Saturday, November 27, 2010

11 for 2011

If the Christmas decorations can come out at Target before Halloween is over, then the end of November isn't too early for me to start setting out my personal goals for 2011. I think 11 for 2011 is a good start. Here is my list - what's on your list? What do you want to do, change, accomplish, learn or appreciate in the coming year?

1. Ultimate Road Trip!
A late night discussion with my husband regarding the new TSA invasive searches led to a proclamation that we were not going to fly for our next vacation, which led to a full blown road trip plan. We're going to take about 11 days in May to go West.  We're going to see state parks and national monuments.  We're going to stop when we feel like it, and stay wherever we decide.  Some nights we'll camp, some nights we'll stay in motels, and some nights we may just keep driving.  I have high hopes that the road trip will become a yearly family tradition.

2. No Fast Food. Except ice cream. And coffee.
Even though I'm not a huge fast food eater, this is a pretty big one.  2011 is going to be my year of no fast food at all. No McDonald's fries, no Arby's roast beef, not even a little Culver's butter burger. (But no one, no one is taking away my frozen custard or McD's coffee. Not this year, at least.)

3. I'm going to be less of a consumer.
I buy too much stuff. I have a house full of stuff that I don't need, stuff that just sits there and gets looked at on occasion and provides hiding spaces for the dust bunnies. There's not much in the world that I do need, and what I need I already have. I'm going to put an end to my $100.00 trips to Target and my spur of the moment eBay buys. My life is full; I do not need more stuff.

4. That canoe is hitting the water, baby.
We bought a beautiful, beautiful canoe and I'll be damned if we're going to be one of those families whose canoes hang in the garage and see no action. Our big red is going to see the Dells with us, and we are going to have a great time.
Yes, that's a Leinenkugel's canoe.  Everything in Wisconsin really is beer-related.

5. I'm joining a book club.
Okay, so this one isn't quite as adventurous as some, but I've wanted to be in a book club for awhile now so I joined one with my women lawyers group.  I read a lot on my own, but I tend to stick to nonfiction, so it is time to branch out.  I'm really looking forward to getting into our first read.

6. 13.1, baby!  The Half Marathon
If you had said to my 2009 self that I'd be talking about a half marathon in 2011, my 2009 self would have laughed really hard and choked on a donut. But my late 2010 self can see it in my future, and I want to start making strides towards that goal. I can do it. I've come so far with my fitness since August and I have no intention of stopping now.  I have a half marathon in my sights at the end of October.

7. Camping, camping, camping. And when we're done, more camping.
I love camping. I love the packing, the planning, the driving.  I love setting up camp.  I love exploring our campground and mastering the campfire.  I love tucking into my sleeping bag and falling asleep hard because my day has been so full of the outdoors.  And now that Jack is a little bigger, I can see doing much more camping this year.

8.  I want to climb a big, fake rock.
I'd really like to try my hand at rock climbing, but I realize that's probably a pretty lofty goal.  Instead, I want to try rock climbing at one of those indoor rock climbing arenas.  There is one just a few miles from our house, and since you can try faux-rock climbing with a minimal time and financial investment, I'm going to have to settle for this right now.  It is definitely on my list for 2011.

9.  I want to visit five state parks I've never seen before.
Ask me how fantastic our state park system is, and I could talk for an hour.  I have early memories of my mom trekking us to various state parks to buy our annual park pass so we could picnic, hike, swim, and just enjoy nature on a moment's notice.  I tend to stick to just two parks in particular, but Wisconsin has 66 state parks, and the least I can do is check out some of the others.  My list for this year is going to be the subject of a future blog entry.

10.  I'm going to become a better cook.
My 2007 self would never have believed that my 2010 self loved to cook.  This year I've tried so many new things, some awesome and some awful, but nothing is gained if nothing is ventured, so I want to keep trying new things.  And I want a lot of what we eat to come right from our garden again.  I like knowing that our food is pesticide free, grown efficiently and in an earth-friendly way.  2011 is going to be the year of much home cooking, and much bounty from the garden.

11.  I'm going to be sure to tell the people I love that I love them, every day.  
 Or maybe even more.  Warren Zevon advised us that we should enjoy every sandwich, and I think the man was absolutely right.  The only given in life is that the moments we are experiencing right now will be gone tomorrow.  I'm not going to let the little things bother me because they are just that:  little.  Instead, I'm going to focus on what is important - the people I love.  Every day I am going to let them know how much they mean to me.  Extra cuddles for Jack.  Extra kisses for Dan.  Extra calls to my Mom.  Extra emails to my sister.  All of that.

Guys?  I'm excited for 2011.  It is going to be a great year.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Prayers, prayers, prayers. And more prayers.

When I logged on to my Twitter account this morning, I saw the feed filled with requests for thoughts and prayers for one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny of What the Blog? After struggling with and blogging about infertility, Jenny became pregnant. With triplets. Clearly, she wasn't going to have an easy pregnancy, and she certainly had her share of scares right from the beginning. Today's Twitter messages had a lot more urgency, though: her water had broken and the triplets were being delivered today, at 28 weeks gestation (triplets are considered "full term" at 32 weeks). A few hours went by, and then finally a triumphant update: "Happy birthday to Tobias, Eleanor & Callista!" and later, "We have 3 beautiful babies with dark hair & good grips. They all squeezed my finger."

Thank you, God. Obviously, they aren't out of the woods yet and the journey before them is filled with a lot of uncertainty. But right now, things look good. Prayers, prayers, prayers for those three tiny babies.

And later this morning, another Mom-blogger had an announcement. Sam's mom announced that Sam was cleared for admission for his first stem cell transplant. His hospitalization will last from four to six weeks, and he'll be undergoing chemotherapy, transfusions, and all kinds of other things that no little boy should even know about, much less endure. His first birthday will be spent in the hospital. His mom's perspective on it all is beautiful: while Sam may not feel up to opening gifts or having cake, this treatment will allow him to have many, many more birthdays. Healthy birthdays. God bless you, Sartin family. I don't think you have any idea how inspiring you all are. We're praying for you too.

Now excuse me, I need to go hug my little boy. Moms, dads, feel free to take a moment to hug your kids too. Whatever else you are doing now will wait for you to come back.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Couch to 5K Program Update

Back in August I announced my plan to start the Couch to 5K running program, which is a program designed to help the non-runner get active and get running. I had my doubts about my ability and desire to stick with the program, but by posting about it on my blog I thought maybe that would give me some accountability.

I no longer hate these.

I'm pleased to say that I am now a Couch to 5K graduate. I ran 5K (3.1 miles) last week, and I didn't want to die when I was done. I wanted to stop running and get a shower, but I felt good. Good. I'm signed up for my first actual 5K run this Saturday and I couldn't be more excited.  After I have a few solid weeks of consistent 5K runs under my belt, I'm going to begin the Bridge to 10K program.  I never would have guessed that I'd fall this hard for something like running.

And the very best part?  I figured with all of the work I've been doing, I'd be losing some weight.  Apparently not - I'm still the same weight today as I was in August.  But today I slipped on a pair of pants I haven't worn in over 2 years.  When I tried them on in August, they didn't get past my hips.  Today, they are comfy.  That alone has made every minute on that treadmill worth the effort.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

More reasons that Jack will grow to hate mommy.

Exhibit A: The headband.

Before child protective services gets called, please know that we don't take him out of the house in my sparkly teal Richard Simmons headband. It was purely for fun at the house. But he sure does look happy in it...perhaps there are some legwarmers in his future?  (Hey, if my son wants to be a rich, famous, and ridiculously sweet workout guru someday, I won't be holding him back).

Jack, you look fabulous honey.  Embrace it!

Exhibit B: The elf outfit.

That's right.  The holidays are coming, and little man needed an outfit for the occasion.  Friends and family, you will be seeing this gracing our holiday cards this year no doubt.  Hee.

It really is a darling outfit.  If Awkward Family Photos still exists twenty years from now, expect to see Jack's photo there. 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So, Jenn, how was your vacation?

Last week, our little family packed up and visited family in Southern California for a whole week. We planned lots of fun in the sun, some quality family time, a little shopping, and even a trip to Knott's Berry Farm.

And then Monday happened. The night before we were to leave, I got very, very sick. Like, projectile vomiting sick. I don't actually know how I made it home from work, but I do remember staggering into the house and crawling into bed. But I was determined to be okay so we could get on the plane at 7:30 the next morning.

And we did.

How did that go? Imagine spending the night sick, shivering and vomiting, wishing for either death or sleep but finding neither. Then imagine getting up at 5:00 the next morning, gripped with the aches and pains of a particularly bad flu but also the soreness of no sleep, only to have to to finish packing, getting your ten month old baby ready for the trip, and hauling yourself to the airport. Imagine carting said infant through the airport while heavily laden with a diaper bag backpack which you know only weighs a few pounds but in your illness-altered state feels like it contains a piano, a few anvils and the Tokyo sumo team. Then imagine a four hour plane ride with said infant, hyper, excited, and on your lap. Four hours is a long time to repeat the phrase "I won't throw up, I won't throw up" over and over again in your head. And then, just as a little coup de grĂ¢ce, imagine your delightful little infant having a particularly explosive and leaky poo on the plane, which poo managed to not only coat the baby, but even managed to find its way onto your nice new pair of jeans. Awesome.

Clearly, I was being punished for something huge on a karmic level. That was the most miserable day in recent memory. I wouldn't wish that sickness on anyone, except that apparently I didn't have a choice in the matter: As I recovered from the barfing death flu, my husband got sick. And then his mom got sick. And before long, the entire extended family and even our host was sick. I'm so sorry, guys. I bet you won't want to see us again for awhile.

By Friday we were all well, just in time to end our vacation and come home.

So, how was our vacation? I don't want to talk about it.