Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Last Post on Confessions of a Gym Mama.

So much has changed in the last year. So many welcome-backs, goodbyes, and just, well, changes. Confessions of a Gym Mama was started a long time ago, when I was at a much different point in my life and it just doesn't fit me anymore. It's like that shoe that you love that you hang onto, because once it did fit and you remember how much fun it was to wear it....but now the sole is coming off and it's just not's just not your style anymore.

And you know what? That's okay.

Change happens a lot in life and sometimes even blogs come to an end.

Oh, I'm still going to blog and you're welcome to join me, but it just doesn't feel right to keep blogging here when I don't feel anything like the person I was when I started it.

A dear friend once told me that sometimes great things change (and sometimes even end) even if you never see it coming or don't particularly want them to. Those were wise words and I think about them often. I'm a bit sad this is the end for Confessions, but it's really okay.

Please come see me at my new blog, One Great Mom (yes, I finally am blogging there, can you believe it?!). You're all welcome and I hope you'll stop in and say hello.

Thank you for being with me during the last few years. I love you all and miss you and am so thankful for our time together here. Now, let's go grab a cup of coffee and chat at my new place. Won't you join me?



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life Has Been Okay.

Our foster dog, Hope, was adopted this weekend. It was bittersweet. The house seems empty and quiet - despite the three kids, 2 adults and Will. Hubs keeps telling me to stop looking at the dogs and cats available for adoption/fostering at the shelter, but it's hard. Fostering is, I'm afraid, rather addicting. Time to nip that in the bud, right?

Besides Hope's adoption, son #1's birthday was last week and son #2's birthday is this week. Little Miss' birthday is in 3 weeks. I am a poster child for poor planning. Three birthdays less than eight weeks before Christmas. Crazy. Between Halloween candy, cake, ice cream, Thanksgiving, more cake, ice cream, and Christmas cookies....weight loss doesn't stand a chance.

The other day we stopped at an open house for a new development that is being built near us and that we've driven by I don't even know how many times. It was fascinating to see the kids' reaction to the homes and made us dream of moving. I'd never move into those particular homes - no yard, townhouses, etc. - but they were beautiful nonetheless. It was fun to dream. Hubs and I used to go to open houses at new communities almost every weekend when we lived in Arizona. There were so many communities springing up that we had years of exploring and visiting. I didn't realize how much I missed doing that until we stopped the other day. Free entertainment and, now that we know the kids love doing it too, something that we will have to do more of - just for fun.

Life has been okay. It really has.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

RIP Sweet Snickers

Snickers, our other kitty, passed away this week. It was exactly 40 days since his brother died that he died, and while very saddened, I am happy that they're back together. They were never apart and Snickers missed Skittles dearly. As with Skittles, we sensed that he was fading and on his last night I sat on my porch rocker with him on my lap, wrapped snugly in a soft blanket, and just rocked softly until 2 in the morning. He died the next afternoon. Sigh.

The loss of 3 longtime pets in 3 months is, for lack of a better word, heartbreaking.

Little Miss has it now in her head that if someone or something stops eating that means they are dying. So, when hubs and I were talking about Hope not being hungry, she quickly became fearful and asked if Hope was dying too. Bleh.

So much change. So much loss this year. I have to say that I cannot wait for 2012. I have truly had enough of 2011.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Challenge.

Hubs and I were talking the other night and the topic of weight came up. Well, more accurately, our mutual desire to lose it. He has lost quite a bit in the last few months and has done great. I've hovered within the same ten pounds since mid-December and, really, it's time to get out of them and down to a lighter number.

So, we have a challenge going. The goal is to each lose 20 pounds and while we have the same time frame to lose it, I am slightly concerned that I tend to plateau very quickly. Of course, I also tend to eat chocolate, so that might explain it. HOWEVER, this is a challenge I simply MUST NOT lose!

Know why?

Because if I lose (not happening!), I have to do laundry - wash and fold - for EVERYONE, ALONE for SIX MONTHS! You all know how much I love laundry. Laundry, to me, is like a splinter embedded in my EYE. And there is no WAY I want a splinter embedded in my eye for SIX MONTHS!

So, I have from now until New Years' to lose 20 lbs. That's 12 weeks away....about 2 pounds a week.

Someone please hide the sweets. Quickly!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Intervention, Support, Mid-Terms, and Driving.

In order to get our oldest the reading help that he needs, we decided to enroll the boys in a virtual charter school this year. It's a public school, funded by the state, and the lessons are online. I am considered the "Home Facilitator" or "Home Dictator" as the boys might say.

It's an interesting switch from being completely responsible for planning and implementing lessons, as now I implement only. And implement I do. The first month was challenging. Getting into the routine of it and finally figuring out what exactly had to be completed and by when was the most challenging.

The oldest now receives the exact same reading specialist support as he did when we were paying for it (the school uses the same curriculum) and his tutor meets with him in-person once a week. For a virtual school, this is, well, virtually unheard of. He has one lesson with her at the office and one lesson online via a chat room where he's got a headset and camera. It's quite a sight I must say.

He also receives Resource support, which, is basically, a resource room teacher who spends at least an hour a week helping him with anything he needs help with. She's been focusing on spelling and writing, because those are two weak areas for him. And if that's not amazing enough in terms of support, he has also qualified for math support. So, starting in a week, he'll be receiving an hour of private math instruction in addition to all of the other support. Crazy amazing!

The best part of all of it was when we checked both boys' mid-term grades today. All A's for both of them. And they've earned it. They've been working hard and have figured out that the more they argue and fuss, the longer it takes to finish school. The longer it takes to finish, the less time they have to go play with their friends. The power of the play incentive.

And what's Little Miss doing during all of this? She's got her own little routine of practicing her letters, writing words that interest her (the new favorite is "star") and copying my phone number down repeatedly. She also plays "library" and has a scanner that she uses to "check the books out" for her imaginary friend and constant companion, Braida. She's my mini-me except that she kicks my butt at Mario Kart every time. Crazy.

And that is a day in the life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Ah, yes, focus. That elusive word that has been just out of reach for many months now returned today with a vengeance.

I took full advantage of the fact that our awesome babysitter was here during the afternoon and went to Starbucks with laptop in hand. With a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate next to me and my long-lost friend, Focus, I managed to get done a slew of work. So much so, that I am actually, for the first time in I can't remember how long, curled up on the sofa watching tv in my pajamas and fuzzy socks before 8pm. Really. Amazing, huh?

Sometimes when life kicks you in the teeth and people try to add salt to wounds with hurtful words, you somehow manage to survive. Another amazing thing.

Oh, and I read three great things is that we are all broken in some way. Very true. We all have our scars and nicks and bruises and broken pieces. The other was that we can't fix other people no matter how much we want to. They have to heal. That's hard to remember when so many of us are used to trying to fix things. And the third thing was that you can't let someone who is broken make you more broken. I think we tend to let that happen a lot. We try to fix someone because we genuinely care and somehow we forget to guard ourselves from being more broken. Food for thought.

Overall though, a good day. And I must admit, it's so nice to have had Focus with me today. I've missed it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Bit.

Sometimes even the things that we love can hurt us. And so we are left with choices. Choices to stay, to go, to pretend all is okay, to work through things, or to give them wings and wish them happiness, but knowing we can't provide it for one reason or another.

I've had to make a lot of choices this year. Ones I never anticipated making. Ever. And none of them were easy. In fact, I would say all of them hurt to varying degrees and all of them have left scars.

Dreams were dashed, because of choices made by others and hope was rekindled at the same time.

A friend told me to hold on to every moment, because life changes rapidly. It does. Especially when you have different plans or ideas about what will happen than what comes to fruition. Sometimes happiness means just simply accepting what your life is and enjoying THOSE moments instead of looking for more. Because odds are it's the "more" that changes more frequently than anything else and breaks your heart.

Getting grounded again. Breathing on my own. Standing on my own two feet. That's where I'm at. A little bit stronger for sticking up for myself. A little bit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And We Lose Another One.

When Dan and I first moved to Arizona, we lived in a ground floor, corner apartment with three windows, a loud truck that parked outside our bedroom window at 6am every morning, and a spring door stopper on the bedroom door. That spring door stopper would become the favorite toy of two cats that we adopted from a shelter a few months after. They'd reach under the door and hit the stopper at 3am so we would wake to hearing "doooing" echoing throughout the room.
Skittles and Snickers. They were part of the "Candy Family" at the shelter and Skittles was, by far, the more outgoing one. Always looking for a snuggle, always looking to play, and always protective of his brother. In fact, we had no intention of getting two cats, but the shelter said they really wanted the two to stay together and we had fallen in love with Skittles instantly.

When Kato, our 130lb. german shep/lab mix, died in July, Skittles never quite recovered. His depression was immediate and he started hiding out in the bathroom, behind the curtain on the window. He rarely went downstairs and stopped eating. We knew he wasn't going to be around for much longer, but when we awoke to find he had passed during the night, it was still crushing.

Two beloved pets gone in a matter of two months. Snickers, I fear, will not last long without his brother. And that is a day I dread.

Miss you, sweet Skittles...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thank You.

A special thank you to Anonymous Aunt who emailed me this afternoon with love and encouragement. You are loved and appreciated. =)

And I'm glad you're still reading.

Lyrics. A Refresher.

Some lyrics for you today....I've shared the song before....almost a year ago ironic.

Get Back Up Again
by TobyMac

You turned away when I looked you in the eye
And hesitated when I asked if you were all right
Seems like you're fighting for your life,
But why, oh why.
Wide awake in the middle of your nightmare
You saw it coming but it hit you out of nowhere
And there's always scars
When you fall that far.

We lose our way, we get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again
One day, you're gonna shine again
You may be knocked down, but you're not out forever
We lose our way, we get back up again
So get up, get up again
You're gonna shine again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever

You rolled out at the dawning of the day,
Heart racing as you made your little getaway
It feels like you've been running all your life,
But why, oh why
So you, pull away from the love that would have been there
And start believing that your situation's unfair
Well there's always scars when you fall that far

We lose our way, we get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again
One day, you're gonna shine again
You may be knocked down, but you're not out forever
We lose our way, we get back up again
So get up, get up again
You're gonna shine again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever

This is love calling, this is love calling
Out to the broken, This is love calling
This is love calling, this is love calling
Out to the broken, This is love calling
This is love calling, this is love calling
I am so broken, this is love calling

We lose our way
We get back up again
It's never too late
You may be knocked down
But you're not out forever

This is love calling, this is love calling
Out to the broken, This is love calling
This is love calling, this is love calling
Out to the broken, This is love calling
This is love calling, this is love calling
Out to the broken, this is love calling

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I've lost my way and am not quite sure who I am anymore.

Has it ever happened to you? It's not a good feeling.

I was listening to Shania Twain's new single, "Today Is Your Day" and there's a line in there that goes:

And life's gonna kick you around, and then kick you again when you're down.

Yep, that about sums it up.

I'm really ready to stop being kicked.

Friday, July 29, 2011

*Warning: This is NOT going to be a happy post.*

This summer has sucked. Actually, the last three months have sucked. All three of them.

There, I said it. Complete with a cuss word and a semi-disgusted look on my face that you, thankfully, cannot see.

Issues abound and to top it off, this week we had to put Kato, my beloved pony dog, to sleep. If ever there was a constant, true companion, it was that dog. And he was mine. And now he's gone. That's my life lately.

Sunday is the one year anniversary of Frances' death, Dan goes back to work on Monday, and the days of trying to cram 60 hours of work into a quarter of that time are coming back. 2am, I shall soon see you again, my friend.

I know, it's the way I look at things, it's my attitude that determines how sucky life feels. But you know what? At this moment, I'm not feeling it. I'm feeling more into the "crawl-in-bed-and-cry" option. Or the "kick-someone's-fanny" option. Honestly, both look appealing right now.

I'm mad, I'm hurt, I'm lonely, I'm frustrated, I'm freakin' exhausted, I'm overwhelmed, and I'm sad. Don't worry, there's no need to call in the anti-depressant prescription.....just give me a watermelon martini and I'll be fine.

So, how's it feel to have my first blog back from my month long hiatus be a ramble of frustration? It feels honest, a bit scary, and, well, much needed.

Tomorrow I'll play nice and be cheerful for you, but for's raw.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Disney, Checking In, and Blogging - The Trifecta of Perfectness

I got an email today from Disney's Parent Pulse group that I had signed up with some time ago. It's a way for them to get to know about the on-trend things that are happening in the parenting world...I think. Well, today, the survey asked about my blogging habits and if I used a "check-in" service.

As anyone who knows me can attest to, telling random strangers where I am right away is not my favorite thing to do. In fact, if I'm somewhere I'll actually wait until I get home to tweet about it. I have a thing about advertising my home being unoccupied and my whereabouts. Why? Because it's not safe! Hello! Nothing like telling a burglar that he can come rob my house, because I'm at the zoo with the kids.

Then the blogging question. Ah, that's tricky. As most of you know, I blog every single day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Sometimes two or three times a day and, during certain weeks, four times a day. The tricky part is that it's not here. It's on the blog I run for work. I'm a writing fool, I tell you. And it's sometimes exhausting, but I love it.

Anyway, I digress. On this Disney survey I did a most uncharacteristic thing. I put down the url's of BOTH blogs....this one AND work. Oy! The secret of my secret blogging life is out and I have now let Disney in on the fact that I am a, gasp!, corporate blogger.

Who knows....maybe Disney needs a new corporate blogger themselves? Hello, Disney rep! I would love to blog for you! I'll blog remotely, or if need be, I would sacrifice myself and blog and tweet while at your theme parks! Consider me a living "Flat Stanley"....or nowhere near flat Gym Mama....the choice is yours. And yes, for you, I'll "check-in".

Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome Wisteria.

The Wisteria is in bloom. It's always a happy day when I see the first bunches of purple flowers peeking through the green leaves. This year, they are as magnificent as ever.

The vine is old...almost 100 years old, but still, each year it bursts forth with these glorious blooms. No matter how much it gets chopped back by my clipper wielding husband, each spring it comes back to life. In the winter, it looks dried up and as if, surely, there is no way it could bloom again. I see it and think, ah, the poor thing has finally given up.

Yet it proves me wrong year after year.

This winter has been the same for me in a lot of ways. Some of the darkest days when I thought that I would never quite see the sunshine again have given way to the warmth of spring. And although things are not what they were before, beauty and grace can still emerge in different ways.

Check out the flickr pictures to the right to see photos of the Wisteria that I took this morning. Isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unusual Victory.

As a mom of a child with dyslexia, victories are measured in different ways. It's not so much the victory of spelling the word "like" correctly in his writing or the ability to read a chapter book all by himself, it's a lot deeper. It's his consistent desire to try and his initiative to attempt to read and write that amazes me. That is the real victory.

We had a Psycho-Ed Evaluation done on him in early February. We go back for the results on Friday, and I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous. As a homeschooling mom, the pressure is intense. Not only is there a bias against homeschooling in general, but combine that with a child who is reading way below grade level because his brain processes things differently and you end up being a bundle of nerves. Whatever interventions they suggest, we'll get them. Even if I have to take on a dozen different jobs to fund them, we'll get them.

For tonight, I'm basking in the glow of a simple note he just brought into me (even though he is supposed to be sleeping!). A note that he wrote by himself, of his own initiative, to me.

Victory is truly in the perseverance.