Happy 11th Birthday Sweet Girl.

This weekend we celebrated the 11th birthday of my baby girl with a fabulous trip to NYC.  We stayed on the 40th floor of a hotel right in the middle of Times Square and took in an 8pm showing of Wicked on Saturday.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you must.  Such a dynamic and jaw-dropping performance-worth every penny.  B and I spent the 5 hour commute home singing the soundtrack!

It made me even more aware how absolutely in sync we are.  We slept in the same bed and spent not a moment apart for 3 days and I left that weekend just wanting more.  What a joy that child is.  So grateful and gracious.  That being said, how she’s grown!  We spent the weekend traipsing the city to find the make up stores she longed to visit.  Now keep in mind, I don’t let her wear it really, outside of the house, but she’s got some sort of collection going on and it’s harmless.    She fell in love with Sephora and a little less in love with M.A.C.  .

She is still my entire world.  Nothing has changed that.  I still sneak into her room each night and breathe her air. She is deliciously young and an old soul at the very same time.  She is brave and kind, beautiful and giddy, a pacifist and a determined dreamer.  She is all of the best of me and none of the worst.  She is the culmination of a love between a daydreaming musician and a literary, intensely passionate realist.  How lucky are we to have been chosen as her parents?

I am brought to tears as I think of her growing up and away from me and pray ferociously that this never happens.  I know there will be trying times, but my heart longs to keep her 11.  Where she is forever mine and doesn’t give her heart away to someone that I know just isn’t worthy of such a luminous treasure.  Yet, I’m happy that her dreams are big, enormous even, and that the world is open to her every desire and possibility.  She has only to want something enough to make it her reality. And I will be here…always.  For the days when she still needs to climb in bed and feel her mothers arms wrap around her in a forever, eternally soothing embrace.  I love you, little girl.

Not talking about underwear here, folks.

So on Monday, I finally succumbed to a temptation I’ve long harbored.  I went with a boy cut.  And my stylist said I’m her “most daring client”.  Granted, I wore my hair in a bun or pony nearly every day, so I knew basically what it would look like.  Needless to say it was heartwrenching to see my hair fall down and feel the lack of hair on the back of my head.  It’s funky and cute and very carefree.  I’ve done short hair before, but this is the shortest I’ve gone.  I Googled Jessica Stroup’s hair debuted in May 2010 (not her bob, but her newer pixie style crop) and loved it.  Brought the pic to my hairdresser and she worked her magic.  People are raving, I mean seriously raving, over my hair.  I like the way it makes my face look-but I’m still hesitant to say I’ll keep it.  I think I’m going to grow it out to be a bit more like Jessica Stroup’s hair prior to this cut…just a more comfortable length for me.  BUT, it was so cute in a wide cloth headband for my track workouts last night.  Which is so when you want to look good, right?  And I shaved a few seconds off my 400m intervals, on average.  That hair must have been holding me back.  I can tell myself that anyway.

My daughter really was not about my hair.  She’s getting used to it, only by the consolation that I gave her “It’s only hair honey.  Mine grows fast and I’ve always wanted to try this out…it’s just fun for a few months”.  She’s such a Taylor Swift loving long hair advocate.  And here, is a pic for you.

It looks different depending on what I do with it-that’s the neat part.  It can be so varied.  Today it’s girly and in a headband.  And it’s super, super, super easy.  Friends have mentioned how “brave” I am.  Really?  It grows.  I don’t think this constitutes bravery really.  It could be a bob by Christmas.  What do you guys think?  It’s lovely for running.  And since I’m officially on my training program for a half marathon again-it’s nice.  I love being in training…well at least the first 6-7 weeks of it.

11 is the new 15.

My daughter is going to be 11 this month.  However she both looks and acts 15.  I blame much of this on the YouTube videos she is obsessed with.  See for yourself at  JuicyStar07 .  Now these aren’t harmful by any stretch.  They just involve make-up and a young fashionista.  My daughter is not allowed to wear make-up out in public.  It’s just something she is playing with and having fun doing in her spare time.  But she spends a tremendous amount of time organizing her lovely new vanity and jewelry box.  I will have to take photos of this and add them in later (since I am at work).

She is particulary obsessed with M.A.C. cosmetics.  Something she will get to indulge a bit on our trip to NYC for her birthday.  It is fun and I can understand the “collecting” aspect of this newfound fascination.  And I will admit, I love that she’s so about organizing her room…so thank you to Blair Fowler (Miss JuicyStar07 herself) for that.

But I must admit, it makes me really happy when her friend comes over and they play with their dolls.  After all, those American Girl dolls need some love too.  And I need to see my baby acting like…well, like a little girl.  At least once in awhile.

Book List-HELP!

So a very dear friend and I are starting a book list.  We have come to the conclusion that as bibliophiles, we have been unable to find a satisfactory “Top 100 Books You Must Read to Be Considered Well-Read” list.  Some of the lists have most of the books we believe should be included and then fall by the wayside.  So we are making our own.  And then tackling all the books on it, that we haven’t yet read.  Now keep in mind, it’s tough to not out all our personal favorites on there.  But since mine would be loaded with Ayn Rand and his with Russian History, we’d bore the rest of the world.  How about you, bloggers?  What are your top 5 essential books?  Help us out!

Non-social runner…

I’m not usually a social kind of work out girl.  My running is very private and if I have shared a run with you, it speaks very highly of my relationship with you.  I did several training runs with my mother as she trained for her first half-marathon and met a lovely girl on MY first half-marathon with whom I ran with most of the way.  I run occasionally with my husband, especially weekend trail runs, but not so much training runs.

However last night was actually too hot for even me to run!  (Weather never stops me-but we are currently under heat advisory).  As I was ready to head out on my bike ride as a cross training method, I texted one of my oldest, dearest friends and told her I’d be down her way if she wanted to join.  She wrote right back that she’d be on the front porch.  Lucky me!  It’s about 3 miles to her house, so I met her (was greeted by a lovely ice cold tall glass of water and her company).  We then did about 5-6 miles together, chatting all the way and then I stopped at her porch again for more water and more excellent conversation and then headed back my way.  It was just about 12 miles of sweaty fun!  Even better, it was a social outing, which are all too few these days.  I don’t get to see my closest friends nearly enough.  (Yeah, I have skipped a few Girls Nights for the last few months).  Gone are the days when I would go out dancing and drinking for social interaction.  This totally kicked the skirt off of those days.  🙂  Thanks Di!  Totally different workout for me than running, but can’t wait for more-maybe next time I’ll make it a brick and still get a couple miles running in after.

(My lovely daughter was down the street swimming with my ex’s little brother and his family-she loves to get some time with her adorable two little cousins!  They even took her to get ice cream.  I’m very blessed to have such good ex-inlaws. 🙂 ).

Proud mama moment.

Graduation day was bittersweet-as they always are.

However there was a lovely surprise.  After a not-optimal year and a teacher that was the worst she’s had yet…my girl got the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence!  For those who don’t know (which I didn’t until after), it’s based on overall grades being 90-100, teacher recommendations and above 85th percentile on our state exams.  More on how ridiculous those state exams are later.  What a proud moment for her!  Her dad’s parents were there and my mom and me.  Lots of pictures and a lovely, happy, confident girl.  And now, we’re off to middle school.  And I profess this adamantly, that little girl you see up there in that adorable dress?  Yes, the one that people mistake for a 14 year old?  She’s 10.  And she’s my baby.  Still.  Always.  Ask her.  She’ll tell you.


Since I haven’t updated much in the last year or so, I really need to keep everyone up to speed about what is significant (and not) in my life.  Running is still very much a top priority.  And the kids and husband really help in that regard.  Here’s how:

Everything to do with our evenings and weekends is kind of built around my regular routine.  It’s not just me, my husband goes to the gym in the morning and that’s built in too.  But the kids are sleeping then, so they notice my absence more.  If I am a bit late getting out the door, there is no chance to backpedal, since they will often preface statements with…”When you get back from your run can I…”  or “Sunday after your long run can we go out on the lake?”.  Sometimes it’s the extra nudge I need.  And it’s always the break I need and I’m always happy and refreshed when I get home.  Usually, one of the kids or the husband will come down while I’m taking off my running shoes and get me a water.  It really IS a family affair.

I have now completed two half marathons since last October.  I love, love, love that distance.  It’s just right for me and the training is the only thing that I need to work out better.  I start too early and then am burnt out on following my schedule by the last two weeks before the race.  I’ve also done lots of smaller distances too and as a family we go to the fun runs that are taking place for  8 weeks in a nearby town.  My daughter (the 11 year old swim team member) is actually running 1 mile now at these runs and although I wouldn’t say she loves it-she wants to go each week!  The actual run she is ok with, but she really loves the atmosphere and how she feels after.  And that’s what I really wanted for her out of it anyway!  I haven’t been running the 5k trail runs they offer, because B wanted me to run the 1 mile trail run with her and there are plenty of other times I get my racing in.

And for the single parents and stepparents (two groups so dear to my heart), running (or walking or biking-whatever works for you) is so incredibly wonderful for YOU.  It’s a great time to just think and unwind and maybe listen to some music of your choosing.  It’s you time.  And you really need that in order to be a good mother or stepmother or father or stepfather.  Single parents, I know…it’s really tough for some of you to get out and hit the road.  Especially if you are really going it totally alone.  For my 5 single parenting years, I ran in the evenings on a treadmill while B played beside (at a safe distance) or ran when she was visiting grandparents or her Daddy.  As she got older, she rollerbladed or biked beside me.  My distances were less, but it was still wonderful for my physical and mental well-being.  I’d be happy to chat with you about how you can incorporate something similar into your lifestyle.  I firmly believe everyone should-we would all be happier people!  When I do get kind of cranky, my husband will say “ok honey…time to go for a run”. 🙂