Monday, December 31, 2012


It's that time of year when everyone either reminisces about the last year (top blog posts, anyone?) or looks forward to the year ahead. As my son would tell you, "we need to do something EPIC here."
I've been thinking about this post for awhile. I love reading all of those posts.I want to know what your resolutions are for 2013, and what you accomplished in 2012.
Here's the thing. In some ways, 2012 was awesome for me. This year's archives are all about running and yoga. I accomplished things I never even dreamed let alone wrote resolutions about. There is so much good and happy. And yet, for so many 2012 was the worst year on record. So many people I know and care about had a terrible 2012. I was surrounded by grief, illness, sadness and ugliness. My year wasn't the easiest ever.  And yet ... we are all in one piece. And if there's anything I've taken away from this year it's to hold the people in your life closer, tell them you love them, and for goodness sake ... let the little things go! If you can possibly be there for someone, be there.
The truth is, it's pretty amazing for me to say that this year I ran a lot. More amazing to me is talking about the people in my running clinic, the Princess runners,  the pace bunny who got me through my first 10k race.
When I think about yoga, I can talk about some of the cooler poses I can do now, how flexible I am, or how much I love the 90 minute classes. Impressive. More impressive? How much I've learned from my teachers. How I actually listened to what they had to say. How they offered advice when I needed it. And how cool it is to go to yoga classes with my mom.
Do I have resolutions for 2013? Really it can be summed up with the phrase "Just Keep Going!!" I started to save money last year. I want to work on budgeting. I'm cutting back on Starbucks (in order to pay for yoga). I'm running a half marathon (or 2 or 3). But these are all things I already have been doing.
More importantly. My goal is to love more.Give more. Be there more.
And cut out all the silly drama.
So. Here's to 2013. Let's hope this year is Epic!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


tomorrow is my last day at the office before christmas. (I work from home Monday).
i love christmas. i can't wait.
there's a side of me that's sad. the side of me that would a have popped into the pub to have a drink with my friends before we went away for a few days.
and yet .. there's this side of me lately that knows it's okay.
it's been 6 weeks since i started a new job.
and it's all okay.
and i'm learning something. i'm learning to be grateful.
lately i'm grateful for the moments i see my friends. i'm grateful for the moments i had. i'm grateful for the moments i appreciated and the ones i never thought would go away. because they were all special.
i'm learning to reach out. when i started these longer commutes i reached out to someone who was on the same train. i look forward to our almost weekly train catch ups. it matters.
i'm learning that i'm way more confident than i give myself credit for.
i'm learning not to feel guilty asking for stuff - like days to work from home.
i'm learning that if i feel like i don't have people to grab a coffee with - maybe others feel that way - and so i emailed someone to grab coffee. we met in a compliance session for newbies. will we be besties. no. but it was really nice.
life keeps moving.
i'm choosing gratitude. cuz feeling sorry for myself was getting old.
(and i may pop out early and grab a very quick drink after work)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

In Between

It's not quite 5 am right now. I haven't been out of bed long, but I've been awake for hours. I went to bed late, and at 2:30 Chloe woke up crying; her weird croupy breathing scared her. She needed her mama. For hours.
I brought her to bed and we cuddled. For the past 2 hours we were in this weird in between state - she was asleep then awake. She was trying to get comfortable. I'd drift off, but she'd need me again "more water, mama" ... "I'm scared, mama" ... "am I okay, mama?"
"it's okay baby. I'm here. you're okay. it will get better.?
In between.
Somewhere stuck between awake and asleep. Comforted and scared.  Sick and healthy.
And while she drifted in and out of sleep I realized that's how I feel right now. In between.
Last night I was with friends. People I know care. And felt that. The in between. The place where you're good enough to be there - but not pretty enough to make the cut. Not worth going after. We used to work together. There were jokes cracked about how I am no longer welcome at the work Christmas party.
In between.
Growing and scared. Gone but not really. Loved but no liked. Pretty but not beautiful.
I've worked hard this year. I've worked to be the person I want to be. To love me. I've spent so many hours in yoga - looking at my not quite good enough body and sending myself love. Setting an intention to love myself. Value myself. Accept myself.
I spent countless hours - making the choice to run. to do yoga. to be with my kids. to sit with my issues. to be. to breathe. And the whole time I did that my mantra was "you are right where you are supposed to be."
and yet here I am.
In between.
it hurts. words. actions. lack thereof. they hurt. it's the in between.
I don't get it. But it's where I'm supposed to be.
Am I alone? maybe. Am I scared? absolutely.
Will it get better?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

10 Miles is just a start

I can vividly remember a night last January. A fresh new year was ahead of us (how little did we all know 2012 would not be that awesome), and yet I was miserable. Nothing was wrong, but nothing was right. I was depressed. I was unmotivated. I was arguing with my husband and my kids were driving me insane. I was relying on my friends to make me happy, and I was annoying them because I had some crazy expectations - and I got crazy dramatic when those expectations didn't work out.
That January evening I made a huge decision. I decided to stop blaming everyone else for everything that I was upset about and make myself accountable to me. There were a few things I committed to: be happy. be healthy. make my kids proud. make myself proud. cut the drama.

And two weeks ago ... I realized just how far I came in a year. I ran a 10 mile race. For those keeping track at home, that's 16.1 km. And I did that race on the Sunday after I started a new job.
So a little bit on the race. Let me direct you to an awesome race report written by my friend Jodi.

Like pretty much every race I've done this year I signed up on a whim. I didn't know if I could do a 10 miler. I hadn't trained for that distance. But, I wanted to try it. So I signed up. The logic I used was that the worse that could happen was I would walk. No big.

The day of the race came. Oddly I wasn't stressed. I had support. I was meeting Jodi there. My friend Amy was also participating in the 5k walk (SHE CAME IN FIRST!!!).
My in-laws were there. My parents came. My husband's aunt and uncle came. My husband and kids were there. We had noise makers and signs. And I was feeling great.
What was that feeling? Oh right! It was confidence. As we were waiting for the race to start I was excited. I was ready to do this.
We started (a bit late) and we took off! Jodi and I wore our sparkle skirts so maybe that gave us the push, but it was a great start. I planned to start slow ... and in my mind I did. However, I wasn't slow at all. Awesome!
My race plan was to take it slow, pace myself and take breaks. I normally run 10 and 1's (meaning run 10 minutes walk 1 minute), but for the first couple kilometres I would walk as necessary as I warmed up. I was pretty good about following that. I set my running app to tell me every 10 minute interval and no matter how good I felt I walked.
I did the first 5k in under 30 minutes, and then kept going. Right around 8k I hit the wall. No shock. Whatsoever. Around 8k my feet go numb and i want to walk. I had the added panic of "wow! This is only halfway." There were two things going for me here. First, I anticipated this, and knew I could run through it. So I did. Somewhere in my hitting the wall bit someone came to compliment me on my skirt, and made me laugh.
On I went.

I felt awesome at 10k. My family was there. I was boiling so I took off my top shirt, and chilled for a second. I shockingly hit a sub-60 10 k, so I was feeling great. And then we hit the hard part. OMG!!! Since we didn't have a great map we didn't know the elevations. And as it turned out we were running uphill. We'd been running the first 10k with people who were just running 10 k not a 10 miler, so when they cut off to their finish I felt very alone. And running uphill. Except  ... I was so happy. All the fast runners were on their way back, I was close to 11k and I realized I only had 5k to go, I was doing awesome and I was doing this. I kept running and cheering for all the fast people. It's seriously awesome to watch the fast runners go.
This part got really challenging. There were trails and hills. I was dying. And yet I could do it.
And so I kept going. It sucked at parts and it was hard. But I'm so so so proud of myself.
And, here's the thing with this race. I didn't really have a time goal. I knew I could do it under 2 hours. So, my goal was run under 2 hours with my stretch (super awesome time) goal of 1 hour and 45 minutes.
My time??? 1 hour and 39 minutes!!!! Awesome.
The truth. I don't know if I would have done this if I didn't have the support. My friend Amy pushed me. And the day before on our Lululemon shopping trip she talked me out of my nerves. She believed in me.
And then there was Jodi. Do not underestimate how incredible it is to know that someone else is relying on your to show up, in a sparkle skirt no less, and run your heart out. There were no excuses. We did it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We all have rules we set for ourselves when it comes to our lives online. Some people don't show pictures of their kids. Some people don't swear  Some people don't speak about politics. One of the things I've been pretty clear about is not discussing work. Sure there have been some awesome things I've posted (We Day!), but if I'm having a rough day I keep it to myself.
But then there was October.
There were a lot of changes at work over this past year. Changes that I went with though I struggled with the reasoning behind some decisions. And kept my mouth shut.
But in September I had enough. I applied for a couple of positions that interested me.
And one day I posted this on Facebook:

I left work that day furious.
An hour later my phone rang. A job I had interviewed for, a job I had described as a dream job, was offered to me.
I quit. I spent a lot of time with friends. I took this past week off.
I start my new job Monday.
Change is hard. Goodbyes are hard. The decision is right.
So that's where I've been. Making choices. Growing up. Saying goodbye. Moving on.
I plan to start posting here more, now that I've dealt with some issues. Now that my job fully accepts and embraces social media.
I can't wait to tell you more.
And I can't wait to wear my new pair of shiny red shoes (thanks to some awesome people) and embrace this new decision.
Wish me luck!

Monday, October 15, 2012

This Is What We Train For

Yesterday I ran in a 10km race. It was a local race, and there weren't tons of participants. I was looking forward to this race. I'd followed my training schedule. I'd done the long runs. I'd eaten well. I'd crossed trained. I met the group I trained with. I was ready.
And then the race happened.
I have no idea what went wrong really, other than:
  • It was a hot humid day. I was not expecting this and I get some major weather headaches
  • I was running with my iphone and I screwed up my playlist. I wanted my running list and I got some weird shuffle and didn't know how to switch it
  • I'm used to running on roads. Instead we were on a path and it was muddy and slippery
  • I couldn't catch my breath. And then I started to think about this and panicked
  • Every part of my body ached. 
I wanted to go for a good time.
The first half wasn't bad. In fact, I did the first 5k in under half an hour. For me this is great because I wanted to get a PR (Personal Record) of around 58 minutes.
I figured if I kept it up I could absolutely go under an hour.  But I couldn't do it. I started walking. I was disappointed. I'd lost my group. I was running alone. Usually I walk for 1 minute every 10 minutes (or just under every 2km). I was beginning to walk 1 minute every km, and then I would get discouraged. At one point I texted my husband to tell him it was too hard. I've hit the wall before, but never felt it the whole race.
And then I realized, at some point, this was the race I've trained for.
Call me crazy, but if you're having a great day, going out and running isn't hard. But I wasn't having a great day. My week had been terrible. I was tired. I hadn't hydrated. This was a tough race. And I realized the battle here was finishing. It wasn't about hitting my PR. I knew I wouldn't. It was about running as much as I could and not giving up. It was about putting a smile on my face, and being proud of myself.
There will be lots of great races ahead. But, this one I will remember. Because I did it. Because I finished. Because I found something to push forward - when I wanted to sit down and cry.
So I did it. The time was 1:03. Not terrible - especially considering that a year ago a 10k was unimaginable.
But this ... this is what we train for. This is what 4am runs are about - knowing you can do it and believing you can. And believing it gets better.
November 18th is my 10 miler!!!!! YIKES!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Choices Choices

Saturday was the beginning of our next yoga challenge. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. September was one crappy, stressful month for me, and for my family. There were several evenings when Matt and I enjoyed a bowl of (organic) ice cream and commiserated over bad days while Mike put Chloe to bed. Maybe ice cream doesn’t solve anything, but it does help!
But the problem with a challenging month is that I started to doubt myself. And feel crappy about myself. So, yes. I’m looking forward to this challenge. It’s simple, really: attend 20 classes in 30 days and participate in a weekly challenge. This week is daily 2-minute planks. I mentioned to one of my teachers that I didn’t think I could do a 2 minute plank, and after assuring me I could, he proceeded to have us all do a set in class (in addition to the regular stuff), and although I can’t say it was the highlight of my class, it was nice to know I could do this.
Next week is meditation, so I’m actually trying out a meditation class on Thursday! I know. Crazy crazy! The class is an hour in the evening, right before my favourite 8:30 class. Truthfully the idea of meditating for an hour strikes me as crazier than well, pretty much anything I’ve ever done. The teacher has promised the class will be fine, and there are pillows and blankets so I guess I can always take a nap and say I’m deep into meditating.
Anyway …
That brings me to something that I’m trying to figure out and just can’t.
I’ve committed to a regular yoga practice – and I signed up for a year. I love it all, but I LOVE Thursday nights because the teacher is amazing, and now this whole meditation thing first…. Awesome. And it’s worked well because Wednesday night has been my running night with the 10k clinic. I signed up for the 10k clinic because I’m doing the half marathon in February, but I felt like I needed to have more of a running foundation (pacing, breathing, etc) before I jumped into a half marathon clinic. That was an awesome choice and definitely worth it. And it’s worked so beautifully with my yoga schedule.
And now the clinic is almost done. I’m actually really sad about this. And the choices arise.
Choice 1 – Sign up for the half marathon clinic as planned. This means a month off of clinic (but I will still run), and then the clinic is designed to build to a March race, and by my February race the distances will work with some tweaking. This clinic is on Thursday so I will miss my Thursday yoga night. Boo. But, I’ve heard the clinic instructor is good.
Choice 2 – Sign up for the 10 Miler Clinic (16km) which builds toward a 10 mile race on December 26th. This means that I’ll have to figure out 2 months of half marathon training, but I can run with the half group on Sundays if I want to. The perk to this – I know and love the clinic instructor and I know a lot of the people in the clinic. It’s also on Wednesdays, which means that I can do the Thursday yoga.
Okay – talk about first world problems. But, still. It’s like 2 of a good thing. I just don’t know. Suggestions? Anyone.
Truthfully, I just need to let this one go a little bit. Both options are awesome! And right now I’m focused on this yoga challenge combined with my goal race the week after Thanksgiving.
Life may not make sense right now. But, in some weird way everything else kind of does.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hills and Cheetos and Smiles

If you ever join a running clinic you’ll be introduced to a new fear … hill training.
It’s part of every running clinic, and people talk about the fear of hills pretty much from the moment clinic starts.
Last night … dunh dunh dunh … was hill training.
(admittedly so was last week, but I was sick and the warm up did me in. I don’t even remember the hill part).
Usually clinic nights start out at the local store and then we do a route around the area. It started with a 3k run and progressed to about a 6k route. This week we met at a local park (kind of local. I got lost) with a lot of hills. We did a 20 minute warm-up, ran 4 huge hills, and then did a 20 minute cool-down.
The warm up went well. I enjoyed it. The we got our hill route. There were lots of runners out because another clinic group was training on those same hills. I was walking down the hill with our coach when I realized that everyone running these hills was smiling. SMILING. Call me crazy, but I did not expect that.
Because we were all going at different speeds and setting our paces what you started to see was people almost in lines on either side of hill. What started to happen was that on the walk/slow jog down people were screaming and cheering encouragement to the people running up the other side of the hill. As soon as someone heard the cheers this huge smile would cross their face. At first people were cheering for the group we were familiar with, but as everyone started crossing over, there was more cheering.
Last night I did 4 hills. It was pretty awesome. I thought I’d hate hills. I didn’t. I thought they were awesome. And I can’t tell you whether I preferred cheering on the runners or being cheered when I made it to the top.
It’s funny how these small successes seem monumental lately.
Sometimes I feel like all of this focus on running and yoga keeps me from focusing on other stuff, but I don’t think that’s really true. I was talking about Matt’s school issues. You know, it didn’t get any easier. Every day my 8 year old came home from school sad.
Tuesday night he was downright miserable. He’d had an argument with his best friend at recess, and trust me when I say he looks soooo forward to recess. (it was a typical 8 year old disagreement). Add to that the fact he ate practically nothing all day because he’s not in a routine, and he was a mess.
Now I can’t solve all the problems of the world. I can’t even solve all the problems of my kids. But one thing I can do is comfort food. Tell me all you want about how bad cheetos are, how meatloaf is fattening, how you shouldn’t eat your way out of your issues and that red food dye is evil. BUT, if you ask me, it’s called comfort food for a reason and if my kid isn’t eating I can do comfort food. So, off we walked to the grocery store. We bought cookies, candy, chips and all the ingredients for Matt’s favourite food, meatloaf. Oh – and we talked, about school, about friendships and about the importance of knowing the difference between Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars the Clone Wars.  And then I came home and made meatloaf.
And yesterday. School success. I came in to a kid who told me “my day was perfect.” He ate his lunch! There’s a new kid in his class that he likes. He did well on a math quiz. He had amazing recesses.
Maybe a thumbs-up kind of day isn’t always monumental. But right now it’s so necessary. And you know what? I’m going to celebrate the small successes. Because sometimes … they are huger than anything we can ever imagine.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

School Day 1 - It Gets Better, Right?

Not one of these kids looks happy :(
I'm not one of those parents who loves back to school. I work full-time, so maybe that changes my opinion, but I don't see school as this relief time when the kids are back to school and I get a break. (that's not a judgement). It's just a change in routine. And it comes with anxiety, expense and new teachers.

Matt started school today. Chloe starts tomorrow.

The funny thing is, I'm not worried about Chloe starting school. She's more than ready. She loves meeting new people. She will be fine with any of the teachers.

Matt is not that child. He loves school, but he has a small circle of friends. He likes routine. He likes the comfort of seeing his best friend in the classroom. He likes knowing what they are doing at recess. I spoke to the school about this. I requested he be in a certain class. We found out today that he was separated from all his friends and put in a split class.

He was so brave this morning. He didn't cry. He put on a happy face and told his best friend he was looking forward to recess. And then I took him to his class lineup. He looked so young, one of the grade 3 kids with a lot of grade 4's. He smiled for a picture. And then he asked me if I could walk with him to class, and come back at recess. He's 8. The last time he asked me to do that he was 4. It broke my heart then. It was harder today. Sure eight is growing up. It's also so young. Last night I spent a good half an hour teaching him to tie his shoelaces, because it's just one of those stupid things he hasn't learned yet. Because he's only 8.

I know the school is a great school. And, I know he will be fine. I know there was thought put into this decision, and even though we may not agree with it, there is some logic to it. But ... I'm not a happy mama right now. I hate that I left him there floundering for friends, stuck with all the older kids.

We'll see how today goes. The truth is, this is a funny class. At least half the kids in the line up were in tears. I wasn't the only parent saying "WTF?"  And the teacher had her arm around one girl who was really upset. So, I think it may be quite the day.

I can say all I want about my own challenges. I can talk to Matt about this. I can talk him through all our anxiety exercises. I can even call up our therapist (why yes, we have an on-call therapist!) to ask her advice. But for now I'm going to hope Matt's day went okay.

And then tomorrow I'll face the day with Chloe!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

10 KM Run ... Princess Style

On Saturday I ran in my second 10k race. It was the Toronto Women's Run 5k/10k race. This is a series of runs that is organized for women with an amazing motto of "Women Set the Pace."

I only heard of it about a month ago when I started researching the Disney Princess Half Marathon. A group of Toronto area women found me, and we agreed this race would be a great place to meet up, run and chat RunDisney after.
Before I get to the meetup, though, let me tell you a bit about the race.
I've been doing the Running Room 10k clinic for about a month now. To say it's made a difference to me is a bit of an understatement. I enjoy doing things my own way, so stuff like actually running 10 minutes and walking 1 minute just wasn't my thing. So, needless to say the clinic has been a learning experience. I'm constantly being told to slow my pace (seriously. it's all about different muscles groups as it turns out), stay with the group, run my own race, etc. At the last clinic one of the instructors talked about following our training and running our own race - not worrying that we take a walking break and people are passing. This was awesome and necessary advice when I got out there.
Something different for me in this race was that we were put in corrals based on speed. Luckily I knew the time I wanted to hit, so I knew where I wanted to be.
With a goal time of sub 60 minutes I was in the second group.
The other thing about this race that was new to me was that it was a 5k and 10 k and we all started at once. Those of us running 10k got to run the same route (with an extra loop) twice.
I started this race really well. I had my music, I found a good pace, and I went for it. It actually took me about 2 km to really find my footing. I think a huge part of it was nerves. I need to submit a placement time to Run Disney for corral placement (at Disney you have to have proof of time), and I really wanted to get this  race under 1 hour. So, I was having this constant debate in my head about pacing myself and going for it. In the end I went with pace, and decided that if I felt great at 8k I would just put everything into the last 2 k.
So ...

1-3 km - Start was good. And I was trying to feel it for these 3k. I was okay. But just okay.
4km - Around here we did a loop and then were running past fire fighters and a water station. The water perked me up. (okay - as did the firefighters). And I knew I had a bunch of cheerleaders at 5k.
See the signs ... and me running toward them?
5k(ish) - This is where the 5k's ran to the finish line and the 10 k's kept going. I saw my family. I had the awesomest cheering section. My friend, Erin, came out to cheer. My parents were there. My kids had signs and noisemakers. AWESOME!! I stopped for high fives, and I was feeling amazing. It struck me that Erin was at my last 5k, and I was not feeling nearly that good. I was ready to keep going.
6-7km - still feeling it.  And then we hit the loop. They had to add some distance to make the race a true 10k. I was losing my mind because it made the route different than I expected, it was up and down and up a hill and I just hit a wall. Physically I felt fine. Mentally I started to lose it. And then I just decided to run through it. Amazingly I did.
8km - Hello firefighters! Water was great. I was ready to finish. I looked at my (borrowed) watch. And then realized I had to keep going. So I did. I wanted to walk. I didn't need to. So I kept going. I decided not to push. I was tired, and I knew if I tried too hard I'd want to walk at the end.
9.5 km - There was a volunteer telling us we had 500 metres, and I sort of did a weird push/walk combo that didn't work, but I was close. When I saw the finish line I saw my family and then I looked at the clock. I literally had to sprint to hit my goal. I had it in me. I sprinted. Final time: 59:24!!!! This Princess just hit a sub 60!!!!!
Of course, it wasn't over when the race was over. I had the chance to meet some other princesses who will either be running the Princess Half with me in February, or have done it, or both. It was pretty amazing. I mean, I realize that there are close to 20,000 people who will run that race, but these are people from all over Canada and the States. And, its kind of hard to explain to a lot of people that I've never done a half, and I'm planning my vacation around a race in DisneyWorld, and bringing my family. Oh - and taking hte next 6 months to do some pretty serious training.
Add in the fact that I love tiaras, love Disney and will be running in a costume ... it's a little lonely.
So. This? was pretty amazing. We've already discussed our next race. And, you know you've been chatting a long time when the race course is being dismantled around you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No ... or Yes!

I read a lot of information about Happiness. It started when I read the Happiness Project (a book I read really quickly – and then re-read in pieces), and then I continued reading blogs and articles about Happiness, because I find it so interesting. Here’s the thing though – everything about it is so conflicting.
Some experts say you should say no more. Some experts (and by experts I mean anyone who really wants to talk about it) say you should say yes more. Some experts tell you to take a break and enjoy downtime. Others say workout more.  And while I’m pretty sure I’ve never read anyone say to overeat or get drunk, there is a whole school of thought on how “clean” your diet needs to be in order to have your happiness come from Health. (And I think we can all agree Kris Carr seems to have found balance).
My point is … trying to be happy is hard. And confusing.
The other night I was in yoga, trying to not think, and I started to overthink this whole yes/no thing. About a year ago I was fully in the camp of say no to stuff. Someone told me I say yes to everything and maybe I should be more selective. I went a little overboard and just kind of got used to saying no to everything. Guess what happens when you do that? Requests stop coming in.
And recently I’ve just stopped the whole no thing. Sure time is a constraint, but I’m getting tired of saying no so that I can be what? More aggressive? Better respected? Appreciated more? Happier? I don’t know.
The truth is, I like people who don’t say no all the time. I love when I message someone for coffee, and the answer is sure, I can meet you in 5 minutes. Or when I want to try out a new class, start a reading club or just hangout out… and it’s a yes. Guess what? I don’t automatically think that person has no life. I think that it’s awesome they made time for me. And I want to be more like that. Or I want to go back to being like that.
This weekend I’m running in a 10k. I’m excited.  Why am I doing it? Because some women who will be running the Disney Princess Half invited me to join them, and meet up after. (Princess Power!) It would have been easy for me to say no, after all, I’m not 100% confident in my running yet. A 10k is still a bit overwhelming.  But saying yes … felt really good!
And, as for yoga (yes, still going all the time). That’s where this all began. As much as I love it, there are soooo many nights when I’m just tired. And 8:30 seems late. Or I don’t know the teacher. Or I don’t feel like it.  And I get a message from my mom and I just say yes. Because pretty much as soon as I get there, and class starts … I’m so glad I went.
So, maybe I’m going to skip the no’s for awhile. And just embrace saying yes. 
And while I'm at it, I may not have found the key to Happiness quite yet, but here's some stuff I know for me:
  • Sleep is good, but I'm a morning person. Waking up super early (4:20 am) to workout does make me happier, even if some people are just crawling into bed
  • I equate happiness with food. If I'm eating healthily I'm happier about my body, but chocolate makes me instantly happy. It's just something I need to accept
  • I am happiest surrounded by people, but also really happy to be alone.
  • I truly believe that you can't be happy in every situation, but outlook plays a big role
  • And .... I'm pretty much happiest in Disney World! Running through the castle, accomplishing a goal and getting a medal after. I can't think of anything better.
So, what makes you happy?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Crunching his way through a Clif Crunch Bar

Let me confess, I've never been a big fan of nutrition bars. The more I get into health and fitness the more I hear about bars. There are some serious discussions out there about nutrition bars. I've read them, and I've even taken the next step numerous times. Trying them. Lots of them, and here's the thing. I don't like them.
I've always had an issue with the weird texture, the cost, and the fact that it just seems really odd to me that here I am trying to swallow something I'm really not enjoying, at a price I don't like, to basically add calories (and protein,etc) to my day ... when I've spent my entire life trying to avoid calories.
Recently this all changed.
know this is shocking to say about a child of mine, but Matthew, my 8 year old is underweight because he doesn't eat enough and what he does eat is burned off by activity. (I wish I had this problem). I'm not complaining. But, when you're doctor tells you she's concerned ... it's an issue.
Matt would happily live on fruits and vegetable with the occassional hotdog and jawbreaker thrown in for variety. (yuck). He also likes granola bars.
As a parent, I generally don't. As he is being encouraged to eat more, I'm hesitant to give him a box of junk to increase his calorie intake. And, if they are in the house, my daughter (who does not need to add weight) will also eat them.
Many granola bars are packed with sugar, over processed and aren't filling. I have a hard time justifying giving my child a smores bar covered in chocolate and calling it a healthy snack.
While I was researching bar options, I received an email offering a sample of the new Clif Crunch Bar.
So, we tried Clif Bars, specifically the Clif Crunch Granola bar. Imagine my surprise when both of my kids gobbled them up (they come in 2 packs), and asked to have another one the next day.
That's a thumbs up from Matt.

There are a bunch of flavours - chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, and blueberry crisp are the ones we tried. Both of my kids way preferred the blueberry, which kind of surprised me, but they were really good.
These bars are slightly different than some of the other Clif products you may have tried - they are lighter on some of the added nutritional stuff so I'm okay with my kids enjoying them. The crunch part made it tolerable for me as well, so let's just say it's kind of a "gateway" nutritional bar - and a lot healthier than some of the stuff out there.
When I say these bars are healthy, here's what I liked - they are trans-fat free and don't contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours or preservatives. The ones we tried were samples, but luckily we can buy them by the box at Bulk Barn, among other places and we plan to.
The downside to these bars? They are also pricier than some other bars. Bars come in packages of 2, and there are 5 two-packs per box. The boxes are $4.99 each. 
I don't believe they are peanut-free and nut-free, and even if they are they aren't labelled as such, so my kids can't bring them to school. This is not something I worry about at home, I'm not too concerned about that. We eat a lot of snacks on the go, and Matt tends to want to snack on this kind of stuff in the evening anyway. So ... the peanut thing isn't an issue in our house.
All in all we have a new healthy snack and a happy kid.
Thumbs up all around!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Battery Re-Charge

For the last week or so I’ve been on a bit of a vacation. Call it a staycation, if you wish, though I hate that term. I had a lot of appointments booked both for me and for my kids, and rather than trying to scoot to appointments and then hop on later trains and balance everything, I’d just book a few vacation days and enjoy being at home.
If you don’t do this, you should.
My rules were simple. Take a break. Enjoy my kids. My “schedule” revolved around making it to appointments, not exactly taxing. I also spent a lot of time watching Olympics, playing with my kids, and chatting with our nanny. In fact, the highlight of my days included my morning cuddles with my kids and several chats over coffee with our nanny. We happen to be big fans of pretty much all the same tv shows, so forget discussing my kids’ milestones, we always have Bachelor Pad stuff to catch up on. Being home also gave me the opportunity to give her a bit of a break.  It worked for both of us.
What I didn’t do? Stress. I meant to do a complete house makeover. Instead we organized some clothes and kids’ toys, and then had another cup of coffee and watched more Olympics. I was going to make a bunch of healthy meals to freeze. Instead we put on tank tops and shorts and hung out with the kids at the splash pad and worked on our tans, eating cheesies and laughing at some of the more interesting fashion statements.
I still ran. I still did yoga. But I also slept in. I let Chloe style my hair. I learned the names of Matt’s lego creations. I cooked dinner. I played with my kids.
Sometimes I work so hard toward vacations where we go away. We eat fancy dinners out and have every minute of the day planned. I like that. But, I surprised myself by really really enjoying just hanging out.
I need to do that more often.