A Very Unflattering Title

June 30, 2011

Jared says I'm a cougar. I can't decide whether or not I agree with him on this very serious and alarming accusation. Please allow me to set the scene...

Two Sundays ago, Jared and I were sitting in church. More specifically, we were sitting behind three Mormon missionaries. Two are assigned to our congregation, and one was visiting our branch on some very important and official missionary business--possibly enforcing the short haircut protocol.

The visitor had been at our house the night before, picking up dinner, and what can I say? The kid caught my eye. Twenty-one years old, a strapping young man who likes to compete in rodeos.

Be still my soul.

On Sunday morning we slipped into church a few minutes late. I settled my kids into the pew, picked my nose a little bit (an incognito nose pick is one of my many talents), looked up and BLAM-O! I was staring straight into the back of the head of that fine, young, bushy-haired cowboy.

Without thinking I turned toward Jared, pressed my lips on his ear and said, pointing toward the figure up ahead, "I'd totally hit that!"

Jared said, "That?"

I non-nonchalantly nodded, confirming his inquiry. "That."

Jared, never having been a man of jealousy replied, "Of course you would, he's a cowboy."

That man of mine, I swear he knows me better than I know myself. (Now if he's buy a friggin' cowboy suit, we could really kick it up a notch.)

Three hours later, on the drive home, Jared placed is hand on my thigh and said, "You know you're a cougar, right?"

"Well I never! Me? A cougar? I'm not old enough to be a cougar! That's ridiculous and VERY offensive, Jared!"

According to Jared, once a woman hits thirty, she becomes eligible for the cougar title. Is he right?

Oh damn, I'm really afraid that he's right.

(ATTN MORMONS: I'm hoping this post gets Jared off the hook for his new calling, because it's not a calling that should ever be occurring in this household.)

P90X, Couch to 5k, and a Little Bit of Winning

June 28, 2011

If you think working out is boring, then prepare to absolutely hate this post. Or skip it.

I kind of don't want to write this down for fear of cursing myself, but so far so good with the P90X. My workout partner did slightly vomit during a plyometrics session, but hey, that just means she's doing it right. Right? No, really, isn't that a badge of honor or something?

Let me just tell you that this girl is reeeediculous. One minute we're doing double frog squats, the next minute she's retching up her snack in the master bathroom, and the next minute she's back on the floor doing a one minute set of military marches with impeccable form.

I was like, "Dude! You're AN ANIMAL!!!!" And then we high fived. When it comes to this crap, we kind of make a perfect match.

I'm on day seven of the program, and you know what I've learned about myself so far? When things get hard, and I'm pushing far beyond my physical limits (push ups, pull ups, crazy ass jump-turn things), I default to making fart noises with my mouth. Most people grunt, I make long drawn out toot sounds.

After careful evaluation of my last two marathons, I've decided that this was the problem--not enough mouth farts when the going got tough. Live and learn I suppose.

5k Training Program
Welp, I started coaching my Couch to 5k group on Saturday, and so far so good. Thanks to a newspaper article that ran on Thursday, our registration numbers doubled between Thursday and Saturday. In other words, on Thursday morning I had sixteen people signed up and by Saturday morning I got to take THIRTY TWO PEOPLE ON A RUN!

Just call me a pig in the mud! Seriously, me and my whistle? We were in heaven.

I've gotten four more registrations this week, so we're up to thirty-six. Honestly, I get all goose-bumpy just thinking about it. I freaking love this.

My friend Seth, is a professional shoe fitter at Maine Running Company, and he was awesome enough to come evaluate every one's stride and custom fit them for a pair of shoes after our workout. I hope he makes a million sales and can take his wife and kid on an expensive tropical vacation. These runners were hanging on his every word, just thrilled to have his advice and feedback.

Yesterday, when I brought James to rec basketball in the morning, I saw two of my runners doing their midweek workout at the local school track. Honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, my heart skipped a beat. Like I said, I love love love doing this.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but the 5k group is meeting every week at Jared's office. He's worked so incredibly hard to turn that space from an empty store front to a thriving profitable practice, so when I walked from the reception area to the treatment area, and saw it packed tight with thirty-two people, I had to fight back tears. Slowly but surely he's becoming the go-to guy for treating sports injuries in central Maine. He makes me really proud.

A Little Bit of Winning
Seth and I met up again on Sunday and ran a half-marathon relay. He did 6.8ish, and I covered 6.3ish. We both seem to suck with our Garmins, so the distance and pace specifics really are a mystery. All I know is that he came blazing into the hand off area, way in the lead, running something under a six minute mile pace.

I ran my leg with Maggie in the stroller, so it wasn't my fastest 10k(ish) time, but it wasn't embarrassing either. I maintained something between 7:30 and 7:40, and it was enough for the overall relay win in our happy little hometown race. Thank goodness, because I've needed a taste of running success.

Jared stretching out a runner after the race...he volunteers every year.

Some people from my running club...

I'm pretty sure Maggie counts now that she's done her first race! Oh, and see those pottery mug things I'm holding? We won those instead of trophies--espeically awesome for drinking whiskey.

I've had quite a bit of failure in a lot of areas of my life lately. I think I might be rounding the corner. Actually, I'm just gonna assume that I am.

You're Cordially Invited to Touch my Butt in 90 Days

June 21, 2011

This is my next door neighbor. Her name is Kim, and she really is that cute. 

Two weeks ago I ran into Kim at the end of our cul-de-sac. It was a random Tuesday night, and I kid you not, the girl was wearing a bedazzled halter top, perfectly pressed trouser jeans, and some kind of shoes that weren't Crocs.

"Damn Kim! Check you out," I said. "Where'd you just come from?"

She looked at me like I thirteen heads wearing thirteen really ugly hats. "Huh?"

"You're wearing a bedazzled halter top," I stammered. "People don't just wear strapless bras for nothing. There's something fancy going on, right?"

She shook her head apologetically, because no, she wasn't on her way home from a photo shoot. She wasn't on her way to a trendy restaurant that I've never heard about either. Apparently, the girl just wears embellished clothing (and footwear) on random weekdays.

Me on the other hand? Well I wear sh!t out of the Goodwill bag...because I hate doing laundry....more than I hate wearing ill-fitting neon t-shirts from the mid-1990s.

This past Saturday Kim left a message on my phone saying something to the effect of:

I'm driving down the highway, and my thighs won't stop jiggling.
We really need to do P90x or something...

Cut to me, yesterday, meeting up with an incredibly sketchy guy, in an incredibly sketchy parking lot, buying the entire set (of DVDs, not VHS tapes--I'm not that lame):

And I don't even think it's pirated.

You all know I've had some unique encounters thanks to craigslist, but I've got to say, craigslisting that involves the purchase of exercise equipment is my absolute freaking favorite.

My first used treadmill purchase is documented in this book. Let's just say that Jared decided to give that treadmill a test drive and ended up doing a seriously intense speed workout in a friendly stranger's living room.

My second used treadmill purchase involves a woman doing a little bit of fake crying, going, "Oh no! My treadmill! This is so sad. I don't know what I'll do without it. This is the worst part of moving..." I took the circa 2006 treadmill home, ran the diagnostics, and guess what? 39 miles/17 hours of use. Total.

This time, they guy "couldn't use P90x because when [he] ordered it, [he] forgot [he] lived in a second floor apartment, and that it would bother the downstairs neighbors." Now that's an excuse I actually believe, because sometimes, when I let the grass grow all the way up to my knees, I forget that it bothers my neighbors, too. Dude, say no more.

I did the P90x plyometrix workout last night, and I'm already trying to think up a good excuse for when I unload this thing on craigslist. "It made me cry too much," sounds way too dumb. Don't you think?

In spite of the pain, I'm trying to stay positive over here. So, if you're one of the fortunate ones, I'll let you touch my butt in 90 days. For free. How does that sound?

Mixed Up

June 16, 2011

I'm completely overwhelmed by summer vacation, and it's only day two.

This whole fear-of-summer thing is absolutely asinine for so many reasons:

1) I only have two kids.
2) The two kids go to daycare two times a week.
3) James was only in school half days, from 11:45 until 2:45.
4) I really don't even want to admit this one, but Jared is home on Fridays. He works on Saturdays instead.
5) We live one tenth of a mile from a beautiful, clean lake, and my in-laws live in town and have a pool that looks like it should be at Sandals Resort.

So really, I have one additional kid, for nine additional hours every week, and three of those hours, my husband's around. That sounds easy, doesn't it? It should be, it really should be.

But honestly? The older my kids get, the more overwhelmed I'm starting to feel with this whole motherhood thing. It used to feel so simple and natural to me, now it's just so different.

When James was smaller, he was easy, easy, easy. Then we had a nice, big four and a half year age gap and had another sweet, beautiful, (not easy), baby girl who I wouldn't trade for the entire world. Now as a toddler, with the exception of the screechy thing she does, she's really laid back and fun. A good napper, too.

But the fact is, all almost-two-year olds are hard to manage.

She drinks out of the dog dish, she drags my laptop case around and pushes it down the basement stairs, she unfolds the laundry that I just folded, and tries to drink cleaning chemicals. And this is all while James is tugging on my pant leg going, "Mom. Wanna play Star Wars with me? Who do ya wanna be? R2D2? Luke Skywalker? Who? You want the purple light saver? The red one? Which one? Or do you wanna be Darth Vader?"

Now, listen. I know it's a light saber, but he doesn't. And that sweet boy, who I love so much I could puke all over this computer screen, never stops talking. Never.

Honestly--and I mean this with every ounce of my existence--I don't know how moms of three, or four, or six kids do it. I'm not sure how they keep 'em all alive and keep themselves dressed.

Being a mother is so #$%^ing hard.

I used to think Oprah was an absolute a-hole when she'd say that stay-at-home moms have the hardest job on the planet. I mean c'mon, back when James was a baby, and I was chilling out in the afternoons watching Oprah, it wasn't really hard.

But these days? These days with my two super well behaved kids who regularly go to bed by 7 pm? I'm genuinely inclined to think that military boot camp would be a nice break. But then again, I really like to exericse. These days there are lunches to pack, and a business to run, and debts to pay, and projects to manage. There are conference calls to listen in on, and a lawn to mow, and unsolvable situations to solve, and hats to cover with glitter.

And me? Well? I ran out of eye liner three weeks ago and haven't been able to replace it yet.

I'm so mixed up by the fact that being a parent can be so frustratingly hard, and so intensely joyful at the very same moment. The love and the chaos makes me want to roll over and die for completely different reasons. My life is good, we don't have any problems worth speaking of, but still, some days feel pretty stinkin' problematic.

One minute I'm all, "I would rather shovel mud than stand in this kitchen with these kids for another thirty seconds." And the next minute I'm like, "No one on this planet can make juice-drinking as cute as Maggie makes it! Oh my word I LOVE HER SO MUCH!"

Please tell me I'm normal here. Please, please, please tell me I'm normal. Becuase if I'm not, and I need therapy, or counseling, or anger management, or energy work, or some other shiz like that, I have no idea how I'll squeeze that in.

And that reminds me, one of these days I really need to tell you about the nurse who tried to do reiki on my dog to cure him of his obsession with the laser pointer. You really need to know about this. Like you REALLY need to hear this story, because believe it or not, funny things still happen to me forty times a day. I'm just way to covered in boogers to be able to type 'em out.

Thanks for letting me vent. I wish we could have a group hug. I feel so close to you right now.

Things That Piss Us Off Thursday: Volume Three

June 9, 2011

It's time for another round. In fact, this round is ridiculously overdue. So, without hesitation, I bring you:

Things That Piss Us Off Thursday!

You know the drill. Leave a comment outlining a thing (or six) that really craps on your carpet. Remember, I'm in charge and I can delete any comments that I feel like deleting, so HA!

Okay, here I go....

1. The fact that Melissa's blog will NEVER FREAKING LET ME LEAVE A COMMENT! So Melissa, congrats on the Vegas wedding, the last picture is the best (because that second one looks like your head is floating...in a beautiful way), and for real, put some jeans on.

2. I'm not rich.

3. There's not a high-end deli, a Thai restaurant, or even a drive-thru in the my office.

4. I'm out of eye-liner.

5. Suddenly, my husband is a hopelessly devoted Bruins fan, and he MUST NOT MISS A GAME. Maybe he can name three players, maybe.

6. People who chat for way too damn long and can't take the social cues that the conversation needs to wind down.

7. Packed meetings, in un-air-conditioned school gyms, when it's 90 degrees outside.

And you?

What Now?

June 2, 2011

I think I'm tired of running. Either that or I'm just wandering around like a lost, little lamb. It's pretty much the same thing I do after every big race I finish--or don't finish, I guess.

I'm just so inclined to find another marathon to run. A fall marathon, or a summer marathon, or an I-don't-care-what-season-it-is-just-give-me-another-marathon marathon. Maybe I need to accept the fact that I'm a marathon runner.

But here's the thing, I'm so much better at the short distances. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that with the exception of one half-marathon, I've either won my age group, or placed in the overall top three of every shorter race I've run since Maggie's been born.

Wait. Before you get impressed, please remember that I live in Maine, where everyone's chunky, very few people venture out of their recliners, and our winter lasts for 9 months out of the year. This isn't exactly a running Mecca, and actually, the competition is usually wearing summer sandals or Ugg boots. But still, when you're a trophy ho like me, a win is a win is a win is a win.

So these races are a little less than fierce, but hey, they're a good time and it never feels bad to have some success. But it's not just that, they're so much more manageable in every single way:
  • The training is 1,000,000% less time consuming.
  • There's pretty much no travel time to get to a little 5k.
  • Jared doesn't have to wrangle the kids for 4 hours while he tries to see me at 6 different spots along the route.
  • The entry fee is usually $15 instead of $893.
  • If you fall on your face and fail, you can try again next week.
So, for the first time in years, I think I've maybe convinced myself to stick with the shorter, faster stuff for a while. But more importantly, I've decided to focus on other people for a while. I'm just so damn sick of myself. So sick of me.

I'm coaching a beginner's 5k training group this summer, and it's shaping up to be an awesome group of women--about 10 so far. And let me just say that if you're local, you should totally think about joining. Mostly because I'm fun, and also because I will personally guarantee that we have the dopest t-shirts in all of Central Maine (as long as you think lime green and jogging smiley faces are the dopest).

Then I'm running the Disney Half Marathon in January with my most awesome friend, Megan. She hates running more than any human being I've every known, and this will be her first, and she says I'll probably have to carry on my shoulders for the last 5 miles. So blam, there's another act of selfless service.

I have so many heaven points, that it's almost starting to get unmanageable.

So I guess I have a plan. I'll run some shorter things for me, and help some other people get started.

Either that, or I'll sign up for another marathon. Because I'm an idiot.