Thursday, December 20, 2012

ACK, Ag, and other things....

This weekend did not go as planned on the exercise front. I think I mentioned I had been working on the girls playroom. I needed to buy some wood in Friday for the seat cushion and the new window treatment I was making. Luckily, I got my 4 mile walk in that morning because the brilliant guy who cut the wood for me put a large and heavy piece of wood standing up on the cart. I pushed it a bit through the store and then thought to myself that I didn't think it was very safe and as I went to stand next to the wood to reposition it, it did exactly what I feared.... Slipped off and smashed my toe. I was impressed with myself for not cursing (out loud) as Ladybug and Angelfish were right there. By the end of Friday evening, it was swollen and it was difficult to bend. Saturday it was black and blue but only in one line, the swelling had gone down a little but it still hurt to high heaven. So I skipped my Saturday walk, especially since I had to get that foot into heels that evening for my friend Christi's wedding.
By Saturday evening, it was better although still a bit bruised. The wedding was wonderful - I even cried a little. The best part of every wedding for me is the look of the groom's face when he sees how absolutely beautiful his soon to be wife looks. I was not disappointed! But by the end of the wedding, I needed to get out of those shoes. Luckily, it was a sit down dinner so I took my shoes off under the table. And a little wine helped the throbbing in my toe.
Sunday I went to church early and let the family sleep in... But they were up and rearing to go by the time I got home, and we ended up taking the kids to do their Christmas shopping for each other. My toe felt perfectly fine, but I decided I should make sure my toe was good for Monday.

Monday, I got up early and took my toe for a spin. 2 miles later and it was fine and it has been good ever since. After taking the girls to school, I headed to a stakeholder meeting with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, Department of Family Services, and multiple nonprofits and community funders to discuss healthy food access - where the need is, what existing programs can be expanded to help with the need, and potential for what else should be done. It was great and just what I had hoped for really. We didn't get a ton done but what everyone agreed upon as parameters and definitions is a wonderful start to actually doing something (even if it takes awhile) about healthy food access. I was a bit shocked when one of the players said to me that when we were introduced he did not realize that I was "THE 'TriMommy'" who was responsible for getting the state agencies to actually come to the table on the issue, and then proceeded to thank me for what I have been doing and continue to do. It was a little odd because I don't even think of it that way. I think of it in terms of justice, I guess. It makes no sense to me that Florida is the state that feeds the country for most of every year yet we have 1 in 5 children (and in some parts of the state 1 in 4) who do not know when they will eat again and when they do eat it's junk because that's what is available to them outside of free/reduced lunch programs. I don't know how not to push to fix that. It's not something I feel like I can just walk away from as though it is not my problem. His comments felt good, yet weird because I didn't feel right about taking praise for something that it should be obvious for us as people to do.

Other Things
Tuesday was catch up from the all day meeting around the house, a bit of shopping as Mr. Darcy's Mom has reinjured a nerve in her leg somehow and is in excruciating pain. So I did their shopping for Ladybug and Angelfish's Christmas presents, and a few little errands for the house. Then to my Junior League Council meeting where we talked about the various committees and their progress, needs, etc. it is wonderful to work with a group of ladies who believe in the community programs we are running, and who do their best. It makes my VP of Community position much easier. : ). Plus I really enjoy all of them, so we always have a nice social part after the meeting too. Oh, and I got my walk in - 2 miles - taking the kids to school.

Yesterday, Mr. Darcy through a wrench in my plans. He set the alarm (when I was already asleep) for 6:30 am instead of 5:30 am, and I must have been tired because I didn't hear it going off until about 7 am. So I fully intended to find a way to get at least 2 miles in if not more. But I had a big to do list... Christmas is officially completed other than grocery shopping and cooking. Wrapped and all. Toilets, tubs, counters are sparkling. I had a wonderful lunch with a friend, and misread my watch causing me to arrive at the girls school about 7 minutes after school ended but thanks to the long pick up line (and my prayers to let me get there for the girls with no problems) disaster was averted, and we had fun at the park afterwards. Then we did some homework and made magical bath sea salts and peppermint sugar scrubs for family presents. The girls then entered into World War III over nothing, and argued the entire rest of the evening. Santa registered his dismay by calling me about it so I could relay the message to cool it to the girls, which has worked pretty well for now. The walk however never happened.

This morning I had an entire conversation in my head, which evidently took 9 minutes as that is the time between alarm and snooze sounding, about whether to stay in bed because it might be "cold" outside and to do yoga or to get up and walk. Well, the walk won. 5:30 am I was out the door and hustled a nice 4 mile walk - the winning argument being that if it was super cold, I'd just go as far as I could take it but since I missed the day before and had toe issues this weekend I really couldn't justify staying in bed AND I knew full well that I wouldn't have time to do yoga if I slept in.

The walk was awesome, actually. I saw a family of 5 "reindeer" traipsing through the neighborhood, as well as the rabbit I keep seeing (who I refer to as the Easter Bunny to the girls and who usually has another rabbit with him, but not today), a neighbor I met when waiting the 2 1/2 hours to vote I the presidential election, a wild boar (who luckily stayed in the underbrush while grunting angrily), a bird who must have been confused because it was singing next to a street light while it was still pitch black out, and then ended with the 5 deer all together instead of spread out throughout the neighborhood. Pretty cool walk and fun to talk about with the ladies who decided that the bird was signaling the reindeer that I was coming so their return to Santa's sleigh to fly back to the North Pole would not cause any magical incidents with me seeing "too much" and that the Easter bunny was simply helping Santa out with the last minute check ins. I love having such imaginative kiddos!

Once I got them off to school, I headed to Sanford for the Seminole County Legislative Delegation Meeting so we could voice our need for support for the initiatives as they arise for healthy food access and to keep them abreast of the fact that we are working with state agencies on the issue, which was much more positively received this year than it was last year. Progress, even if small, is progress! I got out of that earlier than I expected so I ran to get some random sale items - candles and gift bags (70% off sale). Then lunch with Mr. Darcy and on to the girls' winter holiday party at school, where they built snow scenes out of marshmellows and such and then were allowed to devour them. To say the least I let them play at the park for an hour afterward. They needed to burn off some calories!

Tomorrow I have a big list of chores and errands, and I plan to get either a 3 or 4 mile walk in as well. Goal is to be able to enjoy the weekend leading up to the holidays, prepare for reading at church on Christmas, and be rested to cook the Polish Wiglia dinner after evening service on Christmas Eve and prepare for Santa's deliveries and the arrival of my parents. I can't wait! I plan to get in my necessary walks too...

What are your holiday plans?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The best laid plans

Today's had planned a lot of things... A 3 mile fast walk in particular, reading a book and some research I did on CDFI's, a load of laundry, general cleaning, errands, painting. Somehow, I never heard the alarm clock that Mr. Darcy had set 1 hour later than it was supposed to be set for. It is funny how a delay in your start can make you feel off balance. I got in a 1.5 mile fast walk instead since Mr. Darcy had to get to work.
Then I got the ladies ready for school and a breakfast in them, myself showered and then out the door. Upon returning, I was able to dry my hair, out on some makeup and eat some breakfast. Then I ran my errand to get the painting supplies we did not have and then I came home, prepped and taped the wall in the girls' playroom and painted. I painted an accent wall a nice blue color called "high noon." It was the first time I ever painted an entire wall by myself. It was a comedy of errors at first, although I wasn't laughing. I had the rolling brush on a paint roller that turned out to be too small because the rolling brush kept rolling partway off the roller, and to get it back on I had to use my hands which were then completely covered (palm side) with paint. I finally decided that there had to be some roller that worked. sure enough there was... It is amazing how much faster the painting went after that. I finished the wall just in time to get the kids from school. Poof. The day went just like that!
After school pick up it started to drizzle so we couldn't go to the playground (which has been our tradition and really helps the girls get out some energy before going home). Instead we went to IKEA in search of something for the girls' stuffed animals to live in. They vetoed a few ideas because the stuffed animals wouldn't be able to breathe or it wasn't pretty enough or they wouldn't feel loved in that box. I finally told them that we needed to agree on something because the animals were either going to need to be housed or give away because they were just everywhere all of the time. Suddenly they were finding a suitable home for their animals and excited about organizing them - a red bin and a blue bin are now the happy homes of the (stuffed) menagerie. We also purchased a second double bookcase exactly like one we have already because we needed balance in the room. (When I am done I will post some pictures... But not until then.). The thing still needs to be assembled and the box alone weighed 81 pounds. Luckily I have been lifting two kids who collectively weigh 88 pounds. We had a little math problem with that one and the girls correctly subtracted to find that they together weigh 7 pounds more than the box, which according to Ladybug is why "Mama is super strong!" I have to say I was amused by 3 men who were shopping together, slightly older than I am and evidently not a chivalrous bone in their bodies as they stared at me while I told the girls to stop moving the cart and step away from it all while balancing and holding this giant box. Or maybe, I just make it look that easy. : ) either way, as I tell the girls in my best Roz voice (from "Monsters, Inc."), Santa is watching always watching.
Then we battled the rush hour traffic, cooked dinner, and Ladybug and Angelfish did homework and to,d me all about how their teacher loves snow flakes and this was why their holiday party next week is a Winter wonderland theme.
I also folded a load of laundry... But somehow I need more hours in my day to get all my plans done.
Tomorrow I have a conference call and volunteering at a holiday party with some under served elementary school kids. In between that, I plan to get some exercise, straighten and clean, put together the new bookcase, get fabric for the curtains and corkboards. Sure, I can do it all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Catching up...

On so many things really... Just because I haven't blogged doesn't mean I stopped doing my return to fitness challenge. After my hike with the groceries, Wednesday I did a 2 mile walk, Thursday a 3 mile walk (in exactly 45 minutes on the dot), Friday I ran the mile (w 3 walking points) which sadly showed how out if shape sitting behind a desk for 2 years with little exercise can make you, Saturday I slept through my walk after breakfast with Santa and while watching a movie with the kiddies (at least I am honest) and then had a friend's party to go to, Sunday (yesterday) I planned to run my mile but my leg muscles were so incredibly tight even after stretching that I did a fast walk (14 minutes), and today I alternated running and walking 1 mile due to joint pain in my ankles. I plan to do a 3 mile walk tomorrow. I am enjoying getting moving again even if it is only in small increments.
I also decided to do a fruit/veggie juice cleanse this week. I know it may sound odd, but someone about that idea is really calling me as a way to cleanse out all the stress of the past few months and to let me start anew. I am doing the juicer method so I know what is in my juice. I am doing it for all meals except dinner, when I am going to eat some food, although I am considering avoiding the meat for this week. I am starting it today and will finish on Saturday. Depending on how I am feeling I may move up to the smoothie cleanse (basically adding protein powder in) or just return to clean food eating.
In the past week I have realized how completely insane my schedule used to be and why I am having a little bit of a hard time sitting still... My body is trained at this point to constantly have another thing to do and not ever ramp down. I am working on this in particular. Letting myself relax. It sounds funny, but it is really hard. That at being present in every moment. I am trying hard to be still both mentally and physically and working on forgiving someone in particular (no, not Mr. Darcy) while not knowing whether the person even cares if I forgive her.
The girls have been a hoot. They had kids night out at their old daycare and had a blast (full of sugar too) while Mr. Darcy and I had a great time with some wonderfully dear friends - I haven't laughed that hard in awhile! Saturday morning we took the ladies to Junior League's Breakfast with Santa which was a ton of fun. The girls loved on Santa and Mrs. Claus, Angelfish whispered her list in his ear so no one else (probably meaning her sister) would take her ideas. Ladybug told him the same list she had written at home. : )
My favorite thing the girls said this weekend was one if those overheard moments.
Angelfish: How do you draw that so good?
Ladybug: oh, you know, YEARS of practice!
Angelfish: I've had the exact same number of years of practice as you have!
The other was when Santa asked Angelfish where she got her freckles and she responded, "God put them there, of course!"
And now I am off to get a few things from the store. Mainly distiller whit vinegar which evidently is natures wonder cleaner. Oh and some paint and stuff because I decided to redo the girls playroom. Same furniture (although I am going to paint some of it), be revamped and reconfigured. I've wanted to do something different for awhile now, and I hope to have it done before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday funnies

I had a brilliant idea this morning. I had the laundry in, the dishwasher going, the house straightened, so I was going to walk the kids to school and then keep walking to the grocery. I was only buying a handful of things... All went well. The girls said it was cold in the shade, so we ran from sun spot to sun spot until Angelfish declared that her ribs were hurting from breathing too hard. Then we walked the rest of the way. As we were waiting a few minutes because we made such good time (12 minutes is not bad when you are lugging two backpacks that weigh 7 pounds or so each) and were early, the ladies overheard that they could go in the school lobby to listen to a band play Christmas carols. Instantly chopped liver, off they went and so did I. At the store, I bought: 5 lbs of sugar, a container of canola oil, a container of coconut oil, Brie, a can of cranberry sauce, 2 cans of pumpkin, creamer, dark sugar, a jar of garlic. I am pretty sure all of that weighed about 10 pounds. The bag boy was nice enough to pack it into my sack, which then broke. But I rigged it so it would still work and hefted the 1.3 miles home. As I did, I realized the difference that 10 pounds make and decided I needed to make sure I keep off the weight I lost over the past year and to make a real effort to get the couple pounds that I've already gained back off.
So with this in my head, I made a pumpkin spice cake with salted caramel sauce for a holiday party/board meeting I have tonight, and vow not to have any especially since I had the left over quiche from last night for breakfast and just some good pork tenderloin left overs for lunch.
I had to laugh though about the groceries because the lack of forethought when purchasing an automatic 5 pound bag of sugar made me laugh at myself. It also made me think of the members of the military doing runs with their rucksacks which weigh much more than the 10 pounds I carried. Hoorah!
Day 4 of mile challenge complete in the form of a 2.6 mile walk (or more if we want to count the walking I did in the grocery but I'm not sure wandering up and down the aisles really counts). I think I might take on 3 miles tomorrow... But without the groceries!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3 = 2 miles

This weekend I started the mile challenge from 140 Point 6 (see side bar of Blogs to read)... One mile (minimum) everyday in the day of December. I have to admit that I am thrilled that one mile of fast walking is much easier than I thought. Going from long distances and 6x per week workouts to sitting on your keister except for the occasional yoga hour for a period of two years, makes me both appreciative and feeling a little pathetic. I remember when 2 miles (jogging not walking) was a warm up. But I am glad to be getting back into the swing of things.
The weekends are definitely the hardest because I like having two days with less structure than Monday through Friday, but I did a hike on Saturday with Mr. Darcy during the girls' tennis lesson and then an aborted trip to the playground with Angelfish on Sunday who was all for the walk until she changed her mind because she got frustrated because her shoe kept falling off when she would try to race me (interval training at its finest...Angelfish is the "fastest girl" in her class at PE but she is only 3rd fastest over all, and she is itching to beat those 2 boys who are faster. When your competition is about 4 inches taller though... But trying to explain gait length to a 6 1/2 year old isn't always easy.) and insisted (ironically at the 1/2 mile point) that she wanted to go home instead.
Today, day 3, I announced that we would be walking to school (0.95 mi in one direction). I ended up carrying their backpacks - who knew they were so heavy! No wonder Ladybug hates to race while carrying her backpack (that and I think she is a slow twitch runner like her Momma slow and distance, whereas Angelfish is fast and shorter distance like Mr. Darcy). Our original deal was that while I am searching for my next position in the world of nonprofit orgs, we would walk in the mornings and car ride in the afternoon (which was Ladybug's insistence to ensure she was comfortable with the pick up process & completely silly because we go to the playground for 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes after school before going home for homework etc.). So now we're simply implementing. My idea is that I will walk this week (on the way home I kicked it up to the point I was walking so quickly that I was seriously winded) and then I'll start the running next week, probably 3/1s to start and simply add a mile each week (as in 2 miles each day, then 3 miles each day, etc.) until I am doing 5 or 6 miles daily.
After i got home from the walk, I did some cleaning - straightening, cleaning, countertops, and then swept and vacuumed the house and did a load of laundry. Then I hit the web looking for my next potential career move. Next was a conference call for Junior League about the fiscal cliff, the potential for doing away with the charitable deduction for donations, and the importance of advocacy by nonprofit entities. More Junior League stuff for the community council (I'm VP of Community this year) as we have our Breakfast with Santa this Saturday and some other things for our other community programs, not to mention my monthly report was due. Which made me remember by National Director report was due too. I'm the National director of Communications for my sorority, so I chatted with my wonderful staff liason at headquarters, turned in my report, and then with my staff member decided that we would not have our team conference call this month because December is hectic enough. Made a doctor's appointment (annuals check up time) and moved my hair appointment to Friday. Attempted to attend another conference call on behalf of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida for more on the fiscal cliff and the protection of the charitable deduction plus threats to SNAP funding (aka emergency food benefits or the old food stamps) in federal farm bill... Yup, I'm on SHFB's Board of Directors and head its Government Relations committee. But they moved the call last second to 3 pm when I had a meeting at the school for Angelfish and needed to pick the little ladies up.
Tomorrow, I am looking forward to doing a little bit of weights before I walk the ladies to school, some light cleaning, lunch with a friend, more job searching, time with the kids and then a Junior League Board Meeting/Holiday party... To which I think I will bring cranberry Brie, grapes and crackers. Which means I need to also add a trip to the grocery in there. Oh and I hope to write the annual Xmas letter and do some research about community bank investing in. Food access projects. : )
I guess Angelfish is right, it is "unfair" that I get to do what I want all day. Now if only I could get someone to pay me for my superhero work, all would be aligned in the universe!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December begins!

It is hard to believe that it is December 1st already. Time has flown by to the point I think I may have stepped into a time warp around May as that seems to be the last time frame I can clearly remember. To say the least things were much too busy.
Today was wonderful... And it's not over yet! The girls are very excited that it is the first day of December and the official count down to Christmas can begin. We put an ornament on one of our Advent calendars and opened the flap on another. Ladybug and I made some fudge and then we all headed to the girls' tennis lesson. While they were in their lesson, Mr. Darcy and I took the chance to do a 1 mile hike (it may have been a little more than a mile but not more than 1.25) through a park that the courts are in. Day 1 of challenge complete! I also took a picture for Day 1 of my photo challenge too. : ) When we got home, Angelfish and I baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies while Mr. Darcy mowed the lawn. Later we will "elf" two of our friends (leave goodies, ring door bell and run!), which I have been looking forward to for days! In a few minutes the outdoor lights will be hung and the Darcy homestead shall be lit for the first time this Christmas season. If you haven't guessed, I love Christmas time and this year I have time to really enjoy it. I hope to make the most of it! I am contemplating trying to convince the family to do the annual viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life." I have watched that movie (my favorite) every year of my life from the time I was 8 (possibly before, but that is the first year I can remember watching it). Jimmy Stewart looks a little like my Dad, in my opinion (My cousin on the other hand used to say he looked like Gomer Pile...). Anyway. It is my favorite Christmas movie... But since I can quote it and often recite lines during the viewing, it's not always Mr. Darcy's favorite. I will have to bribe the kids with popcorn... Hmmm. I'm formulating my plan now. Tee hee.
Oh and I've been reading my old blogger friends recent posts... Still good as always! A few no longer blog which makes me sad that I cannot just pop in on them (metaphorically in the digital sense of course). I am amazed at life changes - new babies, new races, new thoughts. Funny what happens when you are not looking in life.
And one last thought... And if anyone is reading, I'd love to know your thought about this too. This Summer I donated bone marrow, but opted not to disclose information about myself to the recipient. I found out just before thanksgiving that the transfer grafted wonderfully and the man was home with his family doing well for the holidays. I cried tears of true joy knowing I was his last chance and it worked. My initial thought is still that I want to be unanimous because I want it to be a true gift - not to be about me in any sense. Yet I find myself wanting to send him a Christmas card, wishes for the season. But an unsigned Christmas card sent through the blood center seems odd too. Any thoughts on how for reconcile the two? My guess is I'll send my thoughts through the universe to deliver in its own way and that will be the best result. For it truly is a Wonderful Life.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holy Moly...Life Changes and then some!

I am not even sure where to begin. I see my last post was to say that I started the law firm with two partners, which I did slightly more than 2 years ago. It consumed me quite honestly. I had no time whatsoever for exercise, little time for family (although I found ways to make time for family), and my "triathlon" consisted of networking like mad, working and meeting with clients, and getting as involved as possible in the community. At one point I was on 7 or 8 Boards, and was trying to narrow it down to 4.   In Junior League, I chaired the Public Affairs Committee and quite honestly discovered my passion... Advocating for healthy food access for all Americans, especially those living in food deserts. It made me crazy to see kids in town who because they were poor only have access to junk food because fast food restaurants take SNAP and there were no groceries in their neighborhoods. So I galvanized the states' Junior Leagues, had a bill introduced, worked like the dickens to get it passed.  It didn't pass. At midnight on the last day of the Florida legislative session when there was officially no chance, I cried and had a few choice words for the politicians. I was in love with trying to make a difference and being the voice for those whose voice is often unheard. I didn't give up though. I've kept working at it and have gotten the Department of Agriculture to host a Food Access Policy stakeholders meeting which is coming up. Working on this - when I was/am working on it are the happiest moments of my professional life.
During all of this, I lost 40 pounds and went through an initially hellish roller coaster in my marriage. Mr. Darcy and I ran the chance at points of not making it to our 15th anniversary. But I actually look back gratefully at it all because in the process I realized I was, for the most part, not living my life but the life of someone who worried what everyone else thought about me and did everything I could to do what they wanted, or what I thought they wanted of me. And I slowly found myself again. I even figured out that was what I was chasing down in my triathlons - something just for me.
In finding myself, I found that for all his flaws, I did not want to leave Mr. Darcy and my plot to lose 40 pounds and then divorce him wasn't really what I wanted. We been through counseling together (and some separately for me to help me on my journey to be the me I was out here to be) and we had an amazingly wonderful 15th anniversary, which we celebrated in France! (Ladybug and Angelfish stayed home... Part of the week with Grammie & Papa and the other with dear friends.)
Yet, I couldn't figure out, or perhaps did not want to acknowledge it, but I was still unhappy except for when I was working on advocacy work. And then one day the neon sign turned on in my head. It was something I had wrestled with for a long time - the fact that I have never liked being an attorney. I love the people and learning their stories, but the lawyering and the business of being an attorney. But this time, there was more to the neon sign... It was the truth of what I wanted to do with myself - to work to make change in the lives of those who need it most. So I went home and Mr. Darcy and I had long talks and I did a good bit of praying, and dedicated a counseling session to this topic. And I knew. I've ironically been praying for more than a year for God to show me the path I needed to set my feet upon and follow. And for once it was calm and peaceful and as though it was the most obvious thing in the world and I had no clue how I had taken this long to figure it out. And Mr. Darcy in full support, I made my decision which may not have been the best received news in the world yet I know it was the right choice for me.
As of 5 pm on November 16, 2012, I transferred my ownership in the firm to my partners, said goodbye to clients (so many of whom and very sweet and kind words about what I meant to them as their attorney and even more so as a friend), and set out. I've interviewed for a few positions, and submitted my résumé and interest for other positions and I am waiting. I know that I am on the path I am intended to be on.
For now, I am looking for a position in the nonprofit sector and enjoying the time and the life I have. It is nice to have time with the girls, who believe it or not are in 1st grade and are as smart as can be and who are reading on almost a 3rd grade level, doing math and everything! I'm enjoying taking my time cooking nice, healthy meals every night without being strapped for time and energy. Doing errands and cleaning during the week.
And returning to things I love that I haven't done in ages. Blogging (although I am not sure the title still works as i haven't done a race in more than 2 years). Exercising - I started this week with yoga since I started the week with a head cold. And I find myself itching to run. I signed up to do a 5K color run with some friends in mid-January, so I need to lace up and hit the road. Yesterday, I saw a fellow blogger of old posted about committing to almost 1 mile per day every day of December and I am seriously contemplating it. I've even been thinking about my bike, but I'm not sure when my next triathlon will be. I'll figure all of that out in good time.Photography - a photo a day themed on The holidays... Which I have decided to do. Time for and with friends and family.
Perhaps most of all I am working on being present in everything I do instead of thinking about the next thing that has to be done, but yet keeping to do lists so I don't drop any balls. I have to say, it is much easier now. I am happy and eagerly awaiting the next chapter in my life to unfold.
So much has changed while I have been gone, but it was all for the best....