Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Ok, I'm not sure why I've been so hesitant to write about this on my blog, but I have been purposely avoiding it since I decided to launch the blog. I was ready to make a public display of my life, but only the parts of it that I didn't want to come back and bite me on the ass later.

Here I am, still doing it, drawing out the suspense and making it seem bigger than it is. And really, in the scheme of things, it's not really that earth shaking.

I've started running.

Except that for me it IS pretty huge, pretty earth shaking. I've never been anything close to an athlete. As a kid, I always thought of being active as something that I wasn't good at and something that I shouldn't bother with. Some people were good at it, but I wasn't one of them. I stuck to the things that I was good at, especially reading. Throughout my life not being active became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I told myself I wasn't good at sports so I didn't participate. I was sure that I was awful and would embarrass myself. When I was forced to demonstrate my (lack of) athletic skills in gym class or anything similar, I was slow, uncoordinated and miserable. Just like I figured I would be. So, of course, I avoided all other situations where I would have to display my embarrassing lack of physical prowess.

Looking back now, it seems so obvious. I never trained my body to be active. In the past I would look at other people, the kids picked first in gym class, and be jealous of their innate athletic talent. It never crossed my mind that they were faster, stronger and more confident because they had a lot more experience than I did. The same way that people looked at me like I was nuts when I said I could easily read a book in one night, that was the way I looked at people who said they could easily run a 6-minute mile. It wasn't that either of us couldn't do those things, it was just that we never made an effort. Just like I couldn't read a book in one night when I was five and just learning to read, that person couldn't run a 6-minute mile when they first put on running shoes.

Obviously, my issues with activity are very tied up with my issues with body image and about being overweight. And none of these have disappeared. I don't think they ever will completely. But I've started to make peace with myself. Maybe my husband constantly telling me that I'm beautiful and that he loves me has started to sink in. (He's such a smart guy, it's hard to rationalize that he has no idea what he's talking about. :) ) Slowly, I've started to see things from a new perspective. After years of hating my unattractive body, I'm realizing that I ought to be thankful for it. It's a truly remarkable piece of work, and on the whole very healthy, despite my best efforts in the past. And all of this together, working through my personal issues, wanting to maintain and improve my amazing healthy body, and realizing that it might be possible to train myself to do something I always assumed I couldn't do, has brought me to a running routine. Now, I'm only halfway through my second week, so calling it a "running" routine is still pretty much a stretch. I'm still walking more than running. But around the 4th of July, I hope to be ready to run my first 5K.

Earth shaking. Seriously.

I was reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell this morning (see, not giving up on old loves, just finding new ones), and he argues that success is largely a product of arbitrary advantage and lots and lots of practice. Usually the arbitrary advantage is the opportunity to practice lots and lots. (Well, at least this is the argument he make in the first two chapters. I haven't actually finished it yet.) This theory makes a lot of sense to me given my recent revelations about my past. The basis of his argument is really a collection of anecdotes, so I'm not sure how far I trust his argument as THE explanation/formula for success, but I'm definitely inclined to give more credit to practice in the future.

Bringing it back to the artificial suspense that I started this post with: I'm basically trying to change my life and lifestyle based on my changing perspective. And I'm really making the very first baby steps right now. So, I'm scared that it's only temporary. Even more, I'm scared that this will fall apart and I'll see it as just another failed attempt to get fit and lose weight. I can't explain it, but something feels very different from other times I've lost a little weight eating better, but given up the routine and gained it back. I feel like my head is in the right place. I feel like I have goals other than just a smaller number on the scale.

But I've decided that shying away from it isn't the answer. If anything it's a cop out: if no one knows I've been trying to start a running routine and eating healthy, then no one can judge me when I fail. Not talking about it also makes me feel a little like I'm ashamed. I'm not ashamed, I'm proud. The perspective I use to have and the decisions I made in the past are part of who I am and made me the person I am today. But that doesn't mean I can't grow and change.

So, um, I guess, stay tuned for more running updates. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not my favorite page

I finished this one the other day and I almost didn't want to post it because I don't like it that much. And of course the picture makes it look even more blurry and crooked. But I do like the picture of Christmas breakfast and I want it in my scrapbook, so I figured if I was going to keep it there was no reason I shouldn't post it. I might as well be honest about my lack of scrapbook skills.

So far today has gone fairly well, even with a last minute run to meet Adam at Panera for lunch. I'm hoping to get my kitchen in order and maybe even have time to make another page or two. Here's hoping.

p.s. I did 5 sets of pushups for a total of 59 pushups last night. I'm proud of myself. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dwelling on the positive

This weekend, I've been dwelling a lot on the negative. I just haven't been able to slip into the routine like I wanted and I can't seem to stop beating myself up about it. I just feel like it's been so hard to accomplish the goals I set out for myself

What I really need to remind myself is that this isn't the end of the world. Not even close. There are plenty of things that could have been better about this weekend, but there are plenty of things that could have been worse. I believe that every day and every moment is a new chance to make the right the decision, to move in the right direction. I just haven't been acting like it.

So to change the depressing momentum that I've been letting myself fall into, here are a few of the positive things that happened this weekend, things that are worth remembering and dwelling on:

I met Pierce's girlfriend Lauren who will be coming to live with him (down the street) in the fall. She seems super nice and I'm looking forward to having a friend close by.

Even though it was a gigantic ordeal to take him to the emergency vet and it turned out to be nothing, I'm very glad that Skeletor's allergic reaction, aka giant swollen nose, turned out to be nothing and got better with just a little Benadryl.

I made up four new scrapbook pages today and it felt good to find ways to make do with what I have instead of buying anything new.

I did do the two things I mentioned I was absolutely not going to miss out on: getting Skelly a walk on Saturday and going to church.

I finished my library book and now I can go pick out another one.

Now I plan on getting in my pajamas and doing pushups (I'm trying to follow this program: http://hundredpushups.com/index.html). Would it be easier to go to bed without doing them? Absolutely. But will I feel better knowing that I did something that I said I would do? Absolutely. So pushups it is.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Seems like all that I've been writing about lately has been out of the ordinary. Which is weird, because I LOVE ordinary. Routine makes me happy. Also, I got a little jolt this morning that has reminded me of the consequences of losing a routine. So this week I'm trying to dedicate myself to the everyday routine. Everyday decisions, everyday chores, everyday life.

I hope that doesn't make me sound too boring. Because it's not to say that everyday is the same or even that I would want that. Just that there are certain parts of my day and my week that I'm going to fit in, no matter what else is going on. For example: I'm going to go to church. Usually we go Sunday at 11am, but maybe this weekend we're going to go out on Logan's boat. So we might have to go to the Saturday vigil mass. But not going is not an option. Walking Skeletor is on my non-negotiable list, too. Tomorrow I have to be at work at 10am, so I probably won't wake up early enough to take him on our hour long walk before I have to shower and leave. So either we'll go out later in the evening before dinner, or I might split it up and take him out for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes later. We'll see. But we will go on our walk. When I let routine things like these slip by, I start to feel guilty and I miss them.

I've also been working on a bunch of scrapbook pages that I've been meaning to share. I'm not used to the extra step of photographing and cropping them after they've been glued together so I've been collecting layouts in a pile to take pictures. I did manage to get a couple ready.

This first one is my new favorite. Mostly because I LOVE the picture of Skeletor. Otherwise, it's really very simple. Obviously, I've been using my new Slice like crazy. I used it to cut the letters for the title (then I just outlined inside them with a pen) and the scalloped circle

This page is awesome for the story behind it. I ordered a baby bottle of champagne with dinner when we went out for Valentine's Day (just for me, because Adam doesn't like anything with carbonation). It looked like it was just a twist-off cap so Adam tried to be a gentleman and open it for me. After a few minutes of determined twisting, we realized it needed a bottle opener. The title is a reference to Adam's new favorite blog www.failblog.org.

p.s. I'm still struggling with the pictures of layouts. This page is not nearly as crooked at the photo makes it seem.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Boy was I wrong about the adventure of the day.

Fast forward about six hours and I'm driving to my second day of work. I'm still figuring out exactly how long the trip takes and how much time I need to budget to get there on time. I'm going along, I'm almost at Hurlburt, which means I'm about 3/4 of the way there, and I think I'm doing pretty well.

Until I hear the sirens and see a cop waving me over.

I was speeding in a school zone. (There are school directly on the highway, and where the speed limit is usually 45, it goes down to 20 for 45 minutes every morning and afternoon. I'm not familiar enough with where the zones are and what the times are yet, and didn't see the flashing yellow soon enough to slow down enough. They said I was going 35.) AND I got a citation for not having a Florida driver's license. Turns out I had only 10 days from moving here to get it changed. Since my husband is active duty military, he doesn't ever have to get a license here. But those exceptions don't extend to me because I'm only his dependent. Nevermind the fact that just like him I only moved here because of government orders and just like him I don't intend to live in Florida beyond our service commitment here. I've been here plenty long to abide by a law I didn't know existed.

Of course, because of the traffic stop I was 20 minutes late for work. And as soon as I pulled away from the cops I reached for my cell phone to call in and realized that I had left it at home. I really felt like the most stupid, useless person. I couldn't believe that I was going to be late on my second day of work with no advance warning because I'm a bad driver. When I got to work, I immediately started crying when I tried to explain everything to my boss, which I'm sure freaked him out a lot more than me being late or anything else. I was altogether a mess for awhile.

Fortunately, there was a lot to do at work since we were preparing for our store inventory which started today at 6am, so I was able to stay busy and get myself back together. I would have rather used $226 to pay down my credit card, but it's not like this is a financial blow that will completely ruin us or that a speeding ticket will blackball me from ever having a good job. Today, I'm ready to end the pity party and move on to more important things.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adventure of the day

My little boy can't even make it to 9am without an adventure.

(p.s. He slept in his kennel last night. We haven't completely given up on him sleeping in our room, but for now, my sanity is more important than his preferred sleeping schedule. And he really does just fine in the kennel.)

So this morning begins just as normal and average as can be. We're up, eating breakfast and getting ready to go on our walk (me and Skeletor - Adam is still curled up in bed). We head out the door with some mail to leave in the mailbox, but there's a dog standing right there by the mailbox. Seeing Skeletor, it walks over to investigate, and I can see that it doesn't have a collar. A stray. At this point Skeletor is going nuts over the prospect of playing with another dog and there's no way I can handle the two of them alone.

The next hour was pretty funny. I opened the door to the house and called to Adam to wake up and help me. As I'm holding the door open, the stray dog wanders into the house. So confused sleepy Adam helps me herd the dogs back outside and then goes back in to call Animal Control. We then bring the stray out to the front so that if anyone is searching the neighborhood for her they can easily see us, and leave Skelly inside since we don't know how healthy this dog is or how aggressive. Turns out she loves fetch, so we keep her with us by throwing a tennis ball approximately a million times.

After more than 30 minutes, I decided that Skeletor's walk couldn't really be postponed much longer without affecting my plans for the day. We snuck out the back so Skelly wouldn't be too distracted by Adam playing with another dog. Mostly successful. And here's the punchline: while we were gone, a neighbor just strolls up and calls over "Lucy." Apparently, he was kind of hard to understand, but Adam was completely floored that he had been sitting outside with her for almost an hour before this guy made any effort to look for her. And we had called Animal Control because she didn't have a collar with a tag.

Moral of the story: Put a tag and phone number on your dog! A) You should want to be able to be contacted if it runs away and B) it will save a lot of time and trouble for people like us who find it.

Sigh. Plus, this is just further evidence that Skeletor is a magnet for doggy drama. This is not even close to the first time he's saved a "stray." Thank goodness I don't have to go into work until 4pm.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I have a problem

A cute, furry problem. Whose name is Skeletor.

Adam and I always wanted Skelly to sleep in our bedroom, just not in our bed with us (mostly because it's only a full-size bed and two people plus a chunky puggle is just not very comfortable). First we put his puppy bed in the room with us, but he just kept waking up and jumping into bed with us. It was very difficult to get through to him that it was ok to nap on the bed or sit on it while we were reading or watching TV, but that at night we needed him to stay off. It seemed like we would either have to banish him from the bed at all times, or deal with him jumping into the bed. We also tried to put his kennel in our bedroom, but A) it's not that cute as a decor item and B) I had some issues with his snoring. So in Texas, he always slept in his kennel in the office down the hall (except for when Adam was away at SERE and I was lonely so I let Skelly sleep with me, despite his snoring and bed-hogging).

Anyway, fast forward about a year and now we're here in Florida. As we're unpacking, we come across our gigantic comforter. Now, we got this comforter as part of our bedding set for our wedding about two years ago, and we started using the set when we settled down in Texas. As anyone who has ever lived in the San Antonio area should know, we used the comforter a grand total of once, and woke up the next morning sweating to death. It's just never gonna get cold enough to need this comforter. And the chances that it's going to get cold enough here in Florida? Exactly. So while Adam and I are contemplating what to do with the comforter: if we should keep it, where should we store it, etc., Skelly decides to take a nap on it. Considering that our dog naps about 75% of the day, this really wasn't shocking, but it did get us thinking again. Thinking, "Hey, this bedroom is twice as big as the one in Texas. Hey, this comforter matches our sheets and decorations in here perfectly. Hey, lets try to let Skelly sleep in our bedroom again. He's a lot older and chilled out in a lot of ways, maybe it will work out this time."

So for the past few weeks, Skelly has been sleeping on our comforter on the floor of our bed. Here is his cute little setup. Ignore the fact that he's napping on our bed and oblivious to his cute little setup.

Despite this picture, Skelly has actually done really well in understanding that he has to stay in his dog bed overnight. I think it helps that he actually starts passing out asleep around 9pm either on the couch or the bed and Adam transfers him to the comforter usually around 11pm when he's too sleepy to attempt a comeback.

So if this is going so well, what the problem? The problem is not at night, it's the morning. When Skelly slept in his kennel overnight, he woke up and came out after I woke up, walked over and let him out. NOW, he can wake up, jump on the bed and whine loudly directly in my face whenever he wants. Which is, in the past week or so, about an hour before I would actually like to wake up. Today, it was 6:45am.

Usually, the best way to discourage behavior, especially whining, is to ignore it. If he doesn't get what he wants, usually he'll figure out it's not working. That worked OK for a few days. Then, one morning last week, I get up at 8:30am and find Skelly laying next to a pile of his poop! Not what I wanted to see first thing in the morning. And now everyday since then, we wakes up a little bit earlier and whines. When I cave in, get out of bed and let him out in the backyard, he poops. Leading me to believe that if I ignore him, he will just poop inside the house again. I mean, I guess he's doing what I've trained him to do: let me know when he has to go outside, but seriously, this is not fun.

I don't really want to putting him back in his kennel, especially if he really has to go in the morning. I don't want to punish him or make him uncomfortable by having to hold it too long. I just have no idea how to get him off of the morning poop schedule, or how to keep him from falling asleep so early and subsequently waking up early.

Adam and I are going to have to talk about this today, since I don't think he thinks its such a problem since he continues to sleep through all of the drama and lets me wake up to handle the dog. I really want to find a happy compromise. Because I really love that goofy dog. He cuddled up and watched Animal Cops: Houston with me while I ate my lunch today and it made me happy. After that he went back to nap in my bed. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Dang. Time has really been flying by recently. Days, weeks, the whole year. I mean, April is more than half over. And I'm still getting used to writing the date as 2009. And it completely blows my mind that we've been in Florida for almost two months.

But even if I do feel sometimes like I'm swimming upstream just to handle the day-to-day stuff and I worry that I'm missing the big picture stuff, I've had a pretty good week. And I'm thankful for that. So "smile" is the title of this scrapbook layout that I finished up the other day, and it's also going to be my word of the week for the upcoming week. I started out this morning kind of cranky after my walk with Skeletor didn't go that well (I kept dropping treats and he kept trying to run out into the road) and Adam didn't want to wake up to go to church. But I'm going to make a conscious effort to dwell on the positive and avoid little funks like that.

p.s. I know other people tag all of the supplies they used on a scrapbook page when they post it, but I'm not really good at keeping track of that and lots of my stuff is more than 3 years old, so that probably won't happen here. I did cut the title from my Slice, my super awesome birthday present from my parents. And I know it's not the best quality. I'm still working on the best way to photograph my pages.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warning: long and ramble-y

My life is not any more interesting than it was yesterday, or the day before, or the day before that. But somehow, now that I've started my blog, I find myself thinking throughout the day, "I should write about this on my blog." I think part of it is similar to why I like scrapbooking. I want to remember things, big and small, and I want to record something of myself for others to remember. But that's enough soul-searching about why I'm updating again.

Today was an interesting day. Which makes it sound like a bad day, but it wasn't. I had a nice day. In fact, I feel like I had several nice days. It's been the kind of day where looking back on what happened this morning feels like looking back on what happened two or three days ago.
Skeletor (my furry little baby boy and namesake of this blog) and I went on our walk and went about our morning routine (me cleaning up around the house, him passing out on the floor).

Unlike usual, Adam was here this morning, not at work. And we had made intricately detailed plans for our early afternoon. (Which of course means that I made intricately detailed plans
and he agreed). After some extreme coaxing out of bed, our plans actually went off pretty perfectly. We stopped at CVS to get more supplies for his wound, we went on base to play raquetball (where he still completely embarasses me when we try to play a full game), had lunch at Panera and made it on time to my appointment to fill out paperwork for my job at Hallmark.

That's right. I got a job. I'm actually excited. It seems lame for someone with a Bachelor's degree to be excited to be a sales associate at Hallmark, but I've really been craving having obligations outside the house and it's been more than a little depressing to have put out so many applications and have had no one else show any interest. This recession is for real. So
it's been hard, but in some ways it's made me appreciate how lucky Adam and I really are that we're not counting on this job to pay our bills and we're not having to make any big, awful sacrifices.

Back at home we had a few hours to spend together (mostly spent apart, on our computers, but that's what makes us happy). Adam was only partly successful in hanging up our DVD racks. This picture was taken before one screw broke off inside the wall.

Yeah, that's going to be interesting to get out. Based on the amount of throwing stuff that ensued, I'm not necessarily super convinced that we're ready for home ownership. Then again, Skeletor ownership has also resulted in a fair amount of throwing things, and there's no way I would change anything there.

So now Adam is doing a training exercise and I've tried to be productive around the house. "Organizing" old pictures is productive, right?

Well I think that's enough for now. And probably enough for the rest of the week, too, but we'll see if the blogging bug hits again tomorrow. I'll end transmission with a few new photos I've been playing with today. Skelly and I went to release Logan's puppy Apollo from his kennel while Logan was in class with Adam yesterday. I got some awesome pictures of them playing with Wally, who belongs to Carolyn, Logan's roommate.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Post

So I like blogs. I read them. I never comment on them, but that's because I'm shy and socially awkward, even on the web. That's also beside the point. Because this is the first post of my very own blog. I'm pretty much just trying this out for me and my family, so that I can remember stuff as it happens and share it with my immediate family, who I'm sure are the only ones with any sort of interest in this kind of thing. My husband Adam has been telling me I should have a blog to show off my scrapbook pages for awhile, so I might try to do that.

Anyway, this is a picture of me and Adam after Easter brunch at the club at Hurlburt. It was a pretty good brunch. But no french toast, so Adam was a little bummed. He made up for it by eating like 4 desserts.

Ok, now I try to post this and cross my fingers that everything worked.