Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Weighting is the Hardest Part

Ok, so I'm a yoyo exerciser. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I hate working out. I despise it, actually. I normally decide that I'm gettin a little chunky, join a gym, lose the weight I want, then lose the gym. This routine works for me. I like it. I feel 100% OK with the fact that I never commit to anything for a full year. Most people see that as a problem... I don't. I see it as keeping my options open.

I was feeling a little chunky around Christmas so I decided to join a gym when I got back to VA. I joined LA Boxing (similar to 9 Round for those in the true South). I went for about 2 months before I realized I hated it. The workout was not all that fun, the teachers stunk and their music stunk too. I went in for a trial & had a blast. I joined & then it all went downhill. Which seems to be the norm for any gym that gives you a "trial membership". Normally, I would just quit, but if I paid for the whole year, I got 50% off. So that's what I did. Goodbye 449 dollars, I'll miss you so! Ugh. That sucks.

So, now I'm in the process of finding a new gym. I went in for my trial workout at CrossFit Impavidus in Ashburn, VA. IT KICKED MY ASS. I don't think I've ever sweat to much in my life. I did CrossFit in Simpsonville and I enjoyed it. I bitched and whined  and cursed at the instructor for the entire 5 months I did it, but I deadlifted and squatted and burpeed my big, probably engorged, heart out. I knew what I was in for, I thought. The year off from CrossFit is a HUGE factor that will affect how you'll do when you get back into the saddle. The workout wasn't particularly mind blowing, but the non-stop action of CrossFit is usually what gets you. For my first workout, it was:
7 Squat Cleans with 80% of your body weight  (hahaha, not so much. My body weight is far too high to be doing that! I did the weight of the bar, which is like 45 lbs) then 7 chest to bar pullups (of course I used the assistance bands because I'm a wimp).

But you didn't just do one round. Or two rounds. You had to do as many rounds as you could do in 15 minutes.  I could do 6. The first 3 rounds, I cranked out pretty easily. Round 4 was a little rough, but I got it done. I must admit, during rounds 5 and 6, I dilly dallied as much as I damn near could. I was officially near death then. But Lori, in all her buff perkiness, was watching me, as I was a newbie and the only girl, so I had to show her that I could be just as hardcore as the other 7 or 8 guys in my class. Of course, I say that while I flashback to the 2 guys in particular who were badass enough to do 80% or more of their body weight and pullups with no bands. I don't know that I'll get to that level anytime soon... Nevertheless, I made it through the class with only minor injuries (I dropped the bar too close to my body & it scraped right down my shin. ouch!) and without passing out or throwing up. I'm quite proud of myself.  Today I waddle around the office, too sore to bend my knees completely and to walk without waddling. Tomorrow, I do it all over again.

Wish me luck! If anyone has any CrossFitting tips or wants to commiserate with my pain, feel free!

Round 2, Day 1: Done! Bring on Day 2!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day... What's the point?

So I was listening to my favorite radio station this morning. I listen to it live on my computer at work. To anyone who needs a new radio station, I highly recommend it. It's entertaining, it's informative, it's slightly silly, but in a good way. It's www.hot995.com If you have any time, listen to the Kane Show. You'll love it.

Anyway, I was listening to the Kane Show this morning and they were talking about how 80% of people born in the US don't know why we celebrate Memorial Day. To this I ask, is there anyone who knows (without googling/binging/wikipedia-ing it) why we celebrate Memorial Day? Please tell me I'm not the only one. They were also talking about how they asked people born in the US simple US facts (who's the VP, when is Independence Day, etc.) and they couldn't answer them. This makes me think of the show, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader" and "Repo Games". Shows like this make me laugh because these shows are there solely to give you money. They're usually simple questions too! How can you miss those? I'm appalled at anyone who doesn't know the VP of the US. Now if you were asked to name the last 3 VPs, I'd understand. It's hard to narrow down which 3 were the most recent. But not knowing the current VP?? I'm floored.

On another, completely unrelated note, I think I'm finally over my "I Hate Boys" phase. I was talking to my friend, Jill, who always seems to put things into perspective, as she remembers my "IHB" phase VERY vividly. I was talking to her about how when you find a guy you could be mildly interested in (heaven forbid you actually like the guy), you find your girl friends who know that guy and pick their brain. Jill told me I was crazy. In fact, she told me that no normal girls do that. Let's completely bypass Jill calling me crazy and focus on the issue at hand. Help me out, girls. I need someone to settle the score. Do other women do this or is this just my friends? I can list off at least 5-7 girls I know that have done this. I can list at least 5 girls that have called me for information on one of my guy friends. Is this my circle of friends? Is this a Southern thing? Is this a Charleston thing? What is it? I need some insight.

Another unrelated note: I'm South Carolina bound in 26 hours. Get excited. I know I am!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day thoughts

So with Mother's Day in our more recent past, I've begun thinking a lot about motherhood. Two mothers in particular. One, obviously, being my own. My mother is great. The older I get, the more I realize that I am truly my mother's child. My mother and I never got along. Not in elementary school, not middle school, not high school. I always thought she was no fun. I always thought she was too serious and too brass. I thought that she was the exact opposite of me for most of my adolescence. Now that I've grown older, I realize that I'm more like my mother than I would have ever thought. It's truly frightening.  If you know my mother, you know that: She's little, but she packs a wallop. She rarely ever says things she doesn't mean and she takes everything literally. She remembers most of what is said and is quick to throw it back at you, should the time ever come to do so. If you're in a bad mood, she makes pointed remarks to let you know that your attitude is ruining her attitude. She exhibits a serious lack of emotion. To all things emotional. She talks to cashiers in stores and waiters in restaurants. She sings songs outloud that are playing in stores. She ALWAYS gets a buggie, no matter what store she's in. If you know me well, you know that I have all those traits. The older I get, the more I realize that the traits I have are definitely my mother's. I have also come to realize that they're not nearly as bad as I thought they were. I don't know why I've been so adamant about turning into my mother, when I clearly already have. I've come to accept and embrace it. I've come to love it. Even the qualities that aren't so great.

The other mother I've been thinking about is a mom of one of the children I taught. As most of you know, I taught 3rd grade for 3 years. In my 3 years of teaching, I have had one child that has truly affected my life. This child drives me crazy. But it's a good crazy. The kind of crazy that even though I want to throttle him for not paying attention, I loved the feeling when he wraps his arms around my waist, puts his head on my stomach and tells me what a great person I am. Now, I admit, I was pretty hard on him. I pushed him a lot. I pushed him to do better than he was doing and pushed him to do what I think he could do. I've been thinking about this child's mother a lot lately. This child comes from a home that's a bit challenging. His mom and dad are no longer together and his father is remarried. His stepmother, try as she might, is nothing like his real mother. He is not her child.  And we all know it. We all see it. We all feel it. Earlier this year, his mother died very suddenly. More recently, his father and stepmother have decided to divorce. I keep thinking about this child and how, on this Mother's Day, he has no mother to celebrate with. No mother to wrap his arms around. No mother to tuck him in at night. No mother to give him his lunch money and kiss him on the forehead and tell him to have a great day. It breaks my heart. I cannot stop thinking about the fact that his mother will never get to see him graduate from 5th grade, 8th grade, high school or college. His mother will never get to meet his first girlfriend or the love of his life. This mother will never get to dance with her son on his wedding day.

This Mother's Day, in addition to calling my own mother, I hoped and wished and crossed my fingers that this day wouldn't break his heart. I have learned to appreciate my mom for all the things she is and isn't. I have learned to appreciate the fact that my mom is still with me, even though I don't see her as often as I'd like. For everyone lucky enough to still have their mothers, I hope you were able to spend some time with (or talking to) your mothers. To all those who have lost your mothers, I hope you had a full day of rememberance. I'll be thinking of you next Mother's Day as well.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Almost Summertime! An update.

OK, so I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but I'm going to try to get better. Now that all 3 of our 99 lists are posted, I realize that I knocked out a whole mess of stuff at the beginning, then tapered off. I'm lame. I know. Now, I'm back with a vengeance. Here are a few updates on what's going on in my head.

First things first: I'm going to tackle the 5K goal on my 99 list.
One of the lovely ladies in my Meetup group is doing the Couch 2 5k program and I'm going to start it as well. I am finding the motivation to do it. I hope it's going to go well, as it looks like a pretty easy plan. Any runners out there, please feel free to give me some tips!

Second thing, I've got some travel plans in the works. Starting Memorial Day.
I can't even BEGIN to describe how happy I am to be going to Greenville for Mem Day. I'm esctatic. I'm thrilled. I'm positively through the roof! I haven't seen my Gvegas loves since New Years Eve and that's a long time to go without seeing your favorite people. I'm super excited to see Sasha and Scott. I thank my lucky stars that they both haven't become too cool for me. I miss the silly, yet somewhat serious comraderie I have with them. I'm super excited go to the Pub. The Pub is like the Greenville version of Big John's. A bit of a shithole, but otherwise, amazing. I've never had a bad time at BJ's, nor have I at the Pub. It pretty much encompasses everything that I love about summertime. Grills, Beer buckets, Cornhole, friends, sun. What more can you ask for? I miss SC so much sometimes; this is a nice way to get a little dose of the South. I'm hoping even some of the teachers will venture out to the Pub. I'd love to see them all. I miss them more than I ever thought I would!!  

Third thing, Charleston.
I love Charleston. I miss Charleston. When I die, cremate me, get drunk at Big John's and sprinkle my ashes in Alhambra Hall. That's where I want to live out my eternity. Until then, I'm going to take a little mini- (read: working) vacay back home. My plan is to take off about a week or 2 in the summer (probably around July 4th) and go down to Charleston. Take my laptop and do my work on the beach. I fully believe that I can be just as/if not more productive on the Carolina coast :)

Last week, I found out that my oldest and best friends has set her wedding date. I'm so excited. I can't wait. Meagan will be the first one in my immediate group of friends to be married. And her fiance is awesome. I love him. I love her. I love them together. They're both such amazing people, I can't wait for them to be married. This will be the best wedding of 2012. I have no doubts about that.

Everytime I go home, I realize how much I miss being close to my Charleston friends. I also realize that after I have a catch up phone call with them. Especially with Kristin. I love Kristin. There's a special place in my heart for Kristin. She's so laid back, everything just rolls off her shoulders. I love her perspective on things. She is probably the most positive person I know. I spent almost 4 hours on the phone with her, talking about everything under the sun. Her life, my life. Her relationships, my (lack of) relationships, getting her opinion on people. I love it. I love the feeling when you finally get to talk to someone you haven't talked to in awhile. That's the feeling I get when I talk to Meagan and Kristin. I need to catch up with Dana too, but I know she's not a phone person. Being so far away from everyone, you feel like you lose connections with everyone. I'm so glad that through high school, college, and post college, I still haven't lost connections with old friends.

Fourth thing: Boston.
I really need to take a trip up to Beantown. I need to go visit Jill. And I haven't been in a hot minute. I've never been out in downtown Boston either. That definitely needs to happen. I love Jill too. She's another of my favorite people. I believe that Jill will be the next married. Either her or Dana. It's a close tie. We had a talk about Maids of Honor a couple of weeks ago that triggered my curiosity about MsOH. How do you pick a maid of honor? Do you pick your best friend? Your sister? Someone whom is close to both people being wed? I don't know. She and I have a unique situation in that she and I are close. Her boyfriend and I are not. In truth, I can't say that we actually like each other. We've had our share of disagreements in our short past, and we all know that I hold grudges like they're somehow going to disappear into thin air. Not right, but still, that's me. If I were to get married, I have so many women that are important in my life, I can't imagine making such a difficult decision. How do people do it?

Fifth thing: My new (not so new anymore) job
I love my company. I love the flexibility of the corporate world. I love my boss & the fact that he's the most low maintenance person I've ever worked for. EVER. However, I do miss my lovey, huggy, chatty, funny 8 and 9 year olds. But I do NOT miss the administrative bullsh*t. I do not miss lesson plans that don't meet ridiculous criteria that in no way influence the way you teach (activating strategies, anyone?). I do not miss IEP meetings and A-Team meetings that ultimately do nothing to assist the child about which you are meeting. Changing careers is so bittersweet sometimes!

Last thing: Boys.
I love boys. Boys are fabulous. Boys who text are even more so.

Ok, this one was kind of random and kind of lengthy. I'm going to make more of an effort to do this more often. Let's see how it goes!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jill's 99 in 999

1. Visit family in Michigan and Pennsylvania. (0/2)
2. Visit Ringhausen family in Atlanta.
3. Visit grandma/grandpa in Reedville, VA.
4. Watch all the James Bond movies. (0/22)
5. Create a budget and stick to it for 3 months. (0/3) 
6. Complete a triathlon.
7. Complete a half-marathon.
8. Go back to San Francisco.
9. Visit Erin in Mexico.
10. Visit Anna in Australia.
11. Cook dinner for myself for 7 days straight. (0/7)
12. Go skiing.
13. Volunteer at an animal shelter for 24 hours. (0/24)
14. Go horseback riding.
15. Go to 5 gym classes (Zumba, hot yoga, etc.). (1/5)
16. Take Spanish class and find a conversation partner.
17. Exercise regularly (3-4 times a week) for 3 months. (0/3)
18.  Go white water rafting.
19.  Go ice-skating outdoors at least 3 times. (0/3)
20. Go kayaking.
21.  Buy 5 outfits that make me feel beautiful. (0/5) 
22. Say yes to hanging out with someone new 5 times. (1/5)
23. Go to a Universal Unitarian church 3 times. (0/3)
24. Get scuba certification.
25. See a Broadway show.
26. Donate blood.  Or try at least.
27. No Starbucks or fast food for a month. (0/30)
28.  Join or start a book club.
29.  Start a garden.
30. Stop bad habit of biting thumbs.
31. Learn how to shag.
32. Don’t eat anything chocolate for a week. (0/7)
33. Go to see a therapist at least 5 times. (0/5)
34. Run ten 5Ks. (0/10)
35. Run five 10Ks. (0/5)
36. Be on time or early to twenty important events. (0/20)
37. Complete a new writer’s notebook.
38. Talk and reconcile with family.
39. Buy a bike and ride it.
40. Keep my room complete clean and organized for one week. (0/7)
41. Wear my retainer for 21 days. (0/21)
42. Floss every day for 21 days. (0/21)
43. Go on a trip with my Grandma Ringhausen.
44. Don’t drink any caffeine for a week. (0/7)
45. Don’t where any makeup for 7 days. (0/7)
46. Spend a full day with my cell phone off.
47.  Go one week without checking Facebook. (0/7)
48.  Visit 3 breweries. (0/3)
49.  Visit 3 wineries. (0/3)
50.  Read 5 nonfiction books. (0/5)
51.  Hike in 3 national parks. (0/3)
52.  Go backpacking for at least 3 days.
53.  Attend 3 concerts of artists I have never seen but love. (0/3)
54.  Eat 3 new vegetables I have never tried. (0/3)
55.  Go one week without eating spaghetti.
56.  Knit a blanket or scarf.
57. Take 3 pottery classes. (0/3)
58.  Take a self defense class.
59. Learn a new craft
60.  Read 5 classical/traditional literature books. (0/5)
61.  Create a must see movie list from friends and watch the ones I haven’t seen.
62. Join a sports social team. 
63.  Document at least 45 of my 99 list. (0/45)
64. Visit New York City.
65.  Visit Maine.
66.  Give a compliment to at least 5 people I do not care for. (0/5)
67. Sing at a Karaoke bar. 
68.  Volunteer at the Boston Marathon
69. Turn in 3 assignments early for graduate school. (0/3)
70. Get a 4.0 in graduate school.
71. Do not say any judgmental comments for a week. (0/7)
72. Do not cuss for a week. (0/7)
73. Learn how to use a Mac computer.
74. Lose 10 pounds. (0/10)
75. Lose 20 pounds. (0/10)
76. Lose 30 pounds. (0/10)
77. Take a multi-vitamin for 21 consecutive days. (7/21)
78. Read three professional books. (0/3)
79. Take a cooking class.
80.  Tell people I am proud of them 30 times. (0/30)
81. Clean and organize filing cabinet.
82. Refurbish antique furniture.
83. Get an eye exam. 
84. Go to the dermatologist.
85. Whiten teeth. 
86. Create no trash for one day.
87. Pay attention to my posture for one week. (0/7)
88. Visit Alaska with Drew. 
89. Learn how to do my makeup from a “professional”.
90. Go to bed by 10:00 for one week. (0/7)
91. Control my temper 10 times.  (0/10)
92. Go out to dinner with all four parents.
93. Send twenty letters to people I love. (0/20)
94. Catalog my children’s books.
95. Change one person’s mind about race.
96. Go to an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
97. Get back in touch with friends from high school.
98. Write a children’s book with Drew.
99. Eat at 5 different ethnic restaurants I have never tried. (0/5)  

For every one I do not complete, I will donate one dollar to charity. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#19: Submit a Postcard to www.postsecret.com

I love PostSecret. I love everything about it. I remember the first time I ever read it, I was hanging out with Sasha & she asked me if I had ever seen it. I hadn't, of course, so she pulled it up and I read through it while she was getting ready. It truly is a work of art.

I think the idea behind it is marvelous. I love the idea that someone can make or buy a postcard, write down their deepest, darkest secrets & drop it in the mail for someone else to see, all the while, maintaining complete anonymity. I'm not one for secrets, if you know me, you know that, but I was able to scrounge up one. It's true what people say. Once you drop that card in the mail, you do get a feeling of relief. A feeling that you've let go of something that you'll never get back. Whether you want it back or not. I strongly encourage everyone to check the site on Sunday mornings. You'll be able to experience first hand, what people around you are hiding. Maybe it'll even motivate you to do one for yourself. If you do, let me know. I'll be on the lookout for your secret, as well as my own, every Sunday morning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kani's 99 in 999

  1. lose 20 pounds
  2. lose 40 pounds
  3. lose 60 pounds
  4. get down to at least a 12
  5. increase Jonah’s reading skill
  6. get kitchen painted
  7. paint and redo tile in living room
  8. learn to crochet or knit
  9. run 5 miles straight
  10. complete at least 2 stories
  11. pay off at least 1 credit card
  12.   be on a devotional schedule
  13.  go back to LeConte
  14.  take Jonah camping at least 6 times
  15.  find a church
  16.  read at least 4 non fiction books
  17.  take a foreign language class
  18.  take at least 10 yoga classes
  19.  have some girl week ends
  20.   find a volunteer organization to work with
  21.   make a decision about reg. ed v. sp ed
  22.   spend some couple time
  23.   have a physical…yuck
  24.    join a gym and go 3 times a week for at least 2 months
  25. donate blood at least one time
  26.  take a wine class
  27.  journal for daily for at least 2 months
  28.   mail birthday cards to at least 12 friends…..on time
  29.  get at least 1000 in a savings account
  30. eat 3 green vegetables at least 4 times
  31.  keep laundry up for at least a month
  32.  take Jonah to a hockey match
  33. take Jonah to a college basketball game
  34.  join a book club for at least one book
  35.  no soda for a month
  36.  no fast food for a month
  37.  go to Niagara Falls
  38. put Jonah’s Disney album together
  39. put a family album together for Jonah
  40.  give up facebook for a week
  41.  make homemade soup and freeze at least 3 times
  42. take jonah to DC
  43. Take Jonah to the state capital
  44.  call my brother once a week for 2 months
  45. go horseback riding
  46.  Read the Brothers Karamazov
  47.  Go kayaking or canoeing
  48. Hike to 5 waterfalls
  49. go white water rafting
  50.  get up and watch the sunset at least 5 times
  51. visit two new states
  52.  pick out 4 piano pieces and practice and play them for someone
  53.  drink water at work instead of tea or soda for a month
  54.  complete a puzzle of at least 500 pieces
  55.  for a week make a menu, and stick to it
  56.  have my kids write a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan
  57.  get my ears pierced again
  58.  take at least 2 zumba classes
  59.  bake 4 loaves of breads
  60.  make baked goods and take to work, no reason at least 4 times
  61.  do 5 random acts of kindness
  62.  stand up  for myself in an uncomfortable situation….at least 4 times
  63.  do something nice for a fellow teacher without telling them it was me…4 times
  64.  throw a surprise party for someone
  65.  make 2 gifts by hand
  66. go to the circus
  67.  write a fan letter
  68.  learn 2 facts about each of the US Presidents
  69.  send flowers for no reason
  70.  post to postsecret
  71.  skinny dip
  72.  plan out grocery list and use at least 10 coupons each time- 3 times
  73.  release a message in a bottle
  74. take Jonah on his first plane ride
  75.  grow a plant from a seed
  76.  save all coins for 3 weeks
  77.   make chocolate candies twice
  78.  do not eat for an entire week
  79.  roller-skate with Jonah at least twice
  80.  try a new hair color
  81. take Jonah to the Yorktown
  82. write a most important thing book about someone I love
  83. visit a brewery
  84.  take time to put on make up everyday for a week
  85.  give up salty snacks for a month
  86.  take jonah on a picture hike, he gets to take all the pictures
  87. take a family portrait
  88.  go on a 10 mile bike ride
  89.  create a budget and stick to it for a month
  90.  go to Stone Mountain
  91. go to 2 concerts
  92. get an ipod and load 50 songs
  93. clean out file cabinet at school
  94.  try 50 new recipes
  95.  do a spa day with a friend
  96.  go to Atlanta Zoo
  97.  create a photo mural
  98.  do something that makes ME really happy once a week for a month
  99.   document at least 40 of these once accomplished