Friday, October 21, 2011

Birthday Fun

A workday, midweek birthday isn't exactly recipe for a rockin' good time, but it was certainly made extra-special by a staff serenade of Happy Birthday during our weekly staff meeting. Then Jay picked me up from work and we went to Memphis for dinner.

I had a place in mind, but when Jay sent me the menu for Circa, I thought we should try that. And wouldn't you know that in a city of 700,000 people covering 300 square miles, the restaurant we chose was right next to Cokesbury. Seriously.

But it was fabulous. The walls are lined with wine bottles. The food is superb. I had the spinach salad with goat cheese (not shown on the menu), the Sorghum Cured Rack of Lamb (hold me!), and the hot chocolate souffle. Jay had the House Salad, the Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast (the menu doesn't show it, but it also came with foie gras), and the Artisan Cheese Plate.

I only have one complaint. We ordered the Crawfish Beignets for an appetizer but the server forgot them. By the time we realized they weren't coming we had already been served our main courses and didn't really want to put it in reverse to go back to the appetizer. So he applied a $25 coupon to our ticket, which covered dessert. But I still never ate crawfish beignets. Sad.

All in all a great experience, topped off by great conversation with my soul mate on the way home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And Then There's the Guilt

I'm sitting on my living room floor, dressed for a run, and feeling so guilty.

Today's my day off. It's the day that I do absolutely nothing except that which I want to do. I usually use Thursday for my long run, and when I get home I'm pretty much wasted for the rest of the day. It is truly my Sabbath.

Why do I feel guilty? Because my baby girl was so teary when I dropped her off at school today.

We went to the doctor yesterday after a week of whining, fussing, and general malaise. Two nights ago she woke up crying because her teeth hurt, and yesterday morning she finally said that her ears hurt. A perfect explanation for all the unhappiness, and when we went to the doctor yesterday it was clear that she had a nasty ear infection. She insisted on going to church last night, though, because she said she didn't want to miss choir and her class. I thought she'd be feeling better today, but she was still a little whiny.

The problem is that she hasn't been thrilled with school yet this year, so it's hard for me to tell if she's whiny because she doesn't feel good or because she just doesn't want to go to school. And if I'd followed the same path with her that I did with Josh, she wouldn't BE going to school full-time right now. But she is, because that allows me to work full-time.

Do you see where I'm going with this? I don't want to set her up to hate school because I've forced her to go before she's ready. But selfish me wants to be able to work because I love my job. So I'm sad and confused.

Bleh.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And Then There's the Running

One of the things that I did during Lent was cancel my membership at the YMCA. Don't get me wrong...I love the Y and I love that the teachers there helped me get my body back into a shape other than "globular" after I had Clare. But after a few years I started to feel like maybe I was post-Y.

When I first started going in 2008, Y time was my time. It was the only time during the day that I was assured conversation with other adults, and the only time during the day that was completely my own. I left the house without having to strap someone into a carseat, and I got out of the car with both arms swinging.

And for the next two years I was a faithful member. I went to Spinning class at least once a week, and I went to aerobics classes at least three times a week. Then I started getting in to Zumba, and I even tried swimming once or twice. It was a great place, and I was glad to support it.

But my needs changed. As the kids got older and as I started working part-time outside of the house, I wasn't as desperate for my time. I could get that other places. And I felt like I had my fitness under control. I knew how much I needed to exercise, and what kind of exercising I needed to do, to keep myself healthy.

So about 9 months ago I decided that I was going to take care of exercise myself. I pulled out the Pilates DVDs again, and downloaded Week 1/Day 1 of Couch to 5K. I ran my first 5K last May and in June I started learning to run again, but barefoot.

Now I try to run at least 2 5Ks a week plus one long run as I train for my first 10K.

My body isn't as tough and toned as it was when I was going to the gym everyday, but that's OK. I really like running, and I really like knowing that I can keep myself healthy on my own.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When We Left Off...

So, after Lent was over I didn't say much more about what I learned. Honestly, I'm still processing it all. But one thing that was clear was that I could do a much better job of living simply.

Then I discovered Crunchy Betty. Any thoughts I had ever entertained about the possibility of reducing my dependence on things purchased at the store found a home right here. For years my family has been committed to eating locally--I can't tell you the last time I bought meat in a store--but I just knew there was more out there to help me get by with less.

So in the last few months I have been experimenting in my kitchen. Here are some of the changes I've made.
  1. I wash my face with local, raw honey. I know you think that sounds nuts, but try it for two weeks and you might just never go back to soap or cleanser or whatever else you use. Just honey. That's it.
  2. I make my own laundry detergent. My first try was a powder and it was fine, but I ran out quickly. On my second try I used too much Zote and ended up with a gelatinous goo. Fortunately I was still able to use it. On my third try I hit the jackpot. And the best part is that my children love to help make it, and in turn they love doing their own laundry. No, really, they do.
  3. I make my own deodorant. Yeah, that sounds shady, I know. The first recipe I tried worked well for a few weeks and then let me down. Then I tried another, simpler recipe which has been faithful to me for awhile, even through a 5K and an overnight canoe trip with the youth group.
  4. I make my own all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, and heavy duty cleaner. I love them all.
I've recently run into some concoctions for homemade stain removers, and I think those will be my next experiments.

I love doing this because it's cheap and because I know exactly what's going on my 'pits, on my laundry, and on my countertops. I don't worry about my children touching cleaner, and I feel like that in itself is just a healthier way to live.

If you're feeling a little froggy, give it a try!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cleaning Up

My profile description was all wrong, my profile picture was old, most of the links to other people's blogs were broken. At least it's been a while since I removed the links to "Sites I like because I'm a (nursing) mom"!

I did a little bit of housekeeping and updating tonight, hoping that would motivate me to return to the world of blogging. There's more to be done, but at least this is a start!