How do you like me now?

Have you seen the new KIA commercial with the Sock Monkey who gets a tattoo and rides the mechanical bull? Besides being the best new commercial on the boob tube, it also contains my new favorite song - How Do You Like Me Now by The Heavy. I like it so much I added it to my gym playlist. The crazy thing? Now I want to go to the gym and run while it plays.

Yes ladies and gents, I said it, I WANT to go to the gym. Crazy talk for Little Miss Anti-Physical Activity.

So it's true, I have become the dreaded (not so dreaded?) gym rat that I always feared (longed to be?). I can consistently run a 13:30 mile now. For some that sounds incredibly slow but when you consider that I haven't run for fitness (lets not talk about sales at Target okay?) in about 16 years and that I broke my ankle a little over a year ago I think that's not so bad. In fact I think I'd be doing better if my foot didn't start hurting around 1.5 miles. I've made a real effort to be consistent, stick with my goal and acutally see it happen. I'm still a work in progress but I'm doing some pretty good things for myself lately. Gym. Food. Social Time. Creative Time. It feels good. I feel good.

So the question was - How do you like me now? But the real question is - How do I like ME now? and the answer is, I pretty much think I rock these days!

The past month has really made me aware that you have to make yourself happy. It's your power, your control that will do it. Keeping yourself healthy both physically and mentally is the key to staying happy and in control. So I did it. I made the changes to get there. So far it's working out pretty good.

Here's that commercial in case you haven't seen it.

Busy Bee's.......


Oh what a weekend! I am so worn out and it's only 5:30 on Sunday!

Yesterday was:

Clean house! Hands and knees scrubbing!
Bathe Dog
Prune hydrangea bushes
Pull dandelions and other various weeds in front yard
Prune fuchsia plants
Two loads of laundry
Sew my very own brand new pincushion!
Walk 4.9 miles to Woodstock and back
Make Enchiladas
Bake Brownies (normal box mix with Twix bars baked in = genius)
Finally sit down and watch some Olympic curling with the boys! (love curling!)

Today was:

Wake up so sore I feel as though someone beat me to a pulp yesterday. I guess the yard won. I actually can't remember a time when I hurt this badly. It had started to set in yesterday but I assumed it was just muscles that hadn't used in a while and that's probably all that it is, but it hurts to sit down. No joke. My glutes and the muscles in the back of my leg are sensitive to the touch. I guess maybe I need to work in the yard more often?

I'm special. I'm going to the gym tomorrow to try and loosen up a bit.

All in all it was a pretty productive weekend even though I did almost nothing today!

Here's a pic of my adorable new pincushion! Yes, it's just a pincushion but it's my first attempt at a sewing project in a long while. It's a precursor to some other projects I have planned. Love this new fabric I got at Etsy!!

Sunday Reflections

Today was pretty good day. Scott had flowers on the coffee table when I woke up, pretty yellow tulips. It was like having Spring show up in my living room. The addition of Jelly Belly Beans made it that much better! We went for sushi for lunch and he is currently heating up the grill to make our heart shaped steaks for dinner. Pretty nice little Valentine's Day and having such a nice laid back day makes the idea of going to work tomorrow a little easier. It was also just a nice day to spend time with Scott, we don't always get a full day together.
That's how we roll...classy hunks of beef for Valentine's Day

I also got to have my much needed pedicure this weekend. I met a few girlfriends on Saturday afternoon and got all prettied up, well my feet at least. As simple as it is, a pedicure really forces me to sit totally still and relax. It was wonderful. Also wonderful to have some good laughs and be able to talk about things.

Stephanie's memorial service on Friday was done very nicely and I'm glad that I went, despite how hard it is to attend things like that. Actually going means it's permanent and while you head knows that already, your heart isn't always prepared to listen.

The pastor, hers from childhood spoke about her life, her loves, and reassured us that despite the way she chose to leave this earth, she is still with God in heaven because she was a believer. I know different religions have different takes on suicide and he hinted that maybe even some of his own fellow pastors might disagree with him, but he was certain that she had her place, that she was a better person than he was, that she had gone home to the God that loved her, a God she needed and loved. He also made a point to talk about mental health, and how it should be cared for and treated like any other disease, that the stigma that goes with it is wrong, that it's just as serious as cancer as it too will eat away at you, taking everything you have. It was refreshing for me to hear someone of The Faith talk like that because I feel like a lot of times people brush depression aside with a "if you have faith" or " God will see them though". It's more than that. She was ill. She needed treatment. Which apparently she got, but it wasn't enough. I will always remember her, always think of her, and try to be more like her.

There is a moment that really sticks with me from the service, when the pastor asked us to raise our hands if we were friends from the stables, co-workers, clients, family. At each question various groups raised their hands, and then he asked "who here was Stephanie's friend?" and every single person raised their hand. It's a testament to her spirit. No matter how you knew her, no matter what brought you together, you would end up her friend.

There are still moments I don't believe it, can't even comprehend that she is gone. I suspect it will always be a little bit like that.

So tomorrow I start my week minus one important person in my life, but I also start a goal to share her spirit with others, by trying to be more like her.

Stephanie Lynne Spoelstra - 4/7/68 - 2/5/10

What a week...

To say that this week has been trying would be an understatement. It seems like every time I turned around I was hearing something else that was bad news, distressing or upsetting. Some things worse than others, some things fixable, some things so horrible it’s hard to make sense of.

As you may have read previously there is a letter to my friend Stephanie here on my blog now. She took her own life last week and I will attend her memorial service on Friday. I am deeply saddened by this, a little angry and very perplexed. There are questions that will never be answered and questions that aren’t appropriate to ask and yet my mind wanders and my imagination runs wild so on more than one occasion have been near sleep when another horrible though enters my mind. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, I don’t know what anyone could have done. I don’t know many of her friends and I don’t know her family at all so I feel like I will always wonder. I hope that some of that wonder fades over time because it really is very distressing. I also hope that if that wondering does fade, my memories of her do not. She was such a bright person, so funny and warm. I feel lucky to have known her. I feel cheated that she’s gone too early.

In addition to that sadness my Aunt was hit by a car last weekend and hurt pretty badly. Thankfully she’s going to be okay but in the first moment that you hear news like that there is a panic that makes your heart and chest hurt. It was such a freak accident; she was just standing by her own car when a car in motion hit it, pushing her along with it. She has a shattered knee cap, fractured hip, broken ribs and plenty of other boo-boos. I’m sure she must be in a heap of pain and she’s going to require surgery. This after she had just completed radiation for breast cancer. I’m praying her year improves immensely.

I also had a co-worker announce her pregnancy. Now this is something I have to get use to and need to be prepared for. It’s not fair that I be angry that someone else is pregnant while I sit here, childless. Having said that, it’s still hard sometimes. I replied with a happy, sincere congratulations email but it’s all I can muster at this point. When she mentioned that she’s bringing in cupcakes next Tuesday I asked what the occasion was and her response was “Blue frosting for a boy, pink for a girl!” Oh joy. I know, I really do know, that I can’t expect people to always be sensitive to my feelings but dammit, do I really have to stare at blue or pink cupcakes all day next Tuesday? On top of everything else this week, it’s been hard to stay nice and perky especially about someone else’s bundle of joy.

I’m looking forward to starting next week fresh, no bad news, no tears, no desire to lock myself in a padded room with only a bucket of bonbons and a bag of ruffles. Of course that is until Tuesday when I will want to smear pink or blue frosting on co-workers computer monitors.

Oh and I almost forgot, I got a crap ton of new job responsibilities this week. So much fun. NOT!

Oy I need an attitude adjustment, or maybe just a massage and a pedicure? Something good. Something happy. Please Karma, hear my cry!!

Sweet Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

It doesn't seem possible that I've known you for so long, but I was just a little fifteen year old (maybe fourteen now that I really think about it) when you first took a look at my tangled mop of a mess hair and told me I had beautiful shiny color. For the next sixteen years you would cut, color and updo my hair when I needed it. But more than that, you were a sounding board, someone to share a laugh with, someone to vent to, and someone I really considered more than a friend, certainly more than a hairdresser. Through prom's and my wedding, though countless lectures about why I should not color my own hair or cut bangs you were a steady part of my life. You made me feel special, even when I was a gangly teenager and a nervous bride. I followed you to four different places, I even endured that snotty place on Corbet because you were so special.

I'm going to miss hearing your laugh and snicker. I'll miss hearing about your horses and pups, your farm out in the middle of nowhere, the farm you loved. Our shared dislike of emptying the dishwasher will always stick with me, but mostly Steph I'm just going to miss getting to see you and hear you crack yourself up over your own jokes.

I'm so sad and heartbroken today, wondering why? Why? What happened? Could any one of us done any thing for you? I'm so sorry if there was something and we missed it. It's been so long since I last saw you (my own fault) that I just don't know where you were, what was going on.

I was so looking forward to seeing you next month for my birthday. What will a birthday be without you making me feel beautiful? I wanted to hear you tease me about the gray hair I still don't have and give me a hard time for being ten years younger than you. I wanted to bring you a bottle of red wine for your birthday. I'm so sad I can't do that.

I'm going to go by the salon tomorrow and just tap the 3 back into place on the door, it's been a while since I last did it so I'm betting it's about ready to fall off. Even if someone else has done it, it will make me feel like I've been with you one last time.

Sweet, funny, beautiful Stephanie I will miss you so. I hope that you are happier where you are, that you feel no pain, that God has taken from you what ailed you. Miss you.