Wednesday, December 17, 2014


At house we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas.  I love this time of year and decorating our house to reflect both traditions.  Here is a little peak at what we've done this year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Get Away

We look forward to it all year.  The countdown starts at the beginning of May with numbers written in a child's hand on our chalkboard.

20, 15, 10.

When we reach single digits I can see the kids vibrating with excitement.  We are going on vacation!  Hooray!

Every year I wonder how it can be as good as it has been in the past?  Will this be the year that something will go wrong, the year we vow never to go back?  But it doesn't happen.  Rain or shine, cold or hot, childish arguments, fights and tantrums, none of it matters.  Our family is good here.  We recognize the special quality of the weekend, the place.

When we leave, I research condos and cabins.  Maybe we could buy here, spend summers and more.  It's a dream I have, knowing that I could come here whenever I wanted.  It won't be the same.  I won't catch lightning in a bottle.  But I continue to put pennies in a jar all the same.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I post a lot about running on Facebook.  I share details of almost every run.  I am that girl.

I do it partially to hold myself accountable in my training.  I have a schedule that I need to stick to.  I need the inspiration that likes and comments provide.

The other reason I do it is because I never thought I would be here.

When I was in college, I faced a health crisis that took a long time to identify and resolve.  During that time, fatalism, drama and self-absorption combined in such a way that I could not see beyond the pain I felt in the moment.  When I thought about the future it was in abstract terms.  I wanted jobs, marriage, family, a future but I couldn't really see myself with any of those things.  I was sick.  I was in pain.  I figured I would die and that would be it.  The end.  No future.

But I didn't die.  My health crisis was diagnosed and resolved.  Jobs came (many, many, many jobs).  I got married.  We traveled a long path to family.  I began to see a future with me in it.

However, my old way of thinking still persisted.  Doubts, "I'm not strong", "I'm not good enough",  "I can't do this", became the soundtrack in my head.  So I didn't do anything.  Well that is not true.  I did lots of things halfheartedly.  I couldn't stick with anything because I wouldn't do it right.  Try this.  Quit this.  Try that.  Quit that.  Think about trying that other thing.  Don't try that other thing.  What about ...?  No, never mind.

Few years ago I had a wake up call.  I had to change my way of living.  I couldn't do it anymore.  It was exhausting.  I was mentally, emotionally and spiritually dead.  I might as well have been physically dead.  So I stopped, surrendered and changed.  Slowly, sometimes almost imperceptibly, I became a new, better version of myself.

As I got stronger, I saw that I could do things.  I could do "easy" things.  I got up, I made my bed, I fed, clothed and took care of my kids.  I did life.  I wondered about the hard things.  Could I do them too?

Running is a hard thing.

It seems easy enough, moving at a pace faster than walking.  But it's not easy.  I have to push my body past it's comfort zone, take more steps, go farther, move quicker.  The mental challenge is equally tough.  I have to convince myself that my mind is lying.  The familiar thoughts of "I can't", "It hurts", "No more" play like a broken record.  Those are fears, lies.  They are not truth.  So every time I am out there I have to tell my mind to shut up.  "No! I can do this."  "I am strong."

The running posts I share are not boasts.  They are my way of reminding myself that I am here.  I am doing.  I am living.

Friday, May 16, 2014


My favorite moment from the week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I needed the reminder as I slogged through my run today.

I needed the reminder as I struggled to stay awake and alert at home.  If I do not get off the couch right now, I will be late picking up my kids.  If I do not get off the couch right now I may never get off the couch again.

I needed the reminder that I don't have to do this.  I get to do this.  I get to live this life.  It is a privilege and a gift.

It's a gift that I have two strong legs.  I get to lace up my running shoes and I get to pound the pavement.  There are days, like today, when the steps hurt, a twinge here and a pull there.

But there are also days, like Sunday, when I blaze forward faster than I have ever gone.  I may not be the fastest and I sure as heck won't win anything but that time is fast, super fast, for me.  Personal record, personal best.

I also get to share my passions and joys with my family.  I always thought running was solitary, just me and the road.  But it's not.  Frink is there to feed the kids when my morning runs go too long.  Bunny and Lion are there with signs cheering me on as I start and finish a race.  And Lion is there running faster than I ever thought possible, leaving his momma in the dust with her heart swelling with pride.

Those are the days that make days like today worthwhile.  I know that the slow days will be replaced with faster ones.  The dull days replaced with ones that are much, much brighter.

Monday, February 24, 2014


I left the house this morning with my computer saying I am going to write today.  I always have the intention to write but I get distracted with social media.  Next thing I know an hour has passed without me writing anything other than a Facebook status.  But not today, today I will write.

I had intentions of writing about running.  Running is my happy place.  It brings me peace and joy.  It clears my mind and makes me feel strong.  But that is not what I am going to write about today.

As always after I got my coffee I opened Facebook right away.  A few minutes won’t hurt, just a few.  I clicked a few links, learned some things and laughed a bit.  I saw Momastery’s series Sacred/Scared and clicked the link.  I read and started to cry real, ugly tears in the middle of a coffee shop.  

The women who shared their stories were women I admire - beautiful, strong and smart.  I had followed them for years.  I assumed they were better than me.  They had done things.  They were somebody.  They were perfect.  But they weren’t better than me.  They weren’t perfect.  They were scared.  They had insecurities and fears.  And they were strong enough to share them in this beautiful series to let us know that we are not alone.

So today I am going to share one of my biggest insecurities.

 I am afraid that I will never have friends and I will always be alone.
This is the same fear I’ve had since I was 4 years old.  I cried about it at 6, at 16, at 36 and even yesterday.

It’s true. 

It’s true because I am alone all the time.  I sit alone at a coffee shop.  I see people meeting for coffee.  I see them hugging and laughing while I am alone.  I sit at home with my family on the weekend.  I see pictures of gatherings on Facebook.  I wasn’t there.  I wasn’t invited.  My phone doesn’t ring.  I hear people making plans.  “I’ll see you there.”  Then they see me, say “Hi” and they walk away.  I don’t have someone who knows me, who wants me, who cares.

It’s true that I don’t have friends because I am always alone.

It’s false.

It’s false because I have friends I run with, friends I kayak with in the summer.  I get together with girlfriends from Law School for a vacation every year.   I see women on regular basis who are glad to see me.  They are always there with a smile and a hug.  I have a contact list in my phone full of women I can call at any moment.  I can invite them for coffee.  I can laugh and cry with them.  I know that it is false because I have friends.

It’s true and it’s false.  I have the potential to have friends, to make connections.  But I can’t make it a reality.  I don’t call.  I don’t know what to say.  I think people are too busy.  They don’t want to hear from me.  I don’t know how to make the connection, to say I want to get to know you.  Shy and anxiety ridden, I keep it on a surface level but inside I’m crying out.  Notice me!  Like me!  Choose me!

But if I don’t make the effort to change, nothing will change.  So every morning I offer up a prayer; please let me open up, to take a risk, to let someone in.  And today just may be that day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I've lived here my entire life.  I know it gets cold in the winter.  I know it gets really cold sometimes and really, really cold a few times.

But when I see - floating before a number, something deep inside seizes up.  The fear response kicks in.  Cold is bad.  Cold is scary.  Really, really cold is deadly.  So I make plans.  I stock up.  I hunker down.  And I stay the eff inside.

Except when I don't.

Frink called on Tuesday "There are Packer tickets available.  Do you want to go to the game?"  I did a spit take.  What?  Packer tickets?  There are never, ever Packer tickets available.  Ever.  My green and gold loving heart lept.  "Heck yeah I want to go!  Buy them!"

Then I saw the weather report.  Freezing cold.  Polar vortex.  Oh.  My.  God.  I'm going to the game.  Outside.  I'm going to sit outside for 3 hours.  I am going to die.

I proceeded to freak out for the next few days.  If you saw my Facebook feed, you know what I'm talking about.  The fear kicked in.  It took root in my brain and would not let go.  I could not get over the fact that it would be that cold.  I would freeze, get frost bite, die of hypothermia or a heart attack.

I tested out my gameday outfit 3 days before the game.  I went to the store and bought more.  More clothes, more layers, something, anything to protect me.  Frink saw me freaking out.  He didn't make fun of me.  He simply said "Let me know if you don't want to go.  I need to find someone else to go with me."

I had an out.  But I never took it.  I was terrified but I was going.

So I freaked out.  I added layers and more layers.  I updated my will (because of course I'm going to die).  But I never backed out.

I settled down during the two hour drive.  I was calm during the walk to the stadium.  I was approaching happy as we stood in line.  I was excited by the time we got to our seats just as the ball kicked off.  I screamed.  I cheered my heart out.  I was sad at the end.

But I was never, ever cold.