Category Archives: About me

Love Is A Verb

Twenty two years ago, I met a boy.  He made me laugh the first time we met.  He was very different from the guys I had dated, because he was so open and didn’t hide from his feelings.  In fact, from the very first day we met, I have never wondered where I stood with him, what he was thinking, or how he felt about things.  It was honest, refreshing,  and a little bit scary.  He asked me out and when I turned him down three times in a row (because I already had plans, I promise!), he kept asking.  And after a few dates, when I went on a trip with a friend, he met me at the gate when we came home…hugging me so hard I almost lost my breath!  I had just come out of a long term relationship and was pretty scarred, so I was a little hesitant at first.  But something about him just felt right.  His persistence and enthusiasm would have turned me off if it had been anyone else, but I just had a feeling that I’d better not let him get away.  Now, 22 years later, we just celebrated our 20th anniversary, and I love him more today than I did the day I married him.

It’s kind of scary when you think how little we knew each other when we got married, two years after we met.  We were in our late twenties, and had plenty of experience with other people, so we knew what we DIDN’T want and kind of knew what we DID want.  We had the same values and goals, wanted to be with each other all the time, couldn’t imagine spending our lives apart, and what I’ve discovered is key…we laughed together.  He has kind of a biting humor, and I “got” him.  He was happy when he made me laugh.  And now, 22 years later, we still laugh…a lot.  I can’t imagine a better father for our daughter, and I can’t imagine a life without him.  We have grown up together…and now we know each other better than we know ourselves.  

I was in love…I felt safe and secure with him.  I’d fallen in love before, several times, actually, but had never felt as safe in his arms as I did with him.  The last twenty years have been cram packed full of a lot of things…Buying homes, renovating homes, having a baby, school applications, homework, work, carpools, play dates, vacations…and I’m not gonna lie…some difficult moments.  My tendency when things get difficult is to withdraw and sulk…I don’t like to talk about my feelings.  J’s tendency is to fight it out to the nth degree…and even when we resolve things, he likes to talk about it.  A lot.  We’ve learned over the years that somewhere in the middle is the key.  I’ve had to work on looking inside myself to try to figure out the “why” and “what”, and then push myself to talk about it, and he’s had to learn not to beat everything into the ground.  But we rarely (I really can’t truthfully say never) go to bed angry…maybe sleep deprived after loooooong discussions…but not angry.  Everything always looks better in the morning.  We have also worked hard at making each other feel special, not an easy thing when you’re mad at them.  But we’ve learned that biting your tongue and saying or doing something nice gets you a whole lot farther than biting at each other, or sulking away in a corner.

My pastor, Pete Wilson, spoke last week in church about “How to Stay in Love”…and he blogged a portion of that sermon this week. Once again, he nailed a subject that was on my mind, since J and I just returned from a 20th anniversary trip to the Bahamas. I’d been thinking about our life together and why I think it’s so strong. He said that while we’re all naturally equipped to FALL in love, we’re ill-equipped to STAY in love. And here’s the quote that I love…

 “You don’t feel your way into an action. You act your way into a feeling. Act loving, be loving, then you’ll feel love.”

How true is that? Love is not a noun, it’s a verb.  You shouldn’t think you have to be LOVED to be LOVING, it’s the other way around.  Be loving, you’ll feel loved.  Simple.  Somehow J and I figured it out.  Some people never do.   I pray that we both continue to work as hard on making each other feel loved as we do now.  My daughter will be entering college in less than two years, so I’m sure there will be many boys in her life.  I’m so glad she heard Pete’s sermon… Hopefully she’ll remember that falling in love is the easy part, realize that you have to work to stay in love, and she’ll find the happiness and fulfillment with someone that I feel with her father.

I must be in a sharing mode, because here are some photos from the last 20 years with the love of my life, frizzy hair and all!

Top Ten Reasons why I haven’t posted lately

It’s 6:30 a..m…my favorite time of day. My family is still sleeping and I have an hour or two to eat my toast, catch up on emails, read the paper, and today I decided to face the horror of (DUM DUM DUM) the unwritten blog post. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything that I feel like I’ve forgotten why I started doing it in the first place. I’ve even put a lot of thought into just shutting it down, and starting all over with a different kind of blog, one that might be a little less A.D.D. (all over the place), and a little more narrow in topic. But that would never work for me, because I never know what is going to motivate me to sit down and write.

This morning, after I finished breakfast, fed the dog, checked facebook, read my emails, and looked up Colorado College for H (who is in 10th grade and beginning to think about colleges), I looked up at the bookmark toolbar on my mac and winced as I clicked on this blog. Yep, it’s been almost two months since I wrote anything. So in essence, I’m probably starting all over anyway. But I’m still going to write about my life, because that’s what I know (and that’s what my mom wants to read).

We’re in Lake Toxaway this weekend for fall break, and I think it’s as good a time as any to make excuses for why I haven’t posted, and to start writing again, because to be honest, I write for me. No ads, no promotions for products that I keep getting asked to review (so please stop asking me!), just a place for me to talk about life with a teenage daughter, a husband who is my best friend, my girlfriends (yesssss!), and my dog.

There are a lot of reasons for not writing, but here are the top 10:

10. We had H’s Sweet 16 party last month with her best friend…lots of planning for a party with 115 of their closest friends. In H’s words…”Best night of my life!” And as a mother, those four words made it all worthwhile.

9. I started taking bioidentical hormones this summer, which have made me feel like a new woman! I’m sleeping all night long for the first time in years. So I’m feeling so much more energetic during the day, but the wee hours of the morning, when I used to write, are now spent sleeping.

8. I’m chairing two committees at H’s new school. Last year when H was in her first year at the school, I tried to volunteer so that I could meet other moms, but they didn’t need me! Strangely, at this school, they have so many uber-moms that volunteer, the positions get taken pretty quickly. At her old school, there were just a handful of moms who had time to volunteer, so a few of us did all the work and we were always looking for warm bodies to help.

7. J turned 50 this month, so two weeks after H’s “Sweet 16”, we had a 50th birthday party for him. More party plannning, and a house full of family from out of town.

6. I made two slideshows, one for H’s party and one for J’s. Shouldn’t have taken me the bazillion hours it ended up taking, but I had so much fun looking at all the old photos it took five times longer.

5. Between H’s party and J’s party, we went on a cruise to New England and Canada to see the fall colors.

4. Now that H is back in school, her schedule is unbelievably busy. Fall basketball double headers, workouts three days a week, open gym two days a week, driver’s ed every saturday, and her social life whenever she can squeeze it in. Not to mention her schoolwork. She’s in 10th grade, and two of her classes use college textbooks, she has homework until 11 or 12 every night. I know it’s not MY schedule, but I’m still shuttling her back and forth between all of this, as well as trying to calm her down when she’s overwhelmed, which is quite often. She now has her driver’s license, so now she’s shuttling me around (which is another blog post altogether).

3. Even though J’s birthday party was last week, we’re also planning a long weekend next weekend in North Carolina with some close friends. This is J’s favorite place in the world, and he wanted to celebrate in an intimate way with our friends.

2. My 15 year old nephew just spent three days in Pediatric Intensive Care at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for some weird reaction to flu symptoms. He was sick for a few days, fever wouldn’t come down, throwing up like crazy, so my sister-in-law took him to the ER to get some fluids. When they couldn’t get his fever to come down they transferred him to Vanderbilt and when he got there, his blood pressure dropped to 47/20, and his kidneys shut down. All the blood tests have come back negative, so they have no idea what caused it all. He’s better now, and came home yesterday with a pick line to continue his IV antibiotics, but he gave us all quite a scare.

But the number one reason I haven’t written anything, is that I feel so inadequate compared to some of my favorite blog writers, like these:

Busy Dad’s Blog
La Belle Saison
Mrs. Fussypants
Suburban Turmoil

But what is up with the blogs that suddenly have pop up ads all over the place??? Come on guys, that is so annoying. I know you have zillions of readers and make some money from the ads you have, but POP-UPS? They’ve got to go.

Anyway…there are my excuses. I promise I’m going to do better. I enjoy writing when I do it, so I am going to JUST DO IT. So please, the few readers I had before the sabbatical..please come back!

My Facebook addiction

Nope, I’m not dead.

I’ve been in rehab, for my facebook addiction. See, this is the problem. I’ll be just doing my mom thing, running H all over the place, and waiting for her to come to the car, and my iphone is there, just waiting, with notifications of all kinds of things…responses to my posts, old friends trying to re-connect, pictures of my friends doing whatever they’re doing, old pictures of me that I have never seen before, status updates from H, telling me what she’s up to (because even living in the same house with a 15 year old does not guarantee that she actually talks to you about what she’s REALLY doing).

Or I’m at home, paying bills, and an email pops up with a notification. Or I see the “scramble” bookmark and think I have three minutes to do a quick round (which turns into half an hour at least…every time).

You know, just thinking about playing Scramble makes my fingers itch to click on it.

Seriously, facebook has eaten into my day more than any hobby I have ever had. It’s good to re-connect with old friends. I actually had lunch with my friend Julie from college last week. We’ve both been here, in the same city, for over 20 years and have NEVER run into each other. It was so great to see her beautiful face and catch up with her.

I also got a message from a girl whose name I didn’t recognize (at first), asking if I had worked at Opryland in the 70’s, which I had. Apparently we worked together, she remembered me, and even had a photo of us from the Opryland YEARBOOK! Who knew there was such a thing as an Opryland yearbook???

I guess there was. Five points if you can recognize me in this photo.

Speaking of five, there are Five Clues you’re addicted to facebook, according to CNN:

1. You lose sleep over Facebook

2. You spend more than an hour a day on Facebook

3. You become obsessed with old loves

4. You ignore work in favor of Facebook

5. The thought of getting off Facebook leaves you in a cold sweat

Anyway, I don’t know how many steps you need for a facebook addiction, but when you can’t get through a conversation without pulling out your iphone to show someone a picture, you’re deep in it. I haven’t reconnected with any old boyfriends, or neglected my family, but I have definitely wasted a ton of time.

So, first step for me was to stop trying to beat my high score on Scramble (171). I was doing fine, until my friend D. got to 182. Now I’m off the wagon.


12 Stepping for Facebook Games

I was just informed that I’ve been saying it wrong. “Two thousand and nine”. It was explained to me that in 1909, they called it “Oh nine”, not “Nineteen hundred and nine”. Whatever. All I know is, the years are flying by…In another year and some odd months I’ll be fifty freaking years old. I don’t know how that can be. I feel like I’m in junior high in so many ways. When I walk into H’s basketball games, as the mom of a new student, I don’t know where to sit. Do I just sit down wherever I feel like it? Do I try to find the other “cool” moms and sit with them? So far, I look for eye contact and a friendly face and gravitate that way. But we don’t have the years of shared history that I did with the moms at H’s old school, so after the pleasantries of, “So, how were your holidays?” or “How was the weekend?”, I usually pretend to be intensely focused on the game. I always thought that when I was a grown-up, I wouldn’t have to worry about this kind of thing. I feel like there’s a neon light over my head, blinking NEW MOM, NEW MOM, NEW MOM….

I’ve been thinking about “Oh Nine”. I usually avoid New Year’s resolutions, because they’re so predictable…Getting organized, losing weight, eating better, etc. I made the same resolution for about eight years in a row before I realized it just will never happen…I have boxes and boxes of old photos in the attic that I’ve been meaning to put in photo albums, but just never do. So I stopped making that resolution. Now I’m spending way too much time scanning them and posting them on facebook.

Speaking of spending way too much time on facebook…I have discovered Scramble and Pathwords-word games on facebook. Now, I’m wasting even more time. Although, in true justification mode, it’s improving my crossword puzzle abilities. But it’s a problem.

Ever since the holidays I have been dragging…really exhausted, more so than usual. It gets even worse at night, after dinner. I can barely hold my head up and have every intention of going to bed early. The only problem is, the computer is in my office, on the way to my bedroom. So I go in to plug in my phone, check email, and before you know it, three or four hours have passed and I’m still up! Last night, J came by around 10:30 and asked me what I was doing. I felt like an alcoholic, hiding my booze, when I explained why I hadn’t gone to bed three hours earlier.

So, this is my resolution. I don’t think I can completely cut it out. But I am going to “schedule” my time playing the games…Bridge Baron, Scramble, Pathwords, and whatever else I discover. No more than one hour a day. I knew I was in trouble last night when my girlfriend and I were chatting on facebook, and I went “offline” so that I could play without having to respond to her chat! So, I’m cutting that out. If I’m online, I’m online. No more hiding. I’m informing my husband, so that I have some level of accountability. If I am exhausted at bedtime, no more playing games. And if you’re my friend on facebook and you see that I’m online…feel free to ask me what I’m doing. I promise to stop playing and talk to you.

Happy New Year!

Yes, I am still alive. I can’t remember when I had something really profound to say. I just realized that if I don’t write something soon, this blog has a really good chance of just dying a slow, unnoticed death.

I’ve discovered facebook, or as our old babysitter (“old”, as in WAS our babysitter when H needed a babysitter) calls it “crackbook”. Now, when I have a few minutes I seem to waste them away there, instead of here, using my brain. I signed up for a facebook account when H started hers, just so that I could be her “friend” and keep up with what she was doing. Then, all the sudden, old friends, co-workers, ex-boyfriends, and the like started popping up. It’s fun in a voyeuristic kind of way, to look at other people’s photos, status updates and things. Now I know all kinds of important things…that Leann is wondering what to cook for supper, that Mary wants to go to the movies, that Jack is training for a marathon or that Stuart is catching waves in New Zealand. I can post the thousands of pictures I take and my family can look at them if they want…I don’t have to burn cd’s or email them in multiple attachments. Much easier.

We had a great winter break. As soon as H finished her last exam we flew up to New York for three wonderful days. You certainly couldn’t tell the country is in an economic crisis in New York! Geesh. The crowds were in full force. I don’t know if they were buying things, but they were certainly in the stores. It snowed like crazy, which really put us in the Christmas spirit. I jogged in Central Park and it was like a winter wonderland.

Back to Nashville for Christmas, then to North Carolina the day after for five wonderful, relaxing days in the mountains with our dear friends from Dallas. We met with a landscape architect to discuss moving forward with building the deck and driveway for our new lot on the lake!!!

It’s kind of scary, with the economy like it is, so we’re kind of slowing down a little bit, to see what happens. We had originally planned on breaking ground in May, but now, we’re just going to build the deck and driveway so that we can get down there and use the lake this summer. We’ll see what happens.

Lots more to write about, but I’ll save it for later.

I’m optimistic about 2009. I like fresh starts. Take a deep breath, re-evaluate your priorities, look around and appreciate what you do have…family, friends, health, and just take it one day at a time. Happy New Year!

P.S…Congratulations, Princesse!!!

Layoff from Running…Plantar Fasciitis???

Have you noticed how many people are jogging now?  Mornings, afternoons, evenings…pretty much all the time and wherever I am.  I know, the weather is cooling off, so it’s typical to see more people outside, but since I can’t run, it seems like all I see are people running. 

I started running, really running, about 14 years ago.  I’ve completed nine marathons, and have all kinds of goals for future races, like trail ultras, running a marathon a month, running a marathon in different countries, running with my daughter (might have to give that one up…she hates to run).  And even though I stopped getting faster, and started slowing down a few years ago, I came to terms with that, and still love doing it.  I love to run TO something, like to H’s basketball games, track meets, soccer games, etc.  I love to explore new cities with a run.  I love to run.  It’s almost the perfect exercise.  You only need a good pair of shoes, you can do it anywhere, it burns the most calories per minute, and you can do it in the shortest time of any other exercise that I do.  It releases all kinds of endorphins, helps me work through problems in my head, relieves stress, and gives me a natural high.  There’s only one problem.  I CAN’T FRIGGIN DO IT NOW!!!!

I’ve got some kind of heel pain.  I think it’s plantar fasciitis.  I had it a few years ago, and had to miss a marathon that I trained for, but it hasn’t given me problems in many years.  Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fasciia, the tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects to the heel bone.  The weird thing about this is that usually, the pain is on the bottom of the heel, close to the arch.  But my pain is on the outside of my heel.  It’s weird, I went to the podiatrist, who has helped me in the past, and he tried to palpate the pain by squeezing and pressing on my heel and couldn’t do it.  So he said it’s just a really  mild case, no need for any drastic measurements, and sent me on my way with instructions to stretch, take anti-inflammatories, and not to run.  NOT TO RUN, even when it starts to feel better.  But I’m a bad patient.  I haven’t run in a couple of weeks (but I bike 150 miles a week and do the stair machine and elliptical with no pain), so Sunday I got on my treadmill to see how it felt.  Started running slowly, 10 minute mile pace, and it felt fine.  So I ran a mile, then walked a mile, then ran 2 miles at 9:30 pace.  Still fine.  Walked another mile, then ran 1 1/2 miles at 9:00 pace.  It felt really good.  I was so excited!  Until I woke up the next day and could hardly walk.  I barely made it on the mile walk around the block with the dog.

So I’m not going to run.  Even though every person in the bloody neighborhood is running.  I think they’re running past my house, just to make me feel bad. 

I’m going to stretch, sleep in the night brace, take advil, ice, and just TRY to be patient.  If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to pass it on.  For now I’m just going to live vicariously through some of the running blogs I’ve found, like Make it a Masterpiece

100 Things About Me

  100 Things about me

1. Now that we’re empty nesters, we split our time between Nashville, Lake Toxaway, NC, and Snowmass, Colorado.
2. I’m a mom to a college student-yikes!
3. I’m an exercise fanatic
4. I love to eat (thus #3)
5. I grew up in a house that had NO ALCOHOL…EVER
6. I looooooove white wine and cucumber gimlets (Thanks, Tim Love)
7. I have crooked fingers because I broke two of them in sixth grade
8. My first job was dressing up as a bunny and standing in the street handing out muffins for “Bunny Bread”
9. I taught aerobics for 20 years.
10. Took sports broadcasting class at UT Knoxville from Lindsey Nelson
11. I have two black labs, Rosie and Sugar
12. I got the nickname “Esa” when I was 10 and my tennis instructor (from Australia) couldn’t pronounce my name correctly.  I can still hear him say, “Keep your eye on de ball, Esa!” For some reason it stuck, and now most of my friends from Nashville call me Esa. 
13. I’d rather be in the mountains than at the beach
14. I don’t like sticky, humid, HOT weather, thus #13
15. I love to snow ski more than any other sport
16. I have run and completed nine marathons, five triathlons, and one century (so far)
17. #16 hurts way more than it used to
18. I straighten my hair
19. I love TOP CHEF…bought every season on itunes and rewatch every episode over and over
20. I don’t eat meat, poultry or pork, and my daughter is vegetarian, so I’m constantly looking for good recipes that will give us enough protein.
21.My new favorite winter activity is “skinning” uphill on skis, then skiing back down.
22. I love when it rains and I’m at home
23. I like to show up early to appointments and catch up on my reading
24. I took dance lessons for 13 years
25. I’m unbelievably proud of my daughter
26. My husband is my best friend
27. I love to travel 
28. I’m a browser…I like to wander around in stores for hours
29. I read constantly…anything I can get my hands on
30. I take benadryl every night so that I can stay asleep while my husband snores next to me.
31. I was born in 1960…you do the math
32. I think I’m in menopause already
33. I have a fantasy of living in Paris one day
34. I love to go for a run whenever I visit a new city
35. I nibble…take a bite of something, wrap it back up, and keep on until it’s finished.
36. I eat around the edges of cookies and throw the middle away.
37. I majored in Broadcasting, graduated “with honors” and never worked in the field.
38. My first job after college was as a part time waitress and I made more in that job than I would have if I’d taken the job I was offered at a radio station.
39. I miss going into my daughter’s room at night when she’s asleep to watch her.
40. I hit a moving train with my car, totaled my car, and walked away without a scratch.
41. I’m still afraid of trains.
42. I hate the popped collar look.
43. 80% of the clothes in my closet are black.
44. I was a cheerleader in high school and college.
45. I played basketball in junior high when girls only played half court.
46. I ran track because I had a crush on a hurdler.
47. I gave up all meat except fish April, 2010.  Sometimes I really miss bacon.
48. My heart skips a beat when I see my husband across the room.
49. I often have anxiety attacks in crowded places.
50. I have watched every episode of “Friends” and “Top Chef” so many times I can quote blocks of dialogue.
51. I like aisle seats in an airplane.
52. My favorite part of first class is the hot nuts.
53. I like to get the meal they serve on the airplane, even if I don’t eat it.
54. I need to chew gum after every meal. I don’t know why.
55. I have a hard time saying “no”.
56. I have one brother, two nephews, and one niece.
57. When I was little my grandparents didn’t have an indoor toilet, we had to use the “outhouse”.
58. I saw my grandpa tear the head off a chicken that they served for dinner.
59. I didn’t eat chicken for a couple of years.
60. I cry very easily.
61. When I speak in front of people, I get a red blush on my chest.
62. I wear turtlenecks when I have to give a speech.
63. My hair started turning gray when I was 25.
64. I love the pretzels they sell on the street in NYC.
65. I used to buy fake purses and watches in NYC. When my daughter decided for a brief period she wanted to be a designer, we swore off supporting the people who sell them.
66. My favorite restaurants in NYC are David Burke’s Townhouse and Craft
67. I know where to buy Theory and Tahari in NYC for 40% off!
68. I was proposed to on a carriage ride in Central Park.
69. I went for a run once in Woodmere, NY and got lost in Queens.
70. I’m a terrible clothes folder.
71. I’m not very neat.
72. I love to take long bubble baths. With Candles.
73. I used to wear glasses, then contact lenses, and for ten years I didn’t need either…I had my eyes surgically corrected (Lasik).  Now it’s regressed and I need to wear glasses to drive.  Bummer.
74. I hardly have any eyebrows, so I tattoo them on.  The only tattoo I will ever have.
75. I love Disneyworld.
76. I once took a sleeping pill before getting on a plane for a red-eye flight and fell asleep in the airport bathroom.
77. My husband makes me laugh every day.
78. I apologize too much
79. I never know what to say to family members at a funeral or memorial service
80. I HATE to ask for money.
81. I love to run, but have to run by places with bathrooms or port-a-potties because I can’t go six miles without having to go.
82. I drink 4-6 diet cokes every day…with crushed ice if possible.
83. I only drink coffee after dinner, if at all.
84. I love all kinds of nuts, peanuts most of all.
85. I rub my husband’s back in bed every night.
86. I can never remember my dreams.
87. I love mushy gushy love stories
88. I have acrylic nails (cause mine are like paper)
89. I drive a hybrid car
90. I worked at Opryland, USA in high school.  Best summer job ever!
91. My ears are pierced twice (in each ear)
92. In college I could easily get to seven keys in Pac-Man without really thinking about it.
93. My first concert was Billy Joel
94. When I first got my driver’s license I used to skip school and drive all over town, just for the hell of it.
95. I absolutely LOVE the smell of fires burning in Colorado when it’s cold and snowy.
96. When I was 16 I worked at “Bonanza” and dropped the sticky table cleaning rag into the vat of iced tea and didn’t tell anyone.
97. I have an irregular heart beat, and had a cardiac ablation a few years ago to correct exercise induced ventricular tachycardia. 
98. My resting heart rate is 49.
99. I wish I had thinner legs.
100. I would rather spend time with my husband and daughter than anything else in the world.