29 March 2011

Too Legit to Quit

Vince Lombardi once said, "Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit."  I confess that I have a BAD habit of starting something and then quitting before I finish. (Here is where my husband most assuredly will smirk, raise his left eyebrow and try not to laugh).  But seriously, I have not followed through with quite a few things in recent years and it is disappointing not to mention embarrassing.  To make matters worse,  they were things that I thought I would be good at and really wanted to do.  
I have tried my hand at two different home-based businesses which failed.  Quitter.  In 2007, I enrolled in a course to be a certified medical transcriptionist and never finished. Quitter again. I had a litany of excuses at the time, but in reality I think I was just plain lazy.  That, and I tend to over-extend myself in the volunteer arena (note to self:  FRG leader two times is two times too many).  Maybe I would have been good at that them if I had put in a little more time and a whole lot more effort, but I didn't.  I feel like I have not set a good example for my children and it really bothers me. I hate thinking of myself as a quitter.  Thankfully, all of that has changed in recent months.
Before I continue,  the 11 followers of this blog need a few details. (Btw, if you're not a follower...please feel free to click that little follow button on the right side of the page).  

1.  Last October, a friend asked me to be her workout buddy.   She said she needed motivation and having a "buddy" would help.

2.  She also mentioned she was doing something called CrossFit in her friend's garage.  I thought I heard of it before, but I wasn't sure (another note to self:  always research a new workout regime before you try it).

3.  If you don't know what CrossFit is, click here and then continue reading.  Sounds insane, right?

4.  Three weeks after I started, my "buddy" had a sciatic nerve flare-up and has been in physical therapy ever since.  (Don't worry. I still love ya, Lisa.)

That left me and my new favorite trainer/coach/friend,  four days a week, in her garage, training.  Well, she wasn't training, I was.  And when she couldn't be there, her very patient husband/soldier/trainer would train me.  Can you say INTIMIDATING?  Here I was a caffeine addicted, stay-at-home mom of two, trying my hand at a strength and conditioning program geared toward the military and elite athletes.  I was either a glutton for punishment or certifiably crazy. 

But over time, something happened.  Little by little, I got stronger.  I didn't feel like puking after every single workout (but I was close several times).  My favorite jeans I bought after I lost my baby weight in 2003 fit again (and they were still relatively stylish, which was a bonus).   I no longer did girl pushups on my knees, I could do REAL pushups!  I was starting to like this.

Fast forward to one day two weeks ago.  I walked in the garage, looked at the wipe board to see what the workout was  and saw the acronym I had been dreading since I learned of its existence.  HPSU.  Handstand Push-up.  I wanted to run. I can't do this. I can't do a handstand.  At this point, I think I was having a panic attack.  She's crazy!  I'm crazy! I.CAN'T. DO. THIS!  I wanted to do it, but was scared.  It would be easier not to try.  I could substitute a different exercise for this one.  I was still too new at this.  I might fall.  I might get hurt.

And then I thought of all of the things I had quit and not finished.   I was tired of being a quitter.  I didn't want to give up anymore.   I looked at my trainer/coach/friend as she pointed at the wall and said, "Do it. You can do it."   Fighting the urge to cry, I took a deep breath and threw myself into a handstand.  I held it for 10 seconds came down and did it again.  And again. I still haven't stopped smiling.

Before you give me too much credit, I didn't do the push-up part, just the handstand.  I am also still a caffeine addict.   I still don't have a home based business (unless this blog thing somehow starts generating some cash, which would be lovely).  I am not a medical transcriptionist.   But I am no longer a quitter.  In fact, next time you see me, ask me to do a handstand and I'll prove it.

18 March 2011

I may be early, but I hope I am not too late.

Nearly 13 years ago, one day after a mini-blizzard, was a glorious, sun-shine filled day that still resonates in my mind as if it were yesterday.  There was nothing to forget and everything to remember. - family, friends, good food, excellent music and at least one beautiful lady, dressed in white.  It was a day to stand up in front of the world and God and profess something that I had known for quite some time, that I had found the individual that is my perfect, and better half.
There she was, a lady that filled the room with a smile, was friends with everyone in the room, held her own with my closest friends, adored by my family (boy were they happy I found someone that they could like better than myself), and appreciated me for who I was/am - each of these individual qualities being difficult on their own, but truly amazing as a package.
But, it was not only these attributes that convinced me that I could love no other, it was also the little things.  In honor of a few of those, I have compiled a list of 13 – a list to represent 13 happy years of marriage that are just the beginning.  It is a combination of the reasons why I love you, Amy,  and illustrations of times I knew that it was true love.
13.  The way that you will still love me even though I will lose cools points extracted from my Man card for professing my love on a Blog (hopefully I had a credit up to this point for being in a profession that wears  a uniform and jumps from airplanes; and forgive me for hacking your account)
                (13.a The way you will tell my sisters to pound sand as they pick apart my grammar on this post.)
12.  The fact that the Marching Illini CD was in your car’s CD player in college.  Love at first sounds.
11. The way that you wrote me a letter every single day of basic training, helping me through some of the sleep deprived days.
10. The way that my friends always wanted to know if you were coming too because you had become just as much a part of the group as the rest of us.
9. You still laugh at me and my friends, probably encouraging some really poor humor.
8. The way you can immerse yourself in my family events without question.  There is no question that you are a just a big of part of my extended family, as well as your own, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
7. How nothing will faze you to the point of inaction.  You may be anxious about something (moving kids in the middle of a school year, multiple deployments, constant uncertainty about where the Army needs us next, etc),  but it won’t affect your ability to act cool, calm, and collected in front of others – especially those that are leaning on you.  You can roll with the punches.
6. The way you volunteer to help others, whether at church, school, neighbors or a random act of kindness.  The world needs more of that from everyone.
5. Your understanding of my conviction to the job at hand, and your willingness to sacrifice family time and other life’s perks to support that.
4. Your same conviction to this country and the principles for which are dear to us.
3. Your ability to sustain a household that I do not always get to spend adequate time at.
2. Your dedication to our beautiful, healthy, intelligent children.  They smile every time they look at you and want you there with them in both good times and bad. They deserve the best parents and you are certainly upholding more than your part of the deal.
1. You inspire me, and you mean the world to me.
If the roles were reversed, I do not think I could accomplish what you do.  I certainly could not do it as well.  You amaze me.  You inspire me.  I fell in love with you over 13 years ago, and have only grown to love you more.
So, it may not be the 21st of March yet.  It may be too early to remind you of how much I love you on our official anniversary.  But, I hope I am not too late to tell you the same.


09 March 2011

What IS my job, anyway?

I can always count on my children to give me fresh fodder for blog posts.  Today was no exception.  Driving my youngest to preschool today I had the radio on.  One of my favorite songs, "Children of God" by Third Day came on, so I turned it up a little.  That's right.  We rock out to Christian music as we travel to and from school.  It's either that or endure the one millionth viewing  of The Incredibles on DVD, so I'll take the Christian music hands down. This morning, our conversation went something like this:

Son:  "Mom, am I a children of God?" 
Me:  "Yes, you are a child of God."
Son:  " And God takes care of us, right?"
Me:  "Yep."
Son:  "And he loves us no matter what?"
Me:  "Yes, son.  He loves you no matter what."

Insert LONG pause. Here is where I start to brace myself for the confession that is surely to follow.  Since he accidently bloodied a boy's nose yesterday, I am in no mood for anymore drama.  I cringe, taking a glance in the rearview mirror.   

Son:  "Then what's your job, mom?"

I'll admit, that is funny.   And about 10 different responses were on the tip of my tongue, starting with taxi driver.  I don't think my car is going to have any resale value because I'm pretty sure my rear end has made a permanent indentation in the driver's seat.   Rounding out the list was laundress, cook, FRG leader, PTA volunteer, grocery shopper, dog walker, booger wiper, etc.  My mother-in-law had a good one too.  She suggested I tell him, "To keep you out of trouble!" 

I responded with a simple, "To be a good mommy," but for the rest of the day I have been thinking of what my job REALLY is. 

Yes, my job is to be a good mommy.  And a good wife, I suppose (love ya, babe).  I also try hard to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a dependable volunteer, etc. But I have racked my brain all day with what my "job" is or what it should be and I have been coming up empty. 

And then it hit me.  I don't care what my "job" is.   Who says I have to have a title for what I do every day?  Obviously, my son thought my job was to take care of him and love him no matter what. To me, that's pretty darn special.    

So I will continue to take care of him and love him no matter what.  And his sister, too.  And their dad.  I don't need a job title to do any of that.   Maybe just some coffee, a little bit of patience every now and then and the knowledge I  am a child of God, too.  He will take care of me and love me no matter what.    And that my friends, is good enough for me.

02 March 2011

My Cheatin' Heart

I would like to start this post by first publicy apologizing to Facebook.  Facebook, I have been cheating on you.  You were good to me for the past two years.  You welcomed me with open arms while I earned hundreds of  medals on Bejeweled Blitz.  You were there when I planted my first crop on Farmville. You stood by me when I amassed a fortune in mega casinos in Mafia Wars and then sold them off so I could try my hand at Cafe World.  Sadly, there is a new time-waster in town and his name is "the blogosphere". 

From now on when I should be folding clothes, making dinner, or being any sort of productive, you will find me keeping up with my not one, but TWO blogs.  That's right.  When I cheat, I cheat BIG.  Sorry Facebook.  Blogging is where it's at.  At least that's what I hope, anyway. 

I know the suspense must be killing you, so I'll get right to it.  You can find the new blog here.  This blog is simple.  We (me and my two sis-in-laws) will read and review a new book each week and you get to tell us what you think.  Don't worry.  We won't bore you with books about Army life, raising toddlers, or the 4 P's of the Marketing Mix.   I promise we'll do our best to mix it up and keep it interesing.  We have been known to compete over who can sell the most books at a garage sale (scary AND true) but we do have varying tastes in literature, so there will be something for everyone.  I may even feel the need to review some of the pre-teen books I have been forced asked to read by my daughter.  That should at least be entertaining, right? 

By all means, let us know what you think.  We're tough, we can take it.  Unless of course you're cheating on us with another book blog.  That would drive me right back into the arms of Facebook and I'm not sure he's ready to take me back.