Just married!

Home from The Wedding!

Well, that was last night, and I was too tired to finish this post. The day was long, the ceremony beautiful, the reception exciting and fun, and I am grateful and happy it went without any big glitches.

My son teared up when K walked out and down the aisle.

My daughter and K were both crying after the ceremony when C offered her congratulations and tried to express how happy she was for them and all that sisterly emotion was unleashed.

I was pretty dry-eyed through the ceremony, but got tearful during the mother/son dance (OMG – so thankful that is unlikely to ever happen again!). So happy for and proud of my son.

The groomsman, the bride’s brother, and her sister’s fiance were at my house for a few hours to get ready. They arrived at 12:30 for lunch, and according to the timeline were supposed to be getting ready, taking pictures, from 1 to 3. In that time, G realized he’d forgotten K’s gift; C was dispatched in G’s car to get it. G realized he had forgotten socks; a pair of black dress socks appeared from M’s sock drawer. At 2 p.m., I was still standing around in shorts and a t-shirt, M was grabbing a power nap, and the boys were standing in my kitchen drinking beer and yakking. It was nice – a couple of them I had not seen in several years and I was excited to catch up as well – but I had to use the mom voice to get them going. It was fun, and funny, watching them scramble to get themselves pulled together and pocket squares ironed and folded and button covers affixed.

Despite my leniency with the timeline, we all got to the venue on time. My kids’ dad’s family were already there, and we had a couple of hours to visit and catch up. Doesn’t matter than I divorced their son and her brother more than a quarter century ago; we are still family. My XH’s sister’s oldest daughter is one of K’s best friends (and introduced her to G) and she still calls me “aunt” Janelle. Family is forever.

I met so many of K’s friends, G’s I haven’t seen in a very long time, and was spontaneously hugged by so many strangers and new friends and told how lovely and wonderful my son it and thanked, repeatedly, for various things. I almost felt badly for my spare shadow on Facebook.

People ate, drank, laughed, and danced the reception away. The music was loud, a mixture of all sorts of old rock, disco, rap, and even a bit of country in the mix. It was good.

When the big moment came, what I was wearing didn’t matter. The Gown and all its drama didn’t matter. Fatigue, anxiety, and everything else faded away. In the moment, it was about love and joy and happiness. In the moment, everything I hoped for and dreamed of for my son and his new bride came true.

It was beautiful. It was magical. It was perfect.

And yes, I am so happy and relieved it is now concluded.



Training #70 – Wedding bell blues

Thursday morning, training with J. And not really wedding bell blues so much as The Wedding is tomorrow and I’m mildly freaked out and counting down to the moment of blissful relief that it as an event has concluded. Low on sleep, trying hard to get sick (more about that in a minute), socially overwhelmed, and just looking forward to tomorrow night and being done with this project.

I am nothing if not honest about what I think and how I feel. I do not go around saying that to the happy couple, but in truth it is all in the back of our minds that our excitement is tempered with gratitude that the brunt of the work is done.

Just a quick aside on the wedding: gown drama concluded yesterday when K picked it up and tried it on to an absolutely PERFECT fit. All the ladies in the family and the wedding or in town for the wedding went to get mani/pedis done last night, so it was a lot of fun to sit around and drink wine (I stuck with water) and get pampered. Tonight is the rehearsal dinner, tomorrow I am hosting groom and groomsmen for lunch and getting into their tuxedos and having getting ready pictures taken, which necessitates a day off today to do an extra thorough speed clean on my entire house. But all good; end is near!

But I have been trying to get sick. All week my allergies have been going crazy, so I thought the sore throat when I woke up yesterday and continuing during practice was just part of that. Then I got to work and felt as if someone cut my strings I was suddenly so weak and so tired, and apparently running a low-grade fever. Yep, trying to be sick 2 days prior to my son’s wedding. Quick call to my doc and I have a z-pack of antibiotics for the probable sinus infection that is brewing. By the end of the evening last night I was so tired and so ready for sleep, and still with a mild fever. I bit the bullet and took the first of the z-pack.

This morning, I felt fine. Fever gone, nose remarkably clear, no headache or sore throat. I am a little more thirsty than usual, but that could be from working my ass off with trainer J this morning. All good, though.

I have been hesitant to discuss not feeling my normal healthy self. For me personally, shaving sleep comes with a cost. The wedding commitments and stressure has taken a light toll, but it is one more thing on top of juggling jobs and just a lot of work the last couple of months. I should not be at all surprised that I have gotten a little run down, particularly since my eating has been crap all week.

J is very good at his job, and I know he would have advised cancelling this week and taking a few days off to rest and kick whatever is trying to take my allergy flare-up to the sinus infection level had he known or even suspected I was mildly under the weather. Except I wasn’t feeling poorly until yesterday; it’s perfectly normal for me to have to blow my nose half dozen times in a practice or in a training session. Perhaps I could have taken yesterday off, cancelled today and tomorrow and it would have helped, but the exercise does so much to maintain my overall life balance. It did appear to me yesterday that whatever is/was going on had already taken root and I needed the drug intervention to make it stop so as to not feel poorly on Friday. So I did. I am not a complete idiot, though, and I would have done a last-minute cancel this morning had I not felt significantly improved. I would have felt terrible about not giving J advance warning, and I would have insisted he charge me for the session (whether he actually did that or not is a mystery for future exploration if this should ever occur again). I felt normal and fine this morning when I woke up; as I said, no stuffy nose, no runny nose, no headache, no sore throat, and most importantly, perfectly normal body temperature. I felt absolutely confident in my ability and raring to go, and I had this amazing, fantastic training session today, feeling very strong and competent in revisiting this List. I know a big part of it is the end is near with The Wedding distraction. It’s going to be beautiful and magical, but I’ll be relieved when the part of my brain occupied thinking about all the little details is done with all that.

But back to the “feeling very strong and competent” part of our recap and The List. Here’s what we ran through today:

Incline DB Press (20/25/30 lb. DBs, 3 sets (obviously), 8-12 reps)
Bench Alt Step Off/Kick Back combo (3 sets, 8-12/side)
Alternating dumbbell curls (15 lb. Dos, 3 sets, 12-15/side)
Alternating Chopper Sit Ups (3 sets, 6-12/side)

Flat Bench Chest Flyes (15/20 lb. DBs, 3 sets, 8-12 reps)
Bench Step Throughs (3 sets, 10-12/side)
DB Alt. Hammer Curls (15 lb. DBs, 12-15/side)
Stability Ball Crunch (3 sets, 10-15 reps)

1-arm DB Snatch (15/20 DBs, 2 sets, 6-8/side)
1-arm DB Lateral Throws (15 lb. DBs, 2 sets, 10-12/side)
Band Horizontal Hip Rotations (aka Choppers) (2 sets, 10-15/side)
Standing Contralateral Knee to Elbow Crunch (2 sets, 15-20/side)

I love, Love, LOVE training days. But we all know that. What I especially love is training days where I feel like everything is firing and I’m 117% present in the session. This is not to be confused with getting everything and being able to replicate perfectly. However, being on the pathway of getting everything and maybe someday with patience and practice being able to replicate almost perfectly is a big, giant win in my book. Today was like that. Plus, since we have not reviewed this List in a couple of months, there has been progress.

While we have done the incline dumbbell press in connection with other lists, it is another of those progression exercises for me. The first sets went off without a hitch and 15 reps concluded without any fuss or muss. But the third set and stepped up to a 30 lb. set, I could feel the heavier weight but still not overly worried about completing my minimum. Seems like I had just stepped up and into the 30s the last rendition of chest-focused lists inspired by Dr. Spencer. I was very happy to still moving along and able to handle that weight.

The bench alternating step-out/kick-back combo is one of the “filler” exercises on another recent list but that was presented as an either/or choice. I actually really like the combination of them, step-out once, kick-back next. All from the plank position. All to distract me from holding the plank for as long as possible. These are a slow-mo improvement for me, and I measure that not only by how many step-outs/kick-backs I can do in a set but by how many time times I have to remind myself to body is straight and planked and hips are staying level. My check-ins on the planking part of this are less frequent and my ability to step sideways and kick back have improved. Dramatically. Now I just watch to ensure my shoulders stay above hands in the set-up and away I go. There is no measure for how fantastic it feels to know I have made improvements I can feel.

I still cannot fathom why everyone so many love curls. The alternating dumbbell curls recur fairly regularly, and I am growing accustomed to doing them. However, they are hardly a favorite. For a long time I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, that maybe if I found my groove with form and weight that I would totally love this exercise. Not happened yet, and I think form and weight I am using is fine for me. I guess I am just not a tried and true curl monkey. There’s always tomorrow, though.

The alternating chopper sit ups are the triumph of the day. First time we went through this List, then reviewing it, this exercise was an ongoing train wreck. I did learn a lot, like that I have been doing sit ups wrong forever, and probably I have been doing sit ups wrong forever. And they are hard, really, Really, REALLY hard. Whenever I have gone through this List on my own, I have substituted crunches on the stability ball for these alternating chopper sit-ups. Until today, anyway. Today, they were shockingly smooth. Today, I did these with fluidity and almost ease of motion. Today, even J admitted he was anticipating a much less successful event. Obviously, the crunches on the stability ball, the planking in various forms, the pilates on Sundays have offered up some additional ab strength. There may be a point in my future where I do not have to anchor feet to the floor to do these. Believe me, that’s real progress.

I continue to periodically lose my head and confuse a flat bench chest fly with a flat bench chest press. Today, oh well … J is standing right there to correct my hand placement. Again these have been on other lists, and I have done pretty well with the slow, controlled movement and not letting my elbows drop too low.

The bench step throughs have been used as more filler for the Dr. Spencer routines, so I know I have been doing them fairly consistently in the time away. Like the bench step off/kick back, the planky position requires some concentration to maintain. These are another one of those things where I feel I am improving, even if I do not even realize I am improving. The contraction in the obliques is sort of subtle, and I periodically find myself wondering if i am actually feeling it or if I am just imagining that I am feeling something in that area. Like their planky brethren, I measure my progress on not only how many reps per side I do per set, but how many times I have to check in and adjust my planking.

Then we have the alternating dumbbell hammer curls. These are still not a favorite either, but for whatever reason I like the hammer version every so slightly more than their brethren. They do pass quickly and make me think about shoulders and abs and glutes and posture – am I standing up straight? Most of the time, yes.

Any and all ab work we do, the stability ball crunch is probably my favorite, which immediately made me think I was doing something wrong. No, they are fine and good, feeling it in my abs as projected. The draping backwards over the ball setting up feels like a really wonderful stretch, and most importantly, these have never hurt my low back.

The final block was the really interesting and intriguing part of the day. We started with a 1-arm dumbbell snatch using a 15 lb. weight. I was slightly hesitant at first – last time we had used a 10, but I know how this is supposed to work and knew that I would and could stop if needed. These are still in the learning column of my master library of exercises, but I was fine with the 15 and then with the 20. If I start to feel my concentration is impeded or something just feels off, I stop and regroup. Hurting myself is never going to be worth my pride in finishing a set. When we upped the weight to 20 the second set, I felt a lot more confident in both the movement and my ability to control the weight. We are not doing a lot of reps on this one at these weights, but what we are doing is plenty.

The 1-arm dumbbell lateral throws are also in the “still learning ” section of the master library. We went up to a 15 on these as well, and once I get going with the general notation of the effort my confidence grows. Not so much that I am tossing the weight about willy-nilly, but that I can restrain my concern about doing it wrong and the Very Bad Things that could possibly happen. Plus it is just odd to me how some exercises where it is perfect acceptable, even encouraged to bend or to keep knees straight I get it in my head that knees should stay bent or straight throughout the movement and that is not the case.

Band horizontal hip rotations (aka choppers) should be on the easy peasy list of things I remember how to perform. However, lately I have been getting foot placement confused to the point I am spying on other tribe members doing similar things to try and cement it into my head. I’m getting there. Sometimes I wonder if this is the same slice of my brain that controls lett-hand/right-hand dominance, because I spent two-thirds of my life having to stop and think which is left, which is right. I am left-handed; when I started school they were either handing me lefty scissors (which I cannot use – I cut with my right hand) or putting the pencil into my right hand (definitely I am left handed). Some left of confusion in my forming brain reigned for decades.

This last crunch, the standing contralateral knee to elbow crunch, is kind of a secret cult favorite. I think of the “tuck the rib” every time we go through it or I am doing this List on my own in practice, and for whatever reason the idea makes me smile. Today’s nifty new trick was to raise the raised leg slightly higher than 90 degrees and then crunch. It shortened the crunch motion and certainly made me feel a deeper contraction inside.

So that was training day today, and it was gloriously fun. And I also know I say that every week, but compared to the last 2 sessions – which have been oodles of fun on their own – this time was just different because mind was completely in sync with what we were doing, talking about, learning. I am absolutely serious about how much weight is off mind with the wedding tomorrow.

Plus, even though I know I am in the gym a lot, I know I am putting forth the effort to practice the exercises every week, measuring progress is not like taking a multiple choice test. Since I have not hurt myself or anyone else I figure I am doing fine, and believe me, I know that I am. Then we return to a list like Monday and today, and I recognize the difference between training styles that we were doing and back to my roots of what I know so well. More significant to me, I see and feel the differences in exertion and effort from before to now, and it has only been a couple of months.

I actually have no strong preferences for one to the other as far as training styles. As I put it to J yesterday, the body part splits we were doing last week with heavier weights and fewer reps for minimum 4 sets are like a sprint – stay focused for a short time and get through it. Monday and today’s style of List and training is a broader concentration for a longer time, more like a marathon where I have to keep up the pacing and stay with it to see the series through to the finish.

And frankly it amazes me that I have any kind of insight on this stuff. What does not surprise me is that I am not more discerning about preferences. I now have enough Lists to pick and choose every day what I want to do in practice, to the point that if I want to do whole body I have List for that. If I want to divide and conquer body parts over the course of a week I have Lists for that. Since I have no specific goals other than to stay in my groove about consistent exercise, I am free to pursue and test drive whatever J throws at me each week.

My preconceived notions of me on exercise have been turned upside down and tossed out as laughably naive. I always imagined me doing cardio and throwing in a small slice of resistance training with the weights for variety and to ensure some tone in newly exposed muscles. Instead, I rarely do just cardio (unless doing a ridiculous amount of speed cleaning throughout my whole house today counts). I walk most days with my associates at work, but that’s as much social fun as anything else.

This week, I got to see and more importantly feel the work I have done these last months and see it in my increased ability and competency. I am extremely excited about being more capable, and if I needed more incentive to keep up my training with J and my daily practices, the pilates on Sunday, the yoga on (most) Friday nights, I found it this week.

Not enough time to go into great detail about how I am eating more than my fair share of crap this week or skipping meals and not eating at all. It’s been a little or a lot ugly on that front, but lots of socializing and lots going on in my world. Back to our normal healthier options on Saturday. Tonight it’s Chicago Fire’s caesar salad and probably a couple of pieces of pizza. We are hosting this wing-ding, so I should get am going the eat some food I love. Forget the entitlement or “deserving” whatever I consume tonight. My son is getting married tomorrow and I simply want to relax and enjoy the evening.

Despite my crap eating or not eating at all, it has been a gratifying, satisfying week. And … GO ME! I kicked ass today.

Holding patterns

As of today, G and K’s wedding is officially a week away. I am looking forward to it; I know it will be a lovely and memorable event, a milestone in each of our lives.

But I cannot WAIT for it to be over.

The following Tuesday we leave for our annual 5 days of air racing. I have mixed feelings about it – the air races are definitely more M’s thing than mine. The best part to me is actually the qualifying heats during the week, because there is no air show filler in between and the stands are not as crowded as they are Saturday and Sunday so I can relax and read my backlog of books. And bake in the sun, of course.

Being away and outside my typical routines will make me more appreciative of my day-to-day life. Or so I keep telling myself. I feel plenty grateful for my day-to-day life anyway.

More than anything, I believe I have wedding fatigue. There are A LOT of social and schmoozing events scheduled in the next week, and part of it is directly my responsibility. The bridesmaid brunch I can handle – it’s only 7 of us – and my daughter is pitching in like a true champ. Rehearsal dinner is at a restaurant – whipping out my credit card should not stress me much. The rest of it consists of simple get-togethers with K’s family and the kids’ out-of-town friends, nearly all of whom we already know pretty well.

I think I just hate being this overcommitted with events while trying to maintain my normal work routines. I am taking some time off in the afternoons next week, but as much as possible it always works better for me to stick to my regular schedule.

This morning I realized Monday is a holiday, and that I actually do have the day off, as the office closed at noon today and will not reopen until Monday. However, several of us were still there at 3 p.m., dedicated worker bees. Or we are simply enjoying the phone not ringing and an opportunity to catch up and clear off our desks.

We had some fun at the running shoe boutique, buying M some new shoes. His last pair, purchased on May 1, split down the sides yesterday. Yep, a pair of shoes, almost 2000 miles, and time for retirement. This time we were a little smarter and bought 2 pairs to rotate, since he likes them well enough.

The day has been a good one, the weekend will be busy with cleaning house and yard in preparation for wedding festivities. Thankfully we are relatively neat anyway.

Happy weekending everyone!


Lets talk numbers

All over the various blogs I follow and forums I read there is chat about end-of-month numbers. As I just finished my self-employment invoicing, I have my own set of significant numbers to share

Work. At my part-time job, I logged 116 hours for the month and billed 152 hours for my self-employment gig, bringing my total hours for the month to 268. Spread out over 31 days, I averaged 8.65 paid hours per day. Obviously it was a very busy month! Thankfully this is not every month, and I already know September will be significantly lighter with vacation and time spent on G and K’s wedding. Still, I have the very best private clients and am employed by a wonderful firm. The rewards and compensation I receive from my jobs goes well beyond the money exchange. I am very fortunate and do not take it for granted.

Money. My income for August is the highest thus far this year, and our expenses kept admirable pace with that as well. Fortunately for us, my monthly budgeting process includes savings for periodic spending – wedding expenses, trainer J renewal, adding/deleting a vehicle from our car insurance, plus smogging/registrations/transfer fees for the various vehicles in the fleet – all were well within the budget line items. The rest of our spending was pretty normal and boring. Thankfully nothing unusual or unexpected happened to make an impact worthy of discussing.

Weight. I am down 3.1 lbs. for the month. One thing I have learned jumping on the scale every day and writing the number down, it desensitizes me to the experience. I am glad it’s moving in a downward direction, but other than that, I really do not care much at all what it says in terms of how much or how little. After more than a year of working at this exercise gig, I am remarkably improved and some measurements do not show on the scale or the tape.

Blood sugar. My average blood sugar reading the last 30 days was 103. High was 271 and low was a random 42, and I remember both incidents very well. Chinese food with all the sauces and starchy noodles is always bad, and there was one ultra low calorie intake day that resulted in a crashing 42 in the middle of the night. Both are unusual occurrences for me anymore.

Calories. I do the most superficial and generalized food tracking possible and call it good. Since I eat the same meals and same foods over and over and over again, I mix-and-match meals and preplan a week of menus in My Fitness Pal on Saturday or Sunday and then tweak if I have fallen far away from my preplanned day of eating. Mostly I do this for Dr. Spencer (who likes to see my percentages) and RD (who is a foodie and already knows I’m hugely boring in my eating habits). In August I averaged about 1527 calories per day, with my highest day being 2278 and my lowest being 1049. I have my baseline set at 1200 calories per day, and 40% protein, 25% carbohydrates, and 35% fat. Looking over the month, I was pretty closed to flip-flopped on protein and carbs – 48% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 17% fat. There is part of me that is distressed by these numbers, but my current focus is mostly unmoved by my perceived failure in this regard. Eating is hard for me, period. Having these guidelines adds awareness of an objective yet I cannot seem to bring enough discipline to the forefront to make bolder or more drastic changes.

Exercise. I am not even sure how to state my numbers with regard to exercise. There are a few basic things where I moved up into a 5 lb. heavier dumbbell, and possibly to and fro on the cable machines. There are some exercises where I graduated from a green stretchy band to a red one, or where I lightened up to a yellow band but doubled it up instead of a single green. I added a second miniband on at least one – so I am using a heavy and an etra heavy – and I now use the extra heavy instead of the heavy band in general. These are just the numbers and changes I can recall right this minute. What I know is that I have not regressed or fallen down without bouncing right back up. For the amount of time spent in the gym, it averages about 100 minutes daily, with my lowest day being 85 minutes and my high being 260. In August I had 5 yoga and 7 pilates classes. For 26 days throughout the month I did at least 30 minutes of dedicated cardio for my August challenge, although my tracker says I averaged 42 minutes of cardio daily over the course of the month.

We are so dreadfully predictable and routine in our habits it is no wonder that I rarely have a numbers post.

A lot has changed for me since I began writing this blog, and most of the time it does not seem that big, dramatic, or even very splashy. Some of it has been difficult – letting go of long-time friends has probably been the worst. Most of it has been hugely gratifying, to the point that I marvel at the me beaming back at me from the mirror. I still have moments of feeling morbidly obese or just plain icky. But they are rare enough now that I do not have to make myself pause and reflect on why I feel that way, because I am literally stopped in my tracks wondering what has happened to me and why.

My friend J sent me a really, REALLY nice note earlier; it made me cry in is kind and sweet sentiment. It’s unlike him, really unlike him. I mean, 4 paragraphs and not a single f-bomb? For a good 20 minutes I was having a private, melt-down freak out, like something was terribly wrong, like terminal illness diagnosis kind of wrong.

But I think everything is fine. I think I am not the only one whose perspective has changed over the course of time. Makes me recognize how much I value those I am closest to, how their thoughts mature and evolve as life continues.

So much of my time is spent running numbers. Profitability. Expense ratios. Paying bills, paying salaries, budgeting. The weights, the scale, the tape measure, the glucose meter. Things change, every month, every year, sometimes every week or even every day. Numbers do matter in life, as all of the above illustrate. Yet the people and things I value and that matter most to me are not governed strictly by numbers.

Somehow, sometimes I get lost in this stuff. The numbers. The budgets. I am relieved to know I am still not an especially frugal person, that while numbers and budgets matter, I still value other things, frequently to a greater degree than money and numbers.

Family. Friends. Experiences. Feelings. Life.

Living my life feels particularly good and sweet these days. Because I am healthier, happier, and my outlook and self-esteem so much more stable. To have no real complaints and to be this level of satisfied is amazing. I am glad to finally find this sweet spot and revel in it.

Shopping, dropping, not again soon-ing

Yesterday was all about wedding shopping. For M. And it was not fun for either of us, but since G and K’s wedding is now less than 2 weeks away, it had to be done.

As in most things, M and I have wildly different tastes. But in this case as well, we had wildly different tolerances for how much we are willing to spend on clothing and shoes for him for this eventful occasion. In suits, everything I liked was at least $600 on sale, which M thought was precisely 3 times more than he wanted to spend. Everything within M’s preferred price range looked and felt exactly awful, so he grudgingly agreed this was not the cheap-out hill he wanted to die on, especially when it’s so close to the wedding and I am starting to crack under the pressure of his procrastination. I suppose it doesn’t help that I was seeking something specific and limiting our choices within the more cost-effective, rarely worn suit styling realm. But I want what I want – medium to dark gray, no pinstripes, no patterns in the weave of the fabric. Had I been willing to wander from my own criteria, there were several suits in M’s budget range that could have worked. But I didn’t like them for this occasion, so I voted with our wallet. The occasions of “I work  hard, I work long hours, I deserve …” rarely occur to me. However, this was the unusual event that I was unwilling to compromise (much) and we were going to drop the cash necessary to make it happen.

At our third stop, the salesman tried a coat on M for size, which finally hammered home for him what I was talking about in fabric. It made him look about 110 years old, like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings. It was also a short, and while I could not put my finger on it at the time, I did not like the fit at all. The guy pulled out a regular in the same suit; better fit, still disliked the fabric. When I explained to salesman in more detail what I was seeking, he pulled out a medium gray that was actually very nice, a touch lighter in color than what mind said I wanted but really nice fabric. Once M tried the jacket on – for once it was a good fit, no further alternations needed – he finally saw what I was talking about with the fabric and drape and such. Third store, second suggestion, done.

The pants – OMG they were huge! But the tailor did his magic chalk marking and they should be perfectly tailored by next Saturday.

Shirt is white, tie is a solid teal that is a pretty close match to the darker teal of the bridesmaid dresses. M was of the opinion that Kayla should weigh in on all this stuff, and while K had no strong opinions on the suit itself while we were shopping – although she did agree some of them did not photograph that well – we had a lengthy text discussion over the various teal-shaded tie choices while M was with the tailor and then trying on the shirt before we decided on the solid. Just to be fair I did show the ties I was considering and he immediately went with the solid, a stripe being a very distant second. So that was good as well. M and I should look appropriately matchy-matchy prom-y in the wedding photos.

K, from the stylist’s chair test driving wedding hair, had a blast shopping with us by text. M and I were certainly not having that much fun in the moments. Now that it’s done, I am both relieved and happy with the choices, but at the time, not fun at all.

From there we stopped for a quick lunch – hence yesterday’s post – and then at home for dress socks to tackle shoes.

Men’s dress shoes are nothing like shopping for women’s shoes. That’s likely why in the big giant shoe warehouses men’s shoes get 2 aisles and women’s get 20. And I apparently have not spent much time actually shopping in a mall recently; I am now feeling the weight of every single one of my years and the accumulated judgment about clothes and fashion. Either that or I was exhausted from the ordeal of shopping with M for M. Shopping with M for me is far more controllable; I can just come back later and try on or purchase what I think I want without him. Shoes especially – multiple stores, multiple pairs of shoes, finally found something that works. And I knew this would be difficult; M lives in running shoes with jaunts into flip flops and has many pairs of both. Dress shoes? Like a foreign country. Multiple stores, multiple pairs of dress shoes, and finally something wearable and if not exactly agreeable at least not offensive to his eye. By that point I did not care what they costed; I just wanted the nightmare shopping to end. Fortunately they too were on a sale – $59.95 and we are done. Except for dress socks; the tan ones M was using yesterday are not going to work.

So after what seems like an enough shopping for one lifetime, the last pressing issue for G & K’s wedding is done. Thankfully.

In other weekend news, I was actually glad to be up and moving around a lot yesterday. One of my yoga postures went awry when I lost my focus and fell out wrong. No lasting damage – just a muscle cramp that sort of slowly worked its way out of my leg through a day of mall walking and standing around or fetching shoes for M while he tried on every single available pair of something the potentially could work. It gave us both something else to talk about other than the misery of buying men’s dress-up clothes.

Today leg is pretty much fine, although I was listening to it during pilates class. Leg was whining to take it easy, that it hurts, and mind was saying “shut the f**k up and deal, you lazy limb.” I took a different class at the other studio location, and it was okay. I definitely prefer the earlier (7:30 versus 9:30) class time. I’m not sure how much longer I will continue with the pilates; my interest in waning now that Sunday’s 7:30 a.m. class seems to have been overtaken by the instructor I like the least. I don’t know – maybe everyone else likes booming, enthusiastic boot camp instructors at 7:30 on a Sunday. I could be in the minority. After the wedding, after our vacation, I may switch up my away-from-they gym day and try something else new. I shall become an exercise adventurer and try something else next.

And despite the zoom-zoom-zoom pacing and having lost 2 different items of significance and no idea where during the course of it, the weekend has been very pleasant. But my absent-mindedness is starting to mildly freak me out. Yesterday it was a credit card. I stopped to get gas on my way to the gym and discovered later in the day that it was missing from my wallet. No problem – probably in my gym bag. Came home and emptied it out, nope, not in my gym bag. Then I thought surely the jacket I was wearing, but nope, not in that pocket either. M and I both looked in my car without any luck there either. I have no idea where I dropped it, but I have reported it as lost and it has been cancelled.

Today it is my sunglasses. I had just yesterday been telling M that I felt like it was time for an eye exam and possibly updating my prescription; today, I have lost my sunglasses somewhere between 2 stores. We stopped to pick up M’s wedding band at Shane Company, then walked across the parking lot to a small, jammed to the rafters lighting store showroom. We checked both places, although honestly if I set them down somewhere in the lighting store they are lost forever. That place was a scrambled mess! We saw a couple of really cool (and expensive) fixtures as potential replacements for our dining room light, but it was beyond inaccessible for a handicapped person. The aisles were so narrow it was barely roomy enough for M and I to get through them single file, and we are not extraordinarily big or wide-bodied people.

Anyway, I’m frustrated with myself for being so forgetful and not paying closer attention to what I am doing. Between the wedding and general workload, I have been pretty busy lately. At least I have a tracker and app for my keys, since I lose them in the house all the time.


8/28/2016 – Cube tracker for my frequently misplaced keys.

So, a new month starts in a few days, and I had very pleasant surprises this morning from both the scale and the tape measure, both of which I still detest. While I don’t feel particularly tinier, they say yes, it is so. I find not caring that much means not getting overly excited when it says “Janelle, you’re smaller.” I get a much stronger happy zing when my meter says my blood sugar is staying well within the normal range and my carb counting says I’m within 10% either way of my daily budget. This eating thing, despite doing it my whole life, is so much harder than dragging my butt out of bed for the gym every morning.

I am off to finish writing down my weekly meal plan and putting lunch together for tomorrow. Have a great week everyone!

I got (almost) nothing today

Kind of a low-key, uneventful for blog fodder day.

I ran into another training tribe member this morning I have not seen in a few months. This was a rare Sunday gym visit for me, because I missed on Wednesday and am still relatively obsessive about my 6 days gym time schedule. But it was good to see her, catch up on all her milestones and continuing good health efforts. I so love that. I love seeing others make their own incremental forward progress and know that I’m not so isolated in my own nemesis stable of exercises. Sunday mornings can also be busy! I had no idea.

M and I went out for lunch today. Nearly every weekend we eat a meal out, typically Saturday dinner, but that didn’t work yesterday so it was lunch today. Nothing fancy – Islands for a burger for him, a chicken caesar salad for me. Food was good, service was crap. Our order was taken, drinks (tea for M, water for me) was delivered, food came promptly … and we did not see our server or any other for the rest of the meal. I finished my water, M his tea, and I really would have enjoyed my meal more with more water, M with more tea. And then she finally comes by to take our plates and ask if we’d like dessert (ummm … no thank you), no questions about refills, another 15 minutes waiting for our check, and then another 10 minutes after that to get my credit card back and he the receipt to sign.

It’s rare for us to eat out and tip less than 20%. I waited tables right after high school and in my first year of college and know how difficult the job can be. Plus we are in general pretty generous souls. So for me to leave less than usual tip means I am genuinely annoyed by and unhappy with the service received. Yet here I am, feeling guilty about a measly 10% tip. For lousy service. What other people do is none of my business; what we typically do is the source of my mildly guilty conscience. Perhaps she will learn something from it. Perhaps she just figures we’re some cheap-ass middle aged couple. Perhaps she was overwhelmed and unable to do more for us. In the bigger picture of my life and times, probably our paths are unlikely to cross again and even if they did, how likely is it she would remember us? Probably we were completely forgotten within minutes of walking out of the restaurant.

Small comfort. But not enough to have me driving back and leaving a better tip. Yes, I have done that in the past, when I felt like I stiffed our service for some random, truly unintentional reason.

From there it was off to Costco. On a Sunday. What were we thinking? M was in search of a specific supplement that he was sure we purchased there as well as a can of mixed nuts that have been gnawing at him, so we dived into the fray that is Costco on a weekend. Any weekend. It was unpleasant. Everyone around us seemed to be suddenly stopping in the middle of aisles as if they were alone in the store rather than shopping cart to shopping cart with everyone else. If that was not stressful enough, the number of children running amok without supervision or attention, falling down, screaming, crying, nearly getting run over by people not expecting to have some 5-year-old dart suddenly dart out in front of her cart. While I am someone who generally likes and enjoys children, I kind of hate their parents. While we did not find the supplement he was seeking we did come home with fresh berries, enough ingredients for salads and fresh vegetables for the week, and my favored protein/nut bar substitutes for candy bars. Crazy town. At least we do not have to return for at least another week, 10 days, and I am already swearing to myself it will be after work during the week or on my work-from-home day.

The new week ahead is looking and feeling better. Mostly. The Wedding is like the theme song from Jaws playing in the background of my mind. I keep imagining all the things I could be missing, all the things that potentially can go wrong. My worst nightmares of people I barely know showing up at my house and leaving hungry because I ran out of food or totally mucked it up is a recurring bad dream most nights. Friends assure me everything is under control and it will be fine. I am not yet to the point of breathing into paperbags over it but it’s early yet; it could still happen, although I do hope my hyper-responsibility gene does not flare up to that degree.

This brief exchange with J confirming our training appointment tomorrow is the encapsulation of how I very, very briefly felt today:

Screenshot 2016-08-21 18.34.25

And to which he replied:


So true! One of many things I treasure about trainer J, he gets me. Of course, I do not think I’m all that complicated to understand in the first place, being practically a single-celled organism on the interpersonal maintenance scale.

I am anticipating a great week ahead. Nothing on my work horizon that indicates stress or drama, and I have nothing – gloriously NOTHING – social on the calendar after work all week. Well, we are having dinner with C and A on Tuesday night, but family does not count as a social commitment.

A couple of MIA friends have resurfaced which always makes me happy. Those with kids at home always disappear for awhile in August in preparation for the transition to a new school year, so it’s always nice when they return and to hear the tales of day-to-day parenting. Most of my friends, at least when they are talking to me, are realistic about how it is, why it is they feel stressed and stretched thin. There is none of the drama that comes from “feel sorry for me! I’m depended upon to be super parent because no one else can handle the mantle …” that happens far too often for my realistic comfort.

I was reading on a budget forum about salads in a jar. Because I am a non-foodie and such things generally sound both trendy and complicated, I tend to be a late adopter or tester of new things. The salad in a jar thing, once I understood what it entails, sounds like it has real potential to work for me. It definitely sounds simpler than multiple containers of various salad pieces and parts I am hauling into the office on the days I choose salad for lunch. Only I have precisely zero mason jars or anything approaching appropriate jar size needed. On top of which – I have no idea where to buy such a thing in the first place, other than Amazon. Domestic or cooking diva I am most definitely not.

And while on Amazon, I also indulged a recent thought that has taken over in the back of my mind – an apple peeler/corer. Now, I have never in my entire life made an apple pie from scratch and have very limited to no intentions toward trying my hand at pie making one in the future. I mean, Claim Jumper frozen dutch apple pies make M’s eyes cross and have him starting to drool just thinking about it for pie-worthy occasions, so I see no reason to try and do better when a perfectly fine product is available for the few times per year he so strongly desires an apple pie. But I am not immune to the call of apple cake and apple muffins. Anymore I prefer to make my own baked goods because then I control the ingredients and know how much sugar and fat and other stuff goes into it. I actually bought blueberries today because I am in the mood to make some muffins. That’s on my list for Wednesday night to take to the office on Thursday, assuming they turn out well.

Shopping until I about drop over here. But all good, stuff I have thought about to the point of considering it a specific purpose indulgence. I have high hopes for the salad in the jar thing.

And that’s my Sunday recap. As you can clearly read, nothing exciting going on over here today, and I believe both M and I prefer it this way.

Have a great week everyone!