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Losing the Car (and an hour.)

I’ve talked before of The Mommy Guilt, and it hits me at the weirdest times. So instead of allowing it to take me under, as it usually does, I’ve started creating a mental list of things that I “should” be doing for my kid. And then I try to do them, under circumstances that work for me.

We live a mere two miles away from Tony’s school. Across from Tony’s (preschool) is a neighborhood elementary school. I see parents walking their kids to school on a daily basis – or walking home from school – and it makes me hurt. After all, my kid is at preschool from 7:45 to 5:00 most days. THAT SUCKS. I hate that.

So some days, I walk to pick him up.

The weather is kind of awesome around our town now, and although the pollen is still insane, it’s a bit cooler and the rain is a bit more frequent. And I’ve been trying to exercise more, so this works out well.

It’s a fifteen minute walk TO the school. And usually about a forty-five minute walk home.

The first day I walked to school, the kids were playing outside. As I approached, I heard Tony say, “It IS! It IS my Momma! Momma! MOMMA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

We’re walking home today, I told him through the fence. It’s an ADVENTURE.

I turned to head inside and I heard him tell his friends, “I’m goin’ on an ADVENTURE. YESSSSS!”

When I came onto the playground to round him up, the teacher laughed. “Tony told me you lost your car again.”

.. I .. wait, what? Lost my car?

So every day now, when I pick him up, he always looks to see if I’ve got shorts and running shoes on or heels and a skirt. He knows that the former means we’ve got an adventure in front of us. We spend our walk home chatting. Sometimes he pretends he’s a Power Ranger with a found stick/sword. Sometimes we recite traffic safety rules. Sometimes we make up songs.

And it’s such a powerful reminder for me to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N. I am an efficiency-minded person. I move quickly, all the time. I walk briskly. He .. doesn’t. He lollygags behind, stopping to explore some moss or blow out a dandelion or examine the eleventy billionth rock we’ve passed. And it reminds me that it’s okay to stop and look around. Because, you know, sometimes it saves you from being run over by a car. And sometimes it sends a Power Ranger your way to defeat the evil Low Hanging Branch Monsters.

Even though it’s an hour I could spend cleaning or doing laundry or getting dinner ready, somehow it’s an hour that I never ever find myself regretting.

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Cranky Sarah Reads the Internet

So! Words! I put them here!

I’ve only mentioned this in, oh, about every post since it happened, but my site is now blocked at my place of work. I’m all about forcing productivity, but you know? It takes me as long to type out a post – if that – as it does for most smokers to finish one cig. I’ve said for years that blogging is my smoke break. It gives me a mental break.

Now I don’t have that during the day.

I’m kind of blown away at how this has affected my mood at work. I’m very short-tempered now, quick to anger and slow to hold my tongue. In short: I am like an addict who has quit cold-turkey. There is no blogging patch to step down cravings.

As part of my .. recovery? steps? I don’t know .. I’m forcing time for myself. Typically, I work all day, then mother until the kids are in bed, and then my husband gets my undivided attention. No one has set this rule for myself but me, but I follow it to the letter or I feel like a HORRIBLE [insert responsibility here]. So now I’m trying to be better about taking time for myself to go running, or to sit down and write a post. I’m not saying I’m 100% successful, but I’m trying.

Also, I ran over 3.5 miles with my running group this week. It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t great at it, but man, did I feel like such a badass at the end of it. Like, seriously, I probably could’ve gone to an even four miles. Even more odd? I AM MAKING PLANS TO RUN WITH FOLKS AFTER THIS RUNNING GROUP IS OVER. There are about five women who I typically pace with on a run, and we enjoy eachother’s company and we were all, “Hey, let’s do this some more.” CRAZY PANTS, IS WHAT THAT IS.

I also feel the need to tell you that I hate running. Like, I contemplate suicide with every single step. I am not one of those runners who can zone out during a run and TADA! it’s fourteen miles later. I WISH I WAS OH GOD DO I WISH. Instead, every step makes me wonder why I even took the first one and every breath is so focused to get down to the bottom of your lung because even though I’m medicated for asthma now, there are still bad days where breathing is a luxury. BUT. Every time I finish a run and I cool down, I feel like I’m glowing with bad-assedness. Is too a word.

I drove away from that run thinking, Huh. I could do a 10K, you know? This is how addicts think.

Finally, I want to direct you to some stuff that I’ve been meaning to share with y’all.

First of all, my very sweet friend Linda has some well-deserved good news to share. I love Linda more than my luggage for many reasons, some of which being that we both have a gaggle of men in our homes but also when I wrote for her fitness blog, she did not flinch at my naming a post “Christ on a Cracker, That Sucked So Hard”.

Secondly, another sweet friend of mine sent me a happy text picture today that is not my news to share, but in celebration of it, I will direct you to the best single-purpose Tumblr since Paula Deen Riding Things: Chandler Dances on Things.

Thirdly, if that’s even a word, Bryan stumbled upon this late Sunday night and it made us both cry. When you have a little boy who’s just a tad different, you want the world to see the amazing things in him that you see. It happened when Caine’s Arcade received a flashmob.

Lastly, this post from Princess Nebraska. I .. I could’ve written this myself. Man, I HAVE written this in my head a million times over. But I never put together the last part of it until she put it down in text. And suddenly .. yeah. That’s me. I need to find me.

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Cross That Baby Off – A Weekend in Atlanta

* Spend a Weekend in Atlanta

Man, am I thrilled to cross something off of my list. We came ThisClose to not going, honestly. After I’d been on death’s door (but still working my ass off, as I do), I debated the sanity of driving three hours with three people who were recovering from being on Death’s Door and then forcing all of them to run a 5K.


Thursday was INSANE at work, seriously, smacking me boldly across the left cheek and then honking my right boob, as no one says. I think that’s gonna catch on, though. JUST GIVE IT TIME. Anyway, because life is funny this way, after work was a total wench, Life also threw a big ole nasty wrench our way.

We looked at eachother and debated calling off the trip.

Then I was all, “NO, WE SHALL PERSEVERE.”

We stopped in for me to do a quick voiceover on our way out of town (woot woot!) and then we were on our way. Everyone was in a great mood, Jack was engrossed in Divergent, Tony was .. being Tony, and when we good to go.


What is typically a three hour drive s-l-o-w-l-y became a six and a half hour trip.

Bryan, who is from Atlanta, was gobsmacked. He knew all the backroads, though, so we took a backroad route. HEY GUESS WHAT EVERYONE TRIES THAT TOO, we realized as we sat in more gridlock traffic. Suddenly, we were both hit with the realization that this is exactly what The Walking Dead looked like in the beginning ..

We FINALLY got to Bryan’s parents’ house. Late for dinner, but still. We arrived. Bryan’s sister and her husband joined us and we had a lovely evening. The boys bunked down in their room, which soon became overrun with giggles and belly laughs (isn’t that the BEST?), and we passed out in our bed, but not before Bryan gifted me with a special something he had picked up for me at a rest stop. Because he’s just classy that way, and I’m worth $0.75.

Saturday morning at ass-crack of dawn, I got three sleepy boys up and pinned numbers to their chests. They looked very stately, dressed from head to toe in white.


We were four of 10,000 runners in The Color Run 2012, and MY GOD THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE. And I was a little naive to think that the little boy who hates getting his hands wet or dirty would ENJOY being doused with color. So after the first color station, Tony declared himself Done With This Here Race. And while I typically bow out and let the boys continue on, I was kind of like, No. So I asked Bryan to take Tony off the course. I asked Jack what he wanted to do, and he wanted to continue on. So off we went.

We ran where we could, but 10K peeps is a lot of peeps and the City of Atlanta only granted us one lane on a street to use. Needless to say, there was not a lot of room to run. But when you’re in the business of Being Colorful, speed is not an objective you care about.

We had a blast, and Jack was SO PROUD of himself for finishing the race. (I was proud of him too!) This is probably my favorite picture of all, because it always makes “One of these things is not like the others..” start playing in my head.

Tony literally would not even hold our hands once we were dirty. He gave us the side-eyes, like we were contagious lepers.

After the race, we drove the 1.5 hour back and Jack used all the hot water in the south end of Stockbridge to wash off. I know this for a fact because I myself took an ICE COLD SHOWER and managed to get exactly NONE of the color off in the process. Then we took another 45 minute drive to the original Chick-Fil-A, which is cool because they have a waitstaff to bring you your #3. Also an itty bitty door.

Then we came back and some hot water had been restored to Stockbridge and MY GOD IT WAS THE BEST SHOWER SINCE THE SHOWER I TOOK AFTER HAVING A BABY. Seriously, post-race showers are THE BEST. I am still sighing deeply thinking about that shower. A quick dinner brought the THUNDA that is Trivial Pursuit.

Although I am a smart cookie, this particular version was released in 1981, so my usual strengths (Art & Literature, Pop Culture, Entertainment) were a little lackluster. Mostly because I was one year old when it was released. Nevertheless, my husband is a trivia whiz and we easily beat the pants off of the other team.

TAKE THAT, JACK AND GRANDDADDY. (It was totally an unfair fight.)

All in all, the weekend was fun and easy and with the exception of traffic forcing us to be in a car for HOURS more than we had planned, it was awesome to get away. We all needed new air and Sunday morning – I can’t believe I forgot to mention this – I GOT TO SLEEP IN. And I woke to a huge breakfast cooked by Grandmomma and everything was amazing and I thought, This is why we travel.

I shall leave you with the scary-ass figurine that watched over us we slept. I have named it Why So Serious, Kitty?

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Running Away

O HAI GUESS WUT? We’re all still sick.

Something obviously was blooming yesterday – and probably in our neighborhood if not in our own yard – but last night was the worst night we’ve all had. Bryan was diagnosed with a sinus infection on Saturday, so he was already on serious medication, and there is NOT ENOUGH MEDICINE IN THE WORLD to alleviate the allergies we all have right now.

I love living here, but DAYUM. The pollen this year! It’s insane! Not only that, but the weather is GORGEOUS. Sunny! Blue skies! 80 degrees! POLLEN OF DEATH AT DEFCON LEVEL 5.

Bryan is going BACK to the doctor today, which is for everyone’s benefit actually. Bryan doesn’t really get the Dreaded Man Cold, but when he’s sick, his patience runs a bit thin. Let’s just say that there were more than a few timeouts taken last night during a session of Super Mario Brothers Wii.

(SERIOUSLY. I handed him my game with 17 lives. SEVENTEEN. He turned off the machine in a fit of rage in ten minutes, down to five lives. AND DIDN’T EVEN SAVE MY PROGRESS.)

(I am really good at Super Mario Brothers.)

(But am not at all bitter.)

So our weekend was mostly full of suck as a result. A toddler recovering from a horrible flu, a man with allergies that leave him unable to breathe or utilize his eyes, and .. me? That’s just not a fun household.

So I left! What else did you expect me to do? I left them on Saturday morning to go run.

AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. (I am really sorry for the one sentence paragraphs I’m rocking today.)

When I started my group runs, I figured my pace was about 12 min/mile. Because it was. If I ran a mile. But as I soon learned, running MORE than a mile significantly lowered my overall pace because – SURPRISE! – I am not in good shape and have no endurance. So I’ve been struggling with pace. My mind is so hung up on this stupid pace window that I push myself too hard and then suffer for the rest of the run because of it.

Early on, one of our running coaches encouraged us to find a pace that we could talk while running. HA HA, we laughed. NO ONE CAN TALK WHILE RUNNING. And it really seemed that way. Sure, we’d all chat and carry on during the walk breaks, but for the run, everyone would fall silent. Aside from the heavy breathing and prayers for death, obviously.

This Saturday, though, our typical running coaches weren’t there. (It’s Spring Break, so people are scattered to the wind around here.) So Alicia and I decided to pace off eachother, slowing down if we needed to or whatever. About 3/4 through the 2.3 mile run, we realized we had been talking the whole time. Because we are bad asses! We did it! Not only that, but we got through it! We didn’t feel like death warmed over at the end and we were mightily proud of ourselves.

In short, I so needed Saturday morning. I had been feeling so blah all week (being cooped up with a flu-ridden household will do that to you), and I was worried that the run would just be the final nail in the coffin. But it wasn’t. It was what I needed to be reinvigorated, to come home and force my husband to visit a doctor so I could clean the house.

This weekend we are heading to Atlanta to do The Color Run and I’m so insanely excited. This .. could be a complete disaster OR a really awesome lifetime memory for the kids, so here’s hoping that their run next Saturday is as awesome as mine was this week.

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Finding My Pace

This may or may not sound intelligible or even worthy of writing down, but .. there’s a lot of turmoil in my life currently, and none of it is fit for blog fodder. Which is hard, as someone who has blogged-for-therapy since 2004. Blogging has gotten me through my youth, my wedding, my marriage, my pregnancy, and many other “my”s. It’s saved me from “dropping my basket” more times than I can count, and it’s awkward and counter-intuitive for me to AVOID blogging what’s happening.

As a result, I haven’t had much by way of vocalizing or venting or anything like that. That’s fine, I thought; I’m a grown woman and I should be able to deal with these things on my own.

(I am not dealing well on my own, by the by.)

But. Life goes on and we don’t get to stop because there’s always laundry to be done and meals to be prepped and charts to be built and so on and so forth. One thing that I realized I needed as a stress relief was running. I realized that after I skipped last Monday’s running group and then the Saturday long run.

I debated skipping last night’s running group as well. It was raining, I felt run down, and I hadn’t run in well over a week. I knew I was setting myself up to fail.

I passed Bryan as I was driving to the running group, who was heavily engaged in a heated phone conversation. I again debated just not going, since there was obviously SOMETHING happening. But I drove. And, of course, as I parked my car in front of our meeting place, big ole fat rain drops began to fall.

We broke off into our various running groups – based somewhat on pace, but also on who we enjoy running with – and we fell into an easy pace. Okay, well, there is no EASY pace, but a comfortable one. I, personally, have a problem with pacing. I am a sprinter at heart. I often run too hard, too fast, and then end up walking through the rest of the race. I am struggling with finding and keeping my pace. But that feels larger than just running. I am – lately, anyway – quick to anger and frustration and then I exhaust myself emotionally. I need to start finding my pace in all aspects, not just where my feet hit the pavement.

I run with a couple of girls and we began catching up since I’d been gone. And as I talked, I realized how weird the words felt leaving my mouth – I kind of felt like I was blogging. They call it “talking”, Sarah. But I realized I hadn’t talked to anyone about it. And we ran, puffing through the hilly parts, laughing through our rest periods, and I realized that I almost wanted to cry because it was the first time I’d actually spoken about what is happening.

As we got to the last part, maybe 3/4 of the way through, my breath left me. I’ve mentioned a few times about how I’ve been unable to take deep breaths lately*, and I suddenly couldn’t breathe. I decided to slow down and let the others get ahead of me, but one of them wouldn’t let me. You’ll help me keep my pace so I can finish strong, she said. Let’s do this together. We can do this. Come on! And we did.

I know it sounds so silly and mundane and one of those things that bloggers blow out of proportion anyway, but she totally gave me the boost and the strength I needed. I needed someone to say, “No, I’ll help you and we’ll do this together” and she did. And I went home feeling stronger than I have in awhile. (I also ran 2 miles in the rain last night, em effers!) And I felt like maybe I’ve found my pace where my feet hit the pavement. So now I can move on to finding my pace somewhere else as well.

*Hey! Also! Have adult-onset asthma! So, while everyone else seems to be pretty freaked out by that, I’m all YAY GIVE ME AN INHALER SO I CAN BREATHE AGAIN. It doesn’t seem to be triggered by exercise – Dr admitted that it sounded like I almost got through the run last night unscathed and he’s right – so I’m good to not change anything other than taking a few puffs a day. SUHWEET.

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