Monday, August 31, 2015

Swimming As My Exercise of Choice

I want swimming to be my exercise of choice. It's easy on my joints. It can easily be a lifelong exercise option. It feels good. I actually enjoy it. It's total body.

But I can't. Or rather, I haven't figured it out yet. True to my 40x40 list, I jumped in. I bought a one-month pass and I set out to become a svelte, sculpted mermaid. I'm still more like a whale.

I lasted a week. I enjoyed it once I was there. But the effort to get there took work. Change clothes, put on swimsuit, take off swimsuit, put clothes on. That's a lot of dressing/undressing for a girl who dresses in the morning, jammies in the evening, dress again in the morning. That's like two whole steps of dressing/undressing.

Then there was the showering....Shower in the morning, shower before the pool, shower after the pool, shower again in the morning. That's a lot of water wasting during a drought.

Then there was the weight gain. How can one person cut their calories, swim for 45 minutes, and GAIN weight? Waterlogged? Am I like a sponge soaking up the water so that I weigh more?

Anyway, I gave it a shot. And I actually plan to give it more of a shot but I need to figure out the way it works best in my schedule. I know I need to do something and truth be told, no matter what I choose, I'll have excuses. It's about cutting the excuses long enough to let something become an enjoyable habit. Wish me luck (and give me tips if you've incorporated swimming into your routine!).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Transition from Mom to Grandma

I'll be a grandma before I turn 40. I need some cool ideas for a name other than grandma - anything but grandma. I'm way cooler than that! Memaw? Granny? Gma? I guess my granddaughter will decide! Leave your ideas in the comments!!

Marcus and I have always had a strong bond. Sometimes it's felt like me and Marc against the world. For almost 8 years, it was just he and I. Then there was my ex and then there wasn't again. So he's my sidekick. My favorite oldest son. I've done my best and questioned my best and wondered if my best was best enough. I'm still second guessing!

So this next step is filled with mixed emotions. Happiness and a little sadness. Excitement and a little anxiousness. Pride and worry.

He's grown up so much in the last 6 months. Working full time at a decent job with decent pay and full benefits. Making tough decisions - like missing a family vacation to work, buying a reliable car instead of the truck he wants, paying his bills instead of going out. All the things we all have to do as we grow up. As a parent, sometimes we get frustrated with our kids and wonder if they'll ever grow up and be responsible and then one day, they do. I know there will be lots more growing up to do but he's off to a great start and I'm proud of the man he's becoming.

And now today, he begins to move away from home to his first little apartment. It's exciting. I remember my mom helping me. Buying me little things for the kitchen, my first set of towels, giving me her decorations she didn't want anymore - everything to make it feel like home. And now I get to do the same thing. I'm so happy for them.

But I'm on the verge of tears too. He's my baby and he's leaving. Wow, that went really fast. Wasn't I just changing diapers? Waiting for him to say "momma" for the first time?

So now I get to be excited about Sunday dinner at my house. My dad did that when I first moved out and I miss it so much. Now I get to make that tradition. I'll make their favorites and spoil that baby. Now baby can come visit grandma instead of living with grandma.

But now I worry...what if they need me? It's their first child. Do they know what to do? Can I protect them? What if the baby cries and they need an extra set of arms....? what if what if what if. . . by now you should be getting a good idea of the mixed emotions.

The truth is even with my fears, I realize they're unfounded. I'm just a few short blocks away and they're responsible young adults. They'll have growing pains, I'll get the calls asking what to do about this or that, I'll miss them. But this is what's supposed to happen. He should be moving out. They should want their own place. It's all part of the process and I'm so thankful I raised him like I did. My role is changing a bit and I'm pretty excited about this step. I have a feeling they won't be the only ones with a few growing pains. (Is it acceptable to still ask him to check in? Can I still text him a few times a day telling him I love him? How often is too often to tell him I miss him? How do I make sure I'm not "that" mother-in-law?)

Oh, and about that bucket list - I threw Jyni a wonderful baby shower. I took pics but deleted them (dummy!!). It turned out wonderful and she was spoiled with cute pink frilly outfits, lots of diapers, and plenty of blankets. If there's one thing this granny can do - it's throw a party!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

40x40 - Sun, Sand, and Shelton

Mark two off my annual bucket list - Visit a Beach - DONE! and See Blake Shelton in concert - DONE!

Bullard's Beach Lighthouse
I thankfully got tickets to the Cape Blanco Music Festival. A large country music festival held each year at Cape Blanco (duh) which is a gorgeous spot on the Oregon Coast. Located near Bandon and Port Orford, the quaint sea towns offer your usual mix of artsy craftsy stores, plenty of wind and sea air, and lighthouses. It's sort of nostalgic. Maybe a little sad the way our coastal towns seem to be in a bit of disrepair but at the same time beautiful.

I absolutely love the Oregon coast. I can't say that I absolutely LOVE country music. I'm a bit of a rocker myself - Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains are more my speed. But I like all music and can appreciate a good country song.

What makes a good country song, you ask? Well if you ask ME, I'll tell you it's a bit twangy and sounds country. None of this "crossover pop" bs - I like my country to sound like country. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Senior - those guys knew country!

That's Blake right there
What else? Blake Shelton. I do love me some Blake so this year's festival was perfect for me. He's good looking. He's tall. He can sing.

We arrived at Bandon late on Friday and headed to the concert. The traffic was insane. It didn't help that some panhandlers parked by the side of the road playing a fiddle asking for handouts. Smart move for them - about 300 cars stopped to give them money. Bad news for us - it took us 2.5 HOURS to go 17 miles and finally arrive. Grrrrr!!

The bar
After the concert, we headed to Bandon to get some grub. Only bad side to a small coastal town. Every single restaurant, grocery store, and convenience store was closed. No fast food. No late night Denny's. Nothing. Then we spotted a bar connected to a closed Chinese restaurant. They happened to serve food (and whiskey - score one for me!). It was one of those "record-screeches-to-a-stop-and-all-the-locals-
stare" kind of dive bars. It was remarkably clean and I'll say the food was fresh and yummy (I was starving!). The bartender was fun and awesome. It ended up being a great time.

the whiskey

I didn't take pictures but I can assure you there are some great places to eat in Bandon. The Minute Cafe for breakfast was nice and tasty and the Chowder House by the water in downtown had delicious crab/shrimp sandwiches and of course, chowder. Over the weekend, we enjoyed more music, fun with friends, plenty of beer,shopping in some quaint little shops and just some downtime. So glad I can mark this off my list.

Fair Food!

Our view of the stage

Tala, Brian, and Rob at the Beer Garden
My selfie stick came in handy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Annual Bucket List Part 2

Without further adieu, I present part 2 of my annual bucket list:
  • Host a dinner party at home
  • throw a baby shower
  • visit the beach
  • visit a waterfall
  • do more alcohol and ink artwork
  • go to a restaurant I've never been to
  • help Nate make a minecraft video
  • treat myself to a real spa day
  • play a new game with the family
  • go on a hike
  • make cheese at home
  • take a photowalk
  • take a walk every single morning in September
  • plan my 2016 vacation
  • take a family photo with five generations
  • take Nate to a Beavers game
  • wear a cute hat in public
  • fix up my patio
  • wear my doc martens in public on a day that isn't Halloween
  • do an art project with Nate
  • throw my favorite things party
  • go on a zipline 
There you have it folks....let's get doing!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Announcing my 40 x 40 list (well almost half of it anyway)

40 doesn't bother me at all and I think that's why I haven't really thought about it much. Seriously!

My hair is a little grayer - who cares?

My hips are a little wider - who cares? (ok maybe I do a little but that's not a 40 thing, it's a french fry thing)

My smiles has a few lines around it and my eyes have some crow's feet - who cares?

I don't run as fast any more - who cares? (ok, you caught me - I've never run, not even at 20)

I think that's why I wasn't too worried about this year. The only reason I care about 40 is because I really want a fun party with family and friends that I didn't plan. I don't even really care if it's about me - I just want a fun time.

Let me tell you what I AM struggling with. My son growing up. He got married and is having a baby. I'm super excited about it but it's weird to sort of not have a place right now. Like I worry about what he's doing, when he'll be home, whether or not he's going on my vacation with me - random stuff like that. It's just an adjustment period.

Anway, I decided I better do this annual bucket list thing that I've done for the past five years. I mean if I did it for 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39, then why not do it for 40.

So here's the start of my list (thanks to a friend who helped me)

  1. Ride my bike around the rim at Crater Lake National Park (by the way, they have two vehicle free days this year just for this purpose and registration is free!)
  2. Fly a kite
  3. Read a book from every genre 
  4. Learn to make a new dish
  5. Get a grown up coloring book and color the whole thing
  6. Eat a food I've never eaten before
  7. Take a yoga class
  8. make sangria
  9. dye my hair (or at least a part of it) a wild color
  10. Take my own photos and frame them
  11. Apply for a dream job I'm completely unqualified for
  12. Start a makeup club
  13. Incorporate swimming into a exercise routine for a little while
  14. become grandma (this is sort of me cheating..this is going to happen)
  15. Knit a pair of socks
  16. Make three Christmas gifts
  17. See Blake Shelton in concert
  18. Enter at least one item in the fair

Ok readers and friends - I need 22 more! HELP!! remember, cheap, kind of local, and no snakes!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Let's Do It!

Today I realized with a start several things:
  • I miss blogging. It was my outlet. It's been too long.
  • I didn't make a list this year and this is a BIG year. (If you've followed me a while you know I create an annual bucket list. Last year was 39 before 39). 
  • I'm going to be a grandma in September.
  • I turn 40 in December.
  • I'm still fatter than I want to be. 
There you have it folks. So here I am. Here's my list:
  • Start blogging.
  • Make a list (40 before 40 and I only have 4.5 months to do it - send me your ideas ASAP - must be cheap, somewhat local, and not involve snakes)
  • I'll totally rock this Grandma thing - no worries there.
  • Can't stop 40 and truthfully I embrace it. But it leads me to my next thing....
  • I'm not going to turn 40 at this weight. I've lost 120 but it's time to get rid of the rest and do this. 
So, first things me make my list. Read my blog. Cheer me on. Let's do this!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Making My Way Back

Wow, have I really not written since October? To say I've been busy would be true. But not any busier than usual. I've just felt like I didn't know what to write. I enjoy blogging but truly, is it fun if no one is reading? I know people who blog as a way to journal. It's true that it serves that purpose but to put your thoughts and ramblings out to the universe, well, there has to be a different purpose. 

Since I started this blog, I've been all over the map. I've posted pieces of my divorce. I needed an outlet - one that didn't make my friends pick sides or involve my kids. I've written about my weight loss struggles and my weight loss successes. I shared my moments of self loathing and the moments I've celebrated the way I look. All in all, I think I've shared things for me but also in hopes that maybe someone will read something I've written that resonates. 

With that being said, I'm working through what this year's blog focus will be. Let's start at the beginning. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that in December I post my annual Bucket List. It's x number of things to do before my x birthday. Last year was 39 before 39. I didn't do so well. Here's my list and a recap:
  1. Receive my certificate in web design - DONE! Now I decided to finish up my degree in Business Management. 
  2. Try standup paddleboarding - I thought about it more than once. I even almost signed up for a class. But the water was filled with icky algae and it smelled bad and I decided this could wait. 
  3. Climb Mt. McLoughlin - This has been on my list for three years. Maybe climbing Mt. McLoughlin just isn't important to me. 
  4. Create a website - Yep, did it. Woo hoo
  5. Be on stage - Did this too. 
  6. Sew a skirt or dress with fabric I love - loved the fabric but I'm no seamstress. 
  7. Save $2000 - yeaaaaahhhh right?? Nope. 
  8. Visit Cheya - Yep!
  9. Cross a finish line - I did do this. The kids and I participated in the Ugly Sweater Run. I walked but my youngest son ran the whole thing!! Way to go!
  10. Get a tattoo
  11. Dance (outside my house, somewhere besides my kitchen)
  12. Conquer a fear - I'm not sure if I did this or not. I'm still afraid of snakes which is the big one. But I'm no longer afraid my son won't make it to 18 (c'mon as a mom, you know you've wondered if you're kids will live if they roll their eyes one more time).  Let's mark this one done. haha
  13. Start my memoir - Why did I pick this one? Am I really this important and do I like to write that much? 
  14. Hike Stuart Falls trail - I actually did try this one. I ended up at Crater Lake hiking instead. I couldn't find it. Perhaps it's a sign that hiking isn't for me. 
  15. Be able to hold plank for 2 minutes - hahahahaha, um, no. 
  16. Learn to love my body - It started as acceptance but you know what, this body can do things!
  17. Be able to do 20 proper pushups- hahaha, again, um no. I don't even think I ever actually tried one. 
  18. Be a bridesmaid in a beautiful wedding
  19. Sleep under the stars
  20. Complete six passport nights - I cooked a lot but I didn't actually accomplish this. 
  21. Master three yoga poses (mountain, Warrior 1, and bridge) - Same as with pushups and plank. Didn't even try. 
  22. Ride my bike to work. Nope. I couldn't pick a day when I wanted to be smelly and look like I'd been run over. 
  23. Start a regular weight training regime - Well, sort of. I started it. I did it regularly for a week. It counts - I didn't say how long. 
  24. go camping - So fun!!
  25. take a fashion risk - I actually did a few of these! I did a 30 day closet challenge where I attempted to not wear the same outfit twice in 30 days. I did it. I wore leopard (halfway through the day decided not for me). I wore booties with rolled up jeans (something I thought i'd hate but I loved). I wore cute short skirts with sweater leggings. 
  26. get my passport - nope
  27. take the kids on a vacation
  28. Visit Lassen Park - nope but I did go to Burney Falls which is close!!
  29. Go to a play in Ashland - nope. 
  30. Decorate my bedroom
  31. Teach my kids to cook - I did accomplish this. Marcus regularly makes steak and other stuff while Nate has mastered mac and cheese!
  32. Take a weekend trip without the kids and cut loose - apparently I've forgotten how to cut loose. 
  33. Kiss in the rain - Yes, I think. I can't remember exactly. I think it was more of a drizzle. 
  34. Plan and save for Marc's graduation trip - welllllll, this is another story. Let's make it to graduation and then we'll go from there. 
  35. Buy a swimsuit and wear it - Done! 
  36. Do something awesome for Marc's 18th bday
  37. Go to Reno for the Santa Pub Crawl in December - nope. again, not sure I remember how to cut loose!
  38. Go to my 20 year class reunion
  39. Go to Chozu Gardens in Ashland - I read some reviews and eh, I think this is coming off. 
So, I accomplished some. Didn't accomplish others. And I've not decided what to do this year. 

I'll be 40 in December. It feels like I should really do something grand but I can't decide what. So.....leave me a comment and help me decide what I should do in 2015 to celebrate the big 4-0......