tired with him. I would lay down during the day and fall asleep for three hours easy.

None of my pregnancies were picnic. All but Sidney’s were considered high risk pregnancies. And with hers I walked with a limp and had my legs contract inward. I had knots in my calves and would wake up screaming in the middle of the night with Charlie horses. I had severe back pain as well. My ribs were so badly damaged during my pregnancy with her that they had to be wrapped for 3 weeks after I delivered her. I ended up in physical therapy and couldn’t work after 4 months because of the pain I was experiencing and every one feared I would fall. AND SHE WAS MY EASY PREGNANCY.

I won’t get into all the details of the other pregnancies, but suffice it to say, that if Sid’s was easy, they were PRETTY DARN ROUGH.

But let’s get back to that “morning” sickness thing.

With Sid, my “morning” sickness lasted ALL DARN DAY AND NIGHT for 4 months. With Libs it lasted all but about 6 weeks around 6-7 months. Again, all day and night. With Reese I was sick the entire time PLUS 2 days post delivery. NO JOKE. And let me tell you, you HAVE NEVER experienced fear like you do when you throw up just after having a C-Section! I was convinced organs were going to go flying! Not. Pleasant.

Anyway, one of the things that just put me over the top with nausea when I was pregnant was any type of perfume scent. I would actually be out in public and would become crazy mad when someone walked by me with excessive cologne or perfume on. It was like a threat to my personal well-being … and I absolutely LOATHED throwing up in public bathrooms.

So today, when I came across that box of candles, boy oh boy, did it bring up (literally) some fairly unpleasant memories … guh …

Well, I hope you all had a day where you didn’t want to barf!!!