A Life Well-Lived

“A life well-lived is the most exquisite form of art,” wrote Erwin McManus. This weekend my family lost our matriarch, my great Grandmother. As I contemplated her passing, I kept coming back to a life well-lived. Her life, while never easy, exemplified this axiom. My great grandmother Nellie Brown (nee Reynolds) and her twin sister Zella (Caroyln) were born on May 16, 1916, in Long Prairie to Florence and Andrew Reynolds. At this point, there were only 3.3 million cars registered in the entire US while only 11% of the population had a telephone. When she was just a toddler, the Great War was winding down, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was in full swing. She began her life as the Spanish flu pandemic took hold and her life ended as we continue to contend with COVID. Can you imagine how different the world is now compared to 1916?

Great Grandma Brown, her sister Zella and her mom circa 1920

Shortly after my grandmother’s birth, her father headed to Europe to fight in the Great War. After the war, her father left and her mother remarried. She grew up in Long Prairie, where she met her husband. In fact, she was telling Jake and me tales of watching Lindy practice while tending to the fields. In fact, they would wave as he flew over and he would tip his wings to them. Of course, Lindy was Charles Lindbergh and this was long before his famous flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. As we drove back to my folks that day, Jake and I were trying to wrap our heads around the massive changes she witnessed in her 104 years. I would give anything to be able to sit with her again and listen to her stories.

One thing that was clear about my Grandmother is that change didn’t challenge her. Her generation was no stranger to loss having experienced both World Wars, the Spanish flu, the great depression, polio, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Perhaps that is why she was so adaptable and resilient. In fact, as the age of the internet broke, she didn’t run from it. She had an old computer that she used until she lost her eyesight. How many people can say they got emails and forwards from their Great Grandma? Not many, but I can. Undoubtedly, her adaptability and great genes played a role in her longevity, but it was more than that.

My Great Grandma lived her life according to three pillars: love, family, and God. As she held Jake’s hand that blustery October day, she shared the importance of rooting himself in love, family and God. I was struck at the moment by the power of her words, influence, and the moment. I was blessed to witness that moment. On that trip, she and Jake formed a deep bond that he’ll carry with him forever. We spent many weekends at my Great Grandmother’s house with our extended family. Our extended family is huge! Yet, she delighted in hosting all of us. Family really was everything to her. After my grandfather lost his mother to cancer in the mid 50’s, my great-grandma treated him as if he was her own child. She loved my Grandpa dearly.

She lived independently in her own house until the very end. After she suffered a stroke two weeks ago, my grandma and aunt stayed by her side. My heart aches for my Grandma, who just lost her mom. I took a picture of them together during our last visit. When I look at that picture, I realize no matter how old we get, we always want and need our mother. My Great Grandma was a woman, who lived according to her own terms. It is no wonder that she left this world exactly as she lived in it surrounded by love and family. Until we meet again Great Great Grandma, godspeed.

Nellie Brown 5/16/1916-1/30/2021

What Goes Up

What goes up, must come down. Or so goes the saying. In this case, it’s mighty true. While the arrival of my airman caused elation, his departure caused sadness. I guess I had hoped that the goodbyes would get easier as time goes by, but this has turned out to be false. True, I have more peace of mind now that he’s comfortably in his role, yet it doesn’t change the fact that I miss having him home. The myriad of emotions that the military parent goes through is like the tallest roller coaster at Universal. It’s one hell of an exhilarating ride. The goodbye is so tough, but we couldn’t be more proud of what he’s accomplished.

His visit, unlike most Mondays, went by in the flash of an eye. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure he just landed yesterday. At any rate, it was so good to have the house full again. Our sweet Anakin, albeit shy at first, took quite a liking to Jake. Athena and Maya were stoked to have him back home again. Unbelievably, Athena seems to know when he was leaving. As we prepared to go and took the last few pictures in front of the tree, she sat on the couch looking downcast and depressed. She’s quite the perceptive puppy. When saying goodbye, I try my best to be stoic. He’s the kind of kid that would feel guilty and that’s the last thing I’d want. Admittedly, this time I failed in my attempt to be stoic.

Truly, the best gift was seeing my three boys together. Since Jake’s left for the service, his relationships with his brothers have shifted dramatically. After he left, the first question I asked Jake was if he missed his Siamese twin. Throughout his visit home, the Mayor had attached himself to Jake’s hip. If we went anywhere or did anything, he had to sit next to Jake or ride home with Jake. Previously, he would have balked at the suggestion. Meanwhile, Goalielocks and Jake also spent quality time together. Perhaps my favorite memory from his visit home was his brothers fighting over who got to ride home with him from Uncle Jon’s.

And now, here we are the first Monday in 2021. The boys are back in school and I’m working late. There’s been no grandiose shift since the new year has started. I’m still working my way through BBG, which is amazing. In the midst of Jake’s visit, I didn’t get all the workouts down last week, so I’m repeating week 33. Fortunately, I really enjoyed the leg workout from work 33, so I’m looking forward to the repeat. I had hoped to run this morning before work, but the weather and my stomach were not so accommodating. Oh well, I shall try again tomorrow.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, by Stendhal

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 9, which means it is leg day.

*Still trying to get the Mayor a rapid COVID test. This whole thing sucks.

*Today I thought about running two miles and that’s as far as it got. Somes days it’s just not meant to be.

*What goes up, must come down. Unless of course, you’re talking about my, post thyroid disease, weight, which only stays up.

*Today’s word of the day is galavant. I cannot wait to go galavanting through Europe once this pandemic is over.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles.

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The Day is Finally Here

The day is finally here that special day we have all longed for. The end of 2020. To be certain, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, but that’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. It’s become too easy to focus on all the negative 2020 has brought, mostly because it’s omnipresent, but 2020 has also brought us some blessings. First of all, we got a chance to slow down the pace of life. The pandemic brought a hard stop to the incredible business of our lives. Since our kids started travel hockey a decade ago, every weekday and weekend has been incredibly busy. It was nice, for once, to not have anywhere to go. Obviously, the novelty of nothing to do wore off really quickly.

Unquestionably, 2020’s greatest blessing was watching our son graduate from BMT. Having a kid far from home with no way to contact them was a test of strength for us. His graduation couldn’t come fast enough for the hubby and me. When we caught our first glimpse of him during the Airmen’s Run, we could tell he had changed. The way he carried himself was completely different. In fact, I would say we dropped off a boy at the recruiter’s office in December to be reunited with a man at BMT graduation. Truly, the change was that dramatic. More importantly, it was obvious that he was where he belonged.

His class was one of the last classes to have public graduation ceremonies before the pandemic shut them down. In fact, our first clue at how severe this pandemic would become while on base for his graduation. We just happened to be on base when the Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on JBSA Lackland and the base hotel. It was surreal seeing the CDC folks there in their contagion suits. I shudder to think of how I would have felt if we had been denied the opportunity to see him graduate from Bootcamp. Undoubtedly, his BMT graduation will forever be one of my best and proudest memories.

Of course, he left BMT for tech school and his transition continued. Now he’s at this FDS and in his first “real” job. I have no idea what he does, but I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular. Nevertheless, 2020 gave us the gift of watching our child launch from unsure teenager to mature and gainfully employed adult. That’s pretty awesome! There will be no “Failure to Launch” parodies inspired by this kid. Now our oldest has started his career in a growing field, which will always be in demand, and continues to develop in his role in the service. Moreover, he’s taking advantage of the resources provided to continue his education and broaden his skill set. I’d say we’re pretty proud of him, but that would be a gross understatement of how we feel about his accomplishments.

2020 also brought us our newest addition to the family, Anakin. It’s been almost a year since we’ve added him to the family. Athena and Maya love him dearly and he loves them. Amazingly, all three dogs get along very well. He and Athena have the best time playing together, while Maya basks in the joys of being left alone. Albeit, Maya does like to join in on the play from time to time. She does, however, enjoy the fact that Athena no longer harasses her to play all day every day. All three dogs are happy to have Jake home for the holidays. They also enjoy our new normal of work from home and virtual school.

Anyway, the day is finally here. We’ve waited since March for this dreaded dumpster fire of a year to be over. While I sift out the negativity that 2020 brought, over and over and over again, I count the blessings that the year brought. I reflect in gratitude at how much good came out of a year that was so very bad. Here’s to 2021 a year full of love, gratitude, health, and opportunity!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 8, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*Our NYE’s plans have completely blown up as our youngest was exposed to the virus. He won’t be playing in that 3v3 tournament after all. Bummer!

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking again. We’re doing a brunch 2.0 for Jake.

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure.

*Today’s word of the day is turn. I cannot wait for the year to turn as I watch the countdown in understated elegance (aka my pajamas.)

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is How Great Thou Art performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill:

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All I Ever Wanted

“All I ever wanted, all I needed was you…” Yep, my happiness can easily be summed up with the lyrics from a Depeche Mode song. Now all I want for Christmas is all three of my kids under the same roof. Our airman made it home safe and sound for Christmas earlier in the week. Hence the lack of communication here. Obviously, I’ve been spending my time with him these past few days. However, I’m working today and he’s out on a lunch date with his beautiful girlfriend, so here I am.

The reunion between Jake and our puppies was absolutely priceless. After all this time, they remembered him like he left yesterday. There was a lot of excitement on their part. In fact, Athena, who is not a cuddler at all, spent Sunday morning cuddling with him on the couch. A dog’s love is wholesome, complete, and unconditional. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Initially, we let out just Maya and Athena, so they could reunite with Jake without interference from Anakin. Eventually, Anakin joined the party and welcomed Jake home with lots of kisses to his ears.

We headed to church with Jake to surprise Mel, who was signing that morning. It was a fabulous service. Afterwards we headed to brunch with Mel and her family. Goaleilocks had to work, so he and Papa Nerd stayed home. As for the rest of the time, I’ve really made no plans. Whatever my boy wants to do that’s what we’ll do. Lord knows he has plenty of structure in the service. In the mornings, he’s been hitting the clubhouse gym, which pales in comparison to his gym on base, with the Mayor. I went with them Tuesday, so I could complete my leg day workout. My workout schedule is all sorts of off this week. Nevertheless, the clubhouse gym provided a much needed opportunity to amp up my workout.

I’ve been baking for our Christmas brunch all week. Initially, I had some pretty ambitious plans, but I have decided to keep it simple this year. Mostly because it took three attempts to get the mint cookies completed since the dough goes quite fast. Yesterday, I baked another batch of mint cookies, the joulutorts (Finnish star cookies,) and mint bars. I’m going to start my caramel rolls this morning, so everything is ready to rock and roll tomorrow morning. I’ll also get the pulla baked today. Both take significant time to make, but most of it is not active time. There’s a lot of waiting involved for both breads. Late this evening, I’ll knock out the Krumakes if I’m up to it. Those could be easily made tomorrow morning before guests arrive. We will be filling them with whipped cream, cloudberry jam, lingonberry jam and blueberry jam.

Speaking of cookies, my dear friend Brian dropped off his famous Christmas cookies Tuesday afternoon. It was such a gift to see him. Naturally, we really enjoyed the cookies. In fact, they didn’t see Tuesday night. Moreover, my airman and him were able to speak about their experiences in the Air Force. It was nice to be a party to the conversation. As we celebrate Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas tomorrow, my heart will be full. Rest assured we will savor every moment we have with all three of our boys during the holiday season. While our hearts our full of gratitude, we hold in our heart the servicemen and women that aren’t able to be with their families this holiday season. Lastly, we send them and their families our love, gratitude and prayers.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 7, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*We’re headed to church with Mel and her family for Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we’re heading to my brother’s for some appetizers and games.

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking.

*I am enjoying the MN Christmas blizzard from afar. Our temps are a bit warm today as we head back into the 80s.

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure. Fortunately, he hasn’t killed me trying to pursue a lizard or mouse.

*Today’s word of the day is rejoice, which is pretty fitting for my current emotional state.  

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Carol of the Bells performed by Lindsey Sterling;

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It’s here!

It’s here! We have a new fridge. I gotta admit I’m pretty excited about the newest appliance in our life. In fact, dare I say I was a bit verklempt as the installers finished their work? Truly this would be no exaggeration of how I felt as I looked at my new fridge. First of all, it’s shiny and new and looks great. You should have seen the scratched up exterior of the old one. It looked horrible. Secondly, I no longer have to traipse between the garage and the kitchen when cooking. Lastly, did I mention that it looks awesome? I mean, it really looks much better than the old fridge.

The Before Pic

I was pleasantly surprised that the installers came early in the delivery window. They were pleasant, professional, and quick. Honestly, they had a new fridge in, hooked up, ready to go, and the old fridge out of the house in less than 20 minutes. They were awesome! Moreover, the timing couldn’t have been better. Since it takes a fridge for about three hours to get to the proper temperature, the fridge would be ready to go when my groceries were delivered after 12:00 pm. The boys love the new fridge since it easily accommodates five gallons of milk and their lemonades Fortunately, the new fridge provides much better usage of the space and will hold a lot more. In fact, it has enough freezer space, so we can finally defrost and clean our deep freezer.

Anyway, I had hoped to spend the Christmas season in Norway. It’s really how I envisioned celebrating my 40th birthday. While my birthday was in March, I’d really like to experience the winter holidays and Aurora Borealis in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been the great destroyer of plans and travels dreams. Ultimately, it will work out better since this Christmas will be able to spend it with Jake. Nonetheless, my dream of a Scandinavian Christmas will live on and planning will commence once the world reopens.

Since I couldn’t get to Scandinavia this Christmas, I’ve decorated the house in Scandinavian fashion. Albeit, the decorating has not yet been completed. I’m waiting on Amazon to deliver some additional decorations to complete the look. Hopefully, they’ll arrive before Christmas. Needless to say, Christmas nisse will look a bit out of place come January. I found some great items on Amazon to compliment the ornaments and decorations I bought on my travels, so I’m pretty excited.

Truthfully, there is nothing I am more excited about than having Jake home for Christmas. It’s really the only present I wished for this year. The countdown clock is winding down and the anticipation is killing me. These last few days are going to take a century. I can feel it! It’s amazing how fast time has flown. It’s already been more than a year since he left for Basic. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 5 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it is ab day

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*It’s here! I took delivery of my new shiny fridge! I’m so happy it’s here!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is procrastinate. I continue to procrastinate in completing my life insurance exam.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Cleopatra, by The Lumineers

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It Gave Up

It gave up. After serving us dutifully for over 14 years, our refrigerator has decided 2020 was the year to stop working. Yay! Fortunately, for us, it decided to give out during the holidays. A time in which there are no added expenses or stresses. We first noticed this wonderful gift when the dogs began licking the floor around the fridge. I mean, dogs like to lick stuff, but licking the floor constantly is a bit weird. That is when I noticed some meat had defrosted and was leaking through the seal, which clearly doesn’t work well, and on to the floor.

Last night, it was only the freezer that wasn’t freezing. Well, this morning I noticed the fridge side has also thrown in the towel. In case you were wondering, it is loads of fun to move things from one fridge to the next. Fortunately, we have two fridges in the garage and a freezer. Thank god for the garage fridges that are a true hallmark of raising teenage boys. In fact, we could probably add another garage fridge and be just fine. Who knew humans could eat so much and gain so little. This human is a bit jealous. I watch them eat and gain weight.

Nonetheless, some good will come out of this. All of our kitchen appliances will finally match. Until now, all of our appliances except for the fridge are stainless steel. For some inexplicable reason, the original homeowners selected a black fridge for the kitchen. Truly, it was the one bad choice they made when it came to building this house. Needless to say, it will be nice to have all the appliances matching for the first time in fourteen years. It does, however, suck to have to spend some serious coin on a boring refrigerator this holiday season.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 2 of BBG 3.0 week 5, which means it cardio day!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a mile. It was not easy, but I did it!

*Today’s word of the day is laud. I laud folks that continue to wear masks out of respect for others.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Seasons of Love from RENT.

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Happy Monday!

Happy Monday is a blog title that I have never used in the three-plus years I’ve had this blog. Admittedly, Monday’s are usually associated with unhappiness. Rather they’re associated with the desire to bang your head against a brick wall as you deal with the inane life that is corporate America. You know the kind of day where you’re in meetings all day that could have been emails and the most intelligent response of the day was “yada, yada, yada.” Now that I’m out of that life, I’ve found Mondays to be much nicer.


Now my children have tried to mess up my Happy Monday vibes with their virtual school antics. However, they were even onboard for the easy and happy Monday. That’s right folks we had no virtual school issues today. My boys were on top of it, which made me happy as a clam.

Naturally, I had a lot do work to do myself, but working from home and outside of a boilerplate environment is significantly less stressful from the corporate world. I was quite productive professionally and personally. I set several key meetings and made new connections in the professional realm.

In between my work obligations, I was able to fit in my BBG 3.0 leg workout and a run. This BBG 3.0 is no joke. Honestly, it’s quite a step up from round 2.0. I’m ready for it, but I know it’s going to hurt tomorrow. As for my run, it felt good. I find that intermixing my workouts between my work meetings and obligations has improved my effectiveness. Moreover, I feel energized and ready to tackle everything including the virtual school blues.

Alas, this happy Monday on which all the stars aligned for a great day will soon be over. Hopefully, I will write a joyful Monday post soon and not in another three years. I should also admit that I bought Anakin a new collar and bow tie. No lies, he’s simply the cutest puppy. On top of my cute puppy, I got some great pics of Jake and Mel from Utah. Their smiles always put a smile on my face.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read A Room With A View by E.M Forster

*It turns out their are unique challenges to managing a U18 team. Thus it seems we may have a caravan to the Carolinas in our future.

*I ran a mile and walked a mile today.

*I cooked a wonderful meal courtesy of HelloFresh. It was easy to make and super tasty.


*After today, I am back in workout clothes, but my running streak stands at 6 days.

*I’m a little jealous that Mel is visiting Jake, but I love getting their pictures.

*BBG 3.0 week 2 day 1: legs, cardio and yoga

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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He Made It!!

He made it to his new home! That’s right my son left tech school early this morning to fly to his final duty station. We weren’t given many details as to the happenings aside from the day. In fact, I woke to a text from him that he had already taken off and was on his way. Of course, leaving is always bittersweet. He had a great BMT experience, I know it sounds crazy, and an equally wonderful Tech school experience. Fortunately, he had two great roommates. His first was never around as he was allowed to live with his wife in on-base housing. However, his second roommate has become a good friend. Undoubtedly, he left tech school with several new life long friends and will look back on these days with fondness.

Now back to my neurotic military mom’s mind, which was trying to figure out which flight and airline he was on before getting out of bed. Eventually, I heard from him when he landed for his brief layover in Dallas. While I was in yoga, he boarded his second flight of the day. By this time, I had figured out his flight number and was dutifully stalking him as I got my namaste on. Fortunately, I took today’s yoga class via Zoom, so I could stalk without distracting my fellow yogis. As for today’s yin class, it was absolutely delicious. I’m really loving the balance that this yin class has brought to my practice and my body.

Once yoga was over, I did my hair. I know, it’s amazing, right? I think it’s the first time I’ve plugged my flat iron on since 2019. Needless to say, I think it might be time for a larger flat iron as my hair is no longer short. Fortunately, my flat iron did the trick and my hair looked good. Once I finished my hair, I added some eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick a headed to work. Fortunately, the commute from my bathroom to my bedroom office was quite short and without traffic jams. While it may seem unlikely that there could be a traffic jam at my house, please remember I have two teenage boys and three dogs. Anything is possible with them!

Today was a really productive day for me work-wise. I made several new connections with really interesting people. One thing that I love about this job so far is meeting and connecting with extraordinary people. These folks have their ish together! It’s awesome! Truly, I think connecting with interesting people will feed my soul. For example, I connected with two women today that are doing extraordinary things in their communities. I can’t help, but feel empowered and inspired by their successes. It’s an exciting time, but also a grind. I worked on pitches for several hours today with mixed success.

Usually, I would run on Thursday, but my hips weren’t feeling it today. As Shakira so wisely said, “hips don’t lie,” so I skipped my run. Instead, I’ll log my runs on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, I can get up early enough to run outside before the heat is too oppressive. I built a lot of momentum over the morning, so by skipping my run I kept my work productivity firing on all cylinders. It was a win-win situation. Also, I think this demonstrated huge personal growth for me as before I would always run through the pain – no matter what. Clearly, I paid a high price for that and have learned my lesson. Yay me!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte.

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I cooked cheese smothered chicken served with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. This HelloFresh meal is amazing. If you’d like to try it with no obligation, let me know.

*Took another gander at my garden today. The sweet potatoes continue to thrive, while the tomato plants have shriveled.

*Tonight I’m watching nature shows with Anakin.

*Week 8 BBG 2.0 day 4 yoga.

*He made it! I was happy to get his Facetime call from his new dorm! I’m proud that he serves our country.

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What If?

What if you stopped procrastinating or focusing on things that no longer serve you? A year ago, I was unhappy, unhealthy, and stuck in a job that no longer served me. I was scared to walk away afraid to walk away despite my doctor’s orders. Honestly, I knew in my heart that she was right. My job was killing me! Naturally, my response to here was that unless she was going to pay my bills, I was going to stay in my current role. Flash forward a month and they laid me off. It was the liberation I longed for. Yes, I miss my friends and colleagues, but the role no longer suited me. Now here we are a year later and the sky has not fallen. Well, it hasn’t fallen due to me being laid off last year.

Since I left my role, I have spent a lot of time with my family. In fact, I will always remember the last 12 months with a mixture of happiness, contentment, and sadness. I say sadness because my son has left the nest permanently even though he’s where he belongs. Clearly, it’s a bittersweet event in a parent’s life. If I had been working, I would have missed out on some great times with my eldest child. In the fall, we took an amazing trip back to Minnesota for him to visit all of our family. Certainly, this trip was one of the best trips of my life. What if I was still working and unable to take him to Minnesota? I can’t even imagine the weight of regret that I would currently be carrying.

I guess the theme of this blog is stopping asking what if and start asking why not. Honestly, I stayed in a horribly unhealthy role because of fear. I was afraid that if I left, the sky would fall. And then, by god’s providence, I was laid-off. Thankfully, they gave me an escape out of that role. Fortunately, the sky did not fall. In fact, I found myself starting to feel normal, and dare I say healthy again. If I had stayed and continue to ask what if, I would have lost everything. Sure I may have lost in the short term, but there can be no doubt in the long term I won. The point is don’t be afraid to “take a leap” especially if you’re in a situation that’s damaging your overall health.

Yesterday I posted a picture of myself doing a headstand during Saturday’s vinyasa class. When I restarted my yoga practice eight months ago, I never imagined I would come so far so soon. Initially, I restarted my practice as a means of reducing my autoimmune symptoms. Fortunately, I found an incredible studio, Open Heart Yoga Studio, that has the perfect lineup of classes and teachers. Over the months, I’ve not only gotten stronger, but my pain is gone. Unfortunately, thyroid issues can lead to frozen shoulders as well as bone and muscle loss. Throughout my entire journey, my teachers have guided me through my objectives and as a consequence, I’ve gotten really strong. As my dear friend and teacher Monica always says, “small steps lead to big changes.” She couldn’t be more right, my friends! If you’re looking for a change in your life, know that it doesn’t need to start with a giant leap, but perhaps with a small step in the direction of your dreams.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells

*Slept through my alarm for over 2 hours. I guess my body needed the rest!

*Gentle Yoga for a Healthy Back with Monica from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Binge watched The Office (again) with the Mayor and our puppies. I love Michael Scott!

*Lamented my lack of craft skills as I folded the quilt my grandma made us.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I cooked seared chicken with peach salsa and red rice. This was another great Blue Apron meal.

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 6 BBG 2.0 day 2 run Forest run!!!

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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Between the Storms

As my luck would have it, I was able to do all my driving between the storms. Honestly, it had to be pure luck. No sooner had I sat down comfortably on my yoga mat when the sky opened up. And when I say opened up, I mean full-on monsoon rains. Fortunately, I love practicing yoga during a storm. There is something completely soothing about practicing to the sound of falling rain. Now there were a couple of bolts of lightning that were a bit too close given the loud thunder and how vigorously the thunder shook the building. Thursday’s class is seventy-five minutes of gentle flow, so by the time, we finished our practice the storm had passed.

No sooner had I made it home when the storms again opened up. This was, of course, the case when I went to grab my coffee this morning. As I left, the storm was pulling away from our house and I hit a few sprinkles as I got to Dunkin. Fortunately, the heavy stuff held off until after I got home. I moved up my run a half-hour since my yoga class was moved up a half-hour. Consequently, my Thursday date with Curb happened at 10:00 instead of 10:30. Naturally, my legs were quite sore after the back to back days running. My foot felt pretty good, but my body was tired. Nonetheless, I persevered and logged three miles on the treadmill. Since I was heading immediately to yoga post-run, I did a truncated version of my post-run stretch routine.

Honestly, I’m exhausted. I should really just take a hot shower and go to bed, but here I am finishing my blog. Seriously though this week has been mentally and physically exhausting for no specific reason other than the dumpster fire that has been 2020. My neck and my shoulders are super tight. I’m hoping with the great work we did in Jen’s yoga class today that they’ll feel better tomorrow. My shoulder gets horribly tight since my diagnosis of Graves. Unfortunately, the tightness migrates up my neck as well. For the most part, my yoga practice keeps my shoulders and neck open. Nonetheless, I do get periodic flare-ups, which suck bananas, but I digress.

Speaking of dumpster fires, I started reading Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells. When I say dumpster fire, I’m referring to the unmitigated tragedy that was the life of Charlotte Bronte and her siblings. Gaskell wrote the biography beautifully in the style of a novel. Gaskells, of course, was a contemporary and friend of Charlotte’s. Her biography is not only a view from the rearview mirror of their friendship but also the viewpoint of her family and friends. Some have argued that Gaskells’ portrayal of Bronte’s life was sanitized by her piety in the face of Bronte’s more worldly view. Thus far I have made it as far as the death of Charlotte’s mother. At the time Charlotte and her siblings were quite young and quite alone and often left to their own devices. Honestly, it’s amazing that three literary geniuses could arise out of such an upbringing.

I cooked another HelloFresh dinner tonight, which was Balsamic Fig Chicken with roasted potatoes. I don’t know what I did, but my piece of chicken was not great. The rest of the dinner was fantastic. Fortunately, the entire family ate the meal I cooked tonight. This is pretty significant since my Mayor has decided to be a picky eater. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking another pasta dish. Since neither service provides gluten-free pasta, so I substitute gluten-free pasta from the grocery store. Meanwhile, my Mayor cooks the delivery service pasta for his spaghetti lunch. After dinner, I swept the floor picked up the kitchen. Then the dogs and I chilled on the couch and watched It’s Always Sunny. My boys drove down to Miami to skate for a couple of hours this morning. It’s great to have them back on the ice!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Gentle Flow with Jenn at Open Heart Yoga

*Thought of ways to incorporate the word cove into my blog.

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Yonder look for a full product review on ny new scale

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 5 BBG 2.0 day 2 run!!! Back at it baby!

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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