Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who I want to be when I grow up. In every phase of my life I’ve looked forward to the day that I would reach this ideal person that I had envisioned myself being. I’ve never quite lived up to this dream person but I’ve taken great comfort in dreaming about who I have the potential of becoming.

I’m 32 and I’ve accomplished some great things. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and I’m working on a master’s degree in secondary education. I married a hottie, I have two kids, a dog, a cute house with a  garden.  I can paint when I want, write when I want and read anything that strikes my fancy. I’ve got it pretty good but I want more.

I feel like I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do and I still find myself asking…

Who do I want to be when I grow up?

I’ll sit in the bookstore and scour health and fitness magazines looking for tips on how to become this elusive person. How do I get more organized? What should I wear? How do I decorate my home? What is the best way to raise my kids? The list goes on and on…

I struggle with the balance of enjoying where I am in the moment with striving to better myself. How do you do that? Being awesome is a constant journey because if you stop pushing yourself than you stop being awesome and you have to catch up all over again. At the same time what good is being awesome if you don’t take the time to marinate in your own awesomeness? (Was there enough “awesome” in that paragraph for you?)

Sometimes I’ll wonder if I’ll ever be that person I dream of being? The one who is organized and stylish and smart and fit… I can usually manage to pull off a few of those things at a time but I’ve never been able to do it all. Am I supposed to be able to do it all?

I people watch all of the time. I’m not going to lie, as I watch them I judge them but only for my own personal comparison purposes. When I compare myself to everyone else I find that I’m right in the middle… average. I’m not the sloppiest person out there but I could use some improvement.

I don’t typically find myself too concerned about what others think of me. You can tell this by my penchant for walking out of the house without makeup, or my uncanny ability to spout inappropriate things at inappropriate times. I may not worry about what other’s think of me but I do worry about what I think of myself. Every once in a while I’ll walk past a window and catch a glimpse of my ragged self or stop to reflect on what I may have just said and beat myself up… that’s the worst. Everybody could hate me and it wouldn’t matter as long as I thought I was pretty cool. If someone else doesn’t like me then that’s their problem but If I don’t like myself then I’m kinda screwed.

When I decide that I’m not up to par I’ll ask myself, “Who do you want to be?” After I’ve decided then I step into that person’s shoes and make the decisions that my dream self would make. What kind of drink would that person order at a coffee shop? What would they do on a Sunday afternoon? What would they wear? What kind of workout would they do? How would they treat other people? How would they treat themself?

This different perspective leads to taking those tiny steps to becoming who I want to be. Before I know it I’m not just dreaming of a better version of myself…  I’m just being it.

Week 26 Weigh-in and Monthly Pictures

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I’ve been feeling really gross lately. I’m just a hot mess… literally. It’s so stinkin’ hot outside! I’m sweaty all of the time and I can’t seem to drink enough water. Apparently neither can my plants because they are getting all crispy despite my early morning and late night watering sessions.

Yesterday I woke up at 5:30 to water the yard before Penelope woke up and the first thing I did was check to see if there were any drunk slugs in my backyard. I didn’t find anything but drunk earwigs. I was really bummed out because I want to know what the hell is eating my garden!

In order to boost my gardening spirits I went to check on my carrots that had just sprouted and were going strong… but I couldn’t find them. They were gone! Something ate them too and it needs to DIE! You have no idea how disappointed I was. Roosky Littlemoney is counting on these things to grow. I’m out of seeds but I called around and found some so I’ll just have to plant them again.

After spending the majority of this month entertaining and being entertained I’ve found myself completely out of my groove. So much so I can feel a funk coming on. I’ve eaten like crap and I haven’t fit in a good workout for weeks. It’s starting to make me feel a little bit crazy.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when I workout hard I’m just sweating the crazy out of my system. Bridget knows this and since she’s in the throws of puberty she hates that word she’s been wanting to get rid of some crazy herself. Yesterday we tried to kick start things off right by going for a nice run to start off our day.

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Isn’t this a nice picture?

If we were friends on facebook you would see this and think. “How nice, this lady has got her shit together.” What you didn’t see was how we almost didn’t make it out of the house because Penelope got sunblock in her eye, Bridget couldn’t find shorts that didn’t give her a wedgie and I had to hop out of the car ten times because I forgot the water bottle… Penelope’s snacks… the right stroller… my ear buds… I could go on.

After one lap Bridget was done and I was just getting started. I knew I needed a much longer run. I could tell because the crazy was still pulsating in my veins. But I was really proud of her for getting out there in the first place so I let her decide when the run was over. After the run we made a quick trip to the library and the grocery store. We had made plans to meet friends at the pool so we scurried inside and got our bathing suits on.

Penelope got sunblock in her eye (again) but that didn’t hinder her vision for finding the sharpest object she could find and running with it as fast as she could. I didn’t know what it was until I caught up with her and snatched it away.

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It was just a sweet gift the window guys left behind in her room. I got that weird adrenaline dump when I realized what it was. I was so glad she didn’t fall on it while trying to sneak away with it.

After our close call we went to the pool where I chased Penelope around for an hour then headed home where my house was still a mess despite my efforts to keep it clean. Bridget stayed at the pool with her friend and was later dropped off by her friend’s mom who walked in just in time to see just how messy my house was. The side of my house was littered with trash thanks to the neighborhood raccoon, the grass in the front yard is half dead/ half overgrown, the kitchen floor had peas scattered all over it and my vacuum cleaner was sitting out with the cord unwound and sprawled on the floor.

I’m a mess.

When I woke up this morning that gross feeling I have been having lately was amplified times ten. I was up at five o’clock again because my little human alarm clock doesn’t seem to have a snooze button. I looked over at the empty side of the bed where my husband should have been sleeping then picked up my phone to look at the photo I receive via text of him at the wildland fire.

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I’m not really sure why he’s holding a log over his head… or wearing a beret for that matter. But I do know that I miss him a ton. I counted down the days and I’ve got nine more to go before he comes back.

After listening to Penelope squawk in her crib it became clear that she wasn’t going to fall back to sleep so I stumbled into her room and picked her up. Then I realized I didn’t pee first so I tried to set her back down but she would have none of that so I peed with her sitting in my lap. I looked at the scale and pretended like I didn’t see it as I made my way downstairs to get her some milk. Finally, after she had a belly full of milk she was okay with being set down to play with her toys on the deck while I watered the yard.

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Somehow the setting on my sprinkler got out of hand so we both ended up with a face full of water. I thought it was kind of funny but she did not.

When we came inside I sat her down with her toys while I begrudgingly took the time to step on the scale. I cringed as I waited for the results… 192.2. It could have been worse. I actually felt indifferent to the number, glad I didn’t gain ten pounds during this hectic month but ready to get back down to business because I’ve still got a long way to go.

Since Penelope was playing so nicely by herself I sat down to blog the results… but  couldn’t. For some reason I didn’t have a connection to the internet. This seems to be the theme of my life right now, nothing is connecting. I tried calling Comcast and was introduced to another automated voice system after 30 minutes of being on the phone I still didn’t have a connection to the internet. At this point I said… SCREW IT!

I loaded up the baby and the dog and took a walk to the coffee shop… in my pajamas… before even brushing my teeth. The whole time I pretended like I wasn’t falling apart at the seams despite my efforts to keep it together.

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As I walked in the early morning sunshine things began to turn around. The trees smelled good, Penelope was happy, I was caffeinated… all was right with the world again.

When I got back I sat down with Penelope and read her a book that she absolutely loves. She babbled the whole way through it and kissed every page (this is a new thing). Before I laid her down in the crib for her morning nap she kissed me on the mouth and nuzzled into my neck. At that moment I couldn’t help but be entirely grateful for this messy life I lead. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

After I put her down I sat at the computer and guess what… I had a connection to the internet so I was able to do my official Friday weigh-in after all. Bridget woke up and snapped my monthly photos for me so you can see just how much of a sweaty hot mess I really am.

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I always get mad when I put forward effort and don’t get the results I want. I feel this way about all aspects of life…gardening, school, parenting, weight loss. I always think that since I “tried” I should get what I was after in the first place. What I’ve discovered is that you can’t just sit there and feel sorry for your failure and pout about how unfair it is. Instead you have to just chug along and try harder and if that’s not enough try even harder still. Eventually, if you don’t give up  and you keep trying you will get the results you want. Because one thing is for certain pouting doesn’t accomplish anything but a bad attitude.

Remind me of this little insight when I have a failure pity party later on down the road… m’kay?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Cheers You Slimy Suckers

So I have a little confession to make… I’ve been a little stressed out.

I was in denial because I wanted my cousin to have fun while she was here. By the end of her trip the window company we bought our new windows from informed me that they would be installing them the day she left. At first I was really excited but then I started to take down the blinds and found myself completely overwhelmed by just how ghetto fabulous the previous owners of our house were.

I mean seriously, who glues match boxes from Vegas to their blinds???

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It took forever to get those suckers down! Once I finally got the job done I was coated in dust and silently reprimanding myself for not being a tidier homeowner.

I don’t really think it was the windows that had me stressed out but more the fact that my husband is away for so long. I’m not normally clingy but I was nowhere near mentally prepared to have him be deployed to fight a wild-fire for two weeks. Deployments aren’t always so spur of the moment. I’m still kicking myself for not giving him a kiss before he left for work.

In the mean time while I complain about how stressed out I am about dusty blinds he’s off fighting something that looks like this…

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(He sent me this picture from his phone upon arrival.)

Since then the West Fork Complex Fire has grown significantly. When I got to talk to him he told me that his crew was supposed to be assigned to where the brunt of the action was but for some strange reason the starter in their rig went out before they could get there. While he went on and on about how ticked he was to be missing out on all of the good stuff I was secretly counting my blessings that the starter didn’t go out on them while the fire was bearing down on them. I was really glad that he had a boring day waiting for it to be repaired.

In other news, I have decided to see if I can get a bunch of slugs drunk…

My garden is a disaster. Over the past week and a half something has eaten the majority of my plants. When I found huge gaping holes I sprayed an organic insecticide that I had on hand all over my plants. Guess what…

I burned the shit out of them. So now not only do I have holy plants but they are crispy to boot. Check it out…

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Crusty zucchini… yum.

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Dinner plate dahlias.

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This was a dinner plate dahlia too… before it got eaten.

I freaked out and went to the nursery and had the professionals pick an organic insecticide that was supposed to be used on plants and I immediately came home and sprayed them. I felt happy with myself until the next morning when I found more holes.

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(I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read The Hungry Caterpillar again. I’ve come to realize that this is not a cute children’s book… it’s a tragedy.)

I was starting to become desperate. What was I going to do? Every time I woke up in the morning a little more of my garden was gone! I finally went to another nursery and they told me that I was either dealing with slugs or a worm of some sort. They told me to put out some beer because slugs love beer. If I wake up to find slugs passed out in the beer then I know who the culprit is. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot…

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(Cheers you slimy little suckers.)

I really hope I find a bunch of drunk slugs in the morning. That way I know who the culprit is. Otherwise I’ll just keep on living the most boring murder mystery there ever was.

In the mean time I’m going to have to remember that I have not replaced my blinds just yet while I get dressed for bed tonight. I don’t need the whole neighborhood looking at my goodies. Especially the weirdo who lives a block away and insists that I keep my porch light off so he can search for comets in the sky with his telescope. That’s right buddy I’ve got my eye on you too. (But that’s another tale for another day.)

I will say that I love the way the windows came out so he can feel free to admire those… during the day… minus the telescope.

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I’ll let you know how my slug experiment pans out… I’m sure you’ll be waiting on the edge of your seats 😉

Thought Bombs and Cocktails

I literally sat here for about five minutes trying to organize my thoughts so that I can share the past few days with you. But my brain just won’t work… I am that tired.

So be warned… this post is going to be full of thought bombs snapping and popping as the neurons in my brain try to make connections.

My poor cousin Katy came out to see me at the tail end of an epic amount of visiting family and traveling. My house is a wreck and I’m completely disorganized. I’ve ignored all of those mundane things you have to do in life to keep things functioning for way too long. My house is in desperate need of a boring day but I want to make sure Katy has a good time while she’s here so I’m trying to keep chugging along. I really do hope she’s had fun.

On Friday I took Katy hiking…

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The plan was to go for a hike and then drive to Evergreen and have dinner. After we got done with the hike we got in my car to find that it wasn’t working right. The engine was shaking the car and it would just creep when I tried to accelerate. (This is the hoopty with the fire fighter butt dent in it that I refuse to replace.) Katy and I just looked at each other like “Oh shit, we’re stuck on a mountain with a fussy baby.”

I opened the hood of the car because that’s what you do when cars break down… right? I looked at it, touched a few things, shut the hood and started the car up again and it was normal. We were a bit freaked out so we went straight home where we enjoyed rehydrating/dehydrating watermelon cocktails.

Coconut Watermelon Cocktail

1 shot of watermelon vodka

glass full of coconut water

splash of club soda

squeeze of lime

This drink was so refreshing that it went down a little too smoothly if you know what I’m saying 😉 We sat in the den and giggled through two episodes of Master Chef before passing out for the night.

We were planning on driving to Estes on Saturday to visit my Great Aunt Freida and Uncle dub who live there during the summer. I was too scared to drive my car up another mountain. But Katy really wanted to see her and then go visit a friend in Fort Collins so we rented a car just to be safe. I offered to let her go by herself so that she would have a way to get home but it was really important to her that we saw our Aunt Freida together and I’m so glad that we did.

It took two hours to get to Estes. The drive was absolutely beautiful…

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Aunt Freida was my mom’s aunt. I would call her the matriarch of the family because she always kept everyone together. She was always a steady figure in our mother’s lives as they were raised by their grandparents in Wichita Falls, TX along with their brother Paul.

I hadn’t seen Aunt Freida and Uncle Dub in years but they were just like I had remembered them. They both have the kindest eyes. We stayed for a few hours catching up over a nice lunch.

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Our cousin Hogan stays in Estes with Freida and Dub during the summers and works at this restaurant. Luckily he got to take a break and enjoy lunch with us for a while. We were able to visit for a little while longer before heading back down the mountain for Fort Collins.

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Aunt Freida and Uncle Dub were disappointed to find that we couldn’t stay longer. I felt really bad so I promised to come back to visit again with my husband in tow before they head back south for the winter.

On the way down the mountain I started to get a migraine. If you really know me you know this is bad news. I get the most debilitating headaches that can land me in the ER. We were stuck on this windy road behind the slowest truck on earth. There were no stores in sight. So I spent an hour and a half trying not to throw up as I navigated my way back to civilization so that I could buy some medicine.

Once we got to Fort Collins I got the medicine I needed. I dropped Katy off at her friend’s house and headed back home for another hour and a half. The girls were dog tired and so was I…

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Once I got home I looked out and saw the moon looking down on me. I’ve always thought of the moon as a woman who keeps an eye out on us during the night. I always compare my mother to the Sun and the Moon and I found it to be fitting since I finally got a chance to visit with her family.

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I don’t typically talk about my mother much. But I can’t help but talk about her with Katy here. I’m so glad she came, I feel like I’ve gotten a chance to reconnect with a big part of myself that I tend to push aside.

Anyway, I told you this post was going to be crazy. I hope you were able to follow along. I would sit here and edit this post until it made sense but I’ve still got some entertaining to do so I better get moving!

Week 25 Weigh-in

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Well it’s official… I’ll be a single mom for the next two weeks while Brent is out saving lives and breaking hearts. The whole state of Colorado is pretty much on fire and we knew he would eventually be deployed for a wild land fire at some point this summer. We just weren’t sure when.

He went in to work yesterday for a one day overtime shift and since I was going to see him the following morning I slept through him leaving. I didn’t know I wasn’t going to see him for a few weeks. If I had I would have given him a big hug and kiss.

In the mean time Penelope has decided that she wants to be a stunt woman when she grows up. As I was trying to weigh myself this morning she decided to dive head first into the bathtub even though there wasn’t any water in it. Then as I sat down and tried to type this blog post I looked back just in time to see her bridging over from the arm of our chair and onto the window ledge. Then she proceeded to stand on the chair and jump on it until nearly falling off. I ended up turning it around so she couldn’t climb on it while I finished this post up. She was none too happy.

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When I stepped on the scale this morning I was surprised to find that I weighed in at 188.8! This is crazy because I’ve either been on vacation or hosting someone at my house for the past few weeks. I have tried to stay active and eat well but I have refused to miss out on any of the fun or be too rigid for the sake of weight loss. I want to enjoy myself spending time with family while they are here.

My cousin is currently out visiting for the week. The last time I saw Katy was ten years ago when her mother passed away. Her mother is my mother’s younger sister. They had a brother too but he passed away also. They were all brilliant troubled souls due to a turbulent childhood.

I got really nervous when I headed toward the airport to pick Katy up. When I confessed this to her on the ride back home she said she was nervous too. Katy and I had to get to know each other all over again but this time as adults. We’ve had a blast so far and fell into an easy stride as if no time had passed at all. I’m so glad she reached out to me and wanted to visit!

Yesterday we spent the morning in Larimer Square, the Historic District of Downtown Denver. So of course I had to take her to The Market for lattes.

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They were super foamy that day, it was delicious.

We also walked around 16th street mall which seemed to be particularly dirty for some reason. We saw plenty of people getting their lunch out of the trash and everywhere we turned an unsavory type was trying to flirt with my baby. I don’t belong in the city because I smile at everyone. Brent calls me a weirdo magnet. But the way I see it I’d rather be a weirdo magnet than be rude. This mentality has placed me in some awkward situations. Like the time my new BFF on the light rail showed me his house arrest ankle cuff to which I replied with a chipper, “Oh, what did you do?” (Harboring drugs and guns was the answer.) But I’m a bit less open when I’ve got my kids on hand.

After strolling around for a while we headed back to Larimer Square and had lunch at the restaurant right next to the market.

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We shared burrata cheese and each ordered a side salad. I got a panzanella salad… it was TO. DIE. FOR. Shortly after we finished our lunch Penelope declared it time to go home. While Penelope napped I loaned Katy my car so she could drive down the street for a walk in the foothills.

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After nap time we made tacos with fresh salsa while Katy helped Bridget figure out how to tune her guitar. Hearing the strum of the guitar paired with Katy’s laugh that is identical to her mother’s has brought back a lot of memories. In fact today would have been my mom’s birthday so I find it to be fitting.

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Tomorrow we plan on heading out to Estes Park to see my mom’s Aunt Freida and Uncle Dub. I’m hoping they have some old photos I can look at but since this is their summer house I’m not sure if they will have them on hand… but we shall see.

How is your summer going? Do you find it easier or harder to live a healthy lifestyle in the summer? I find it to be easier to be active but I also find myself wanting to frequent patios with refreshments.