When a person that you deeply love dies, your world is altered. It is just never the same. One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was how much dates would matter. The calendar, for all intense purposes, becomes this annoying reminder of all the dates that were linked to that person. Their birthday, your birthday, annv., death date, holidays, and any other significant date that connected you to them.

This is how it has been for me for the past 5.5years. That is until yesterday. Yesterday would have been my dads 63rd birthday. Every year prior to this one I would have been emotional, sad, and likely very irritable. The build up to the date seems to always be worse. When the date arrives its almost like a release.

Not this year. I woke up this morning and went through my usual routine. I got online to work on some blog posts and it wasn’t until I was half way through one that I looked down and saw the date. I had even been texting with my brother and it didn’t dawn on me that he was checking on me. My mom called this afternoon to see how I was doing and I was doing great.

Then, after I hung up, there was this brief moment of guilt. I felt guilty for not being sad, for not having the same emotional build up to this day as I have had for the previous 5 years. And then I dropped kicked that guilty feeling out the second story window.

My dad would not want me to be sad and he sure as hell wouldn’t want me to feel guilty. He would want me to enjoy the laughter of my kids and even the loud meltdowns that  happened yesterday.

I miss my dad. That will never change. I smile when I think about how he would have called me early in the day and said “Don’t you have something you need to tell me?” We would have joked about the stale box of whoppers I gave him one year. In my defense they weren’t stale when I bought them…. I just forgot to mail them. 😉 I would have searched for a birthday card that would tease him about his age and he would remind me that I was ever closer to the top of the old age hill.

Guilt should never be a part of your grief. You shouldn’t feel guilty for the range of emotions you may feel after a loss. You should also not feel guilty when you realize that instead of dread or sadness towards the dates that are significant to you, you feel happiness, joy and gratefulness to be able to look back on the memories you shared and smile.


My dad and me(4yo). Iceland 1978

My First Job

My first job was with K-Mart in some city in Maryland. I was a cashier and I actually liked the job. I was the favorite among my co-workers because my lack of social life gave me the freedom to cover for everyone that wanted a day off. 😉 The only people that I remember from that job are my step-mom and my dad. Michelle worked there for a long time I believe and my dad took a job there to supplement his pay from the Navy. This was also at a time when the company paid you in cash, at the back of the store. This is actually a crafty move on the part of the corporation. What better way to keep the money they pay their employees than by paying them cash and requiring them to walk back through the ENTIRE length of the store to exit it and go home. I don’t think there was ever a pay day where I left without spending something. I didn’t stay long in Maryland so the job was short lived. I went on to have several more jobs during my teen years before getting married and landing this gig as a mom of 5.

The Vegetarian Experiment

Today began my six week long vegetarian experiment. I am curious to see how I do and what changes happen for my body. I was down to 134 last year in August and have regained 16lbs.

I have no plans to eat tofu and I avoid soy as much as possible. I will have to work to make sure I am getting enough protein since I am also running and lifting weights. I may have to break down and try tofu. :/ We will see.

The day went really well. Lots if veggies were consumed. It was the first time in a long time that I didn’t feel hungry during the day. I didn’t feel over full, rather just simply satisfied.

I have black beans in the crock pot that will go into the freezer tomorrow. I baked several sweet potatoes today. Tomorrow I plan to cook up several cups of quinoa to use through the week.

Wish me luck! I have a friend that is joining me in the adventure. We live 1,000miles apart so texting will be our form of communication and motivation for one another.

This was taken after my 2.38mile run tonight. My awesome friend Dana gave me the headband. 🙂 It reads “I thought they said Rum!”


Weight Loss Update

It has been just a tad over a month since I last posted about my weight loss journey. In my last post I mentioned the weight loss program I was going to do. Today will be the end of week three and I am happy with the results so far. Remember also I mentioned the eating plan being bland? I was so wrong. Once I began to research clean eating I was amazed at how many yummy options there are when eating clean. My go to blogs for recipes right now are The Gracious Pantry and The Naked Kitchen. I have made the BBQ sauce,pancakes and waffles from The Gracious Pantry. I love the spaghetti sauce recipe from the Naked Kitchen and have plans to make a large batch so I can put some in the freezer.

The main thing with eating clean is NO white stuff. So no white flour, rice, pasta or sugar. You can sweeten with honey and agave. The closer to the original form of the food the better. Spices are your friend and salt is at a minimum. Also with clean eating it is good to focus on a 40/40/20 break down of protein, carbs and fat in each meal.  I am still learning. My sweet tooth has dropped dramatically. I have learned to really read labels because sugar is in everything. I was shocked to see that there was sugar in my canned tomato sauce. Now, I definitely don’t have the budget to go out and restock my entire pantry but, I am working to change it over a little bit at a time with each grocery trip.

Now for my stats. Still no pictures yet but I will share that my two week progress pics show a nice change in my arms. 😉 I mentioned last post that I was at my stall weight from last year. I am happy to say eating clean and lifting weights along with cardio have helped me bust through that mark!!

Weight: 145—–7lb drop since last post!! 🙂

Measurements: As of June 2nd

True waist- 33″ (-1.5″)

Across belly button- 38 (-.5)

Hips- 38 (-.5)

Upper Thigh-22.5 (-.25)

Mid Thigh-19.5–not taking measurment

Upper chest- 35.75 (-1.25)

Across chest- 37 (2″)

37 in my 37th Year

I turned 37 in November. Not a big deal birthday, just one step closer to 40, and one more step further away from 30. I have enjoyed my 30s. I had planned to be finished having children by my 30th birthday. Best laid plans of mice and men or something like that….I had Emily a month after I turned 30 and then came Ashlyn and Zoe. Thirty felt grown up finally. I feel like I am finding my groove as a gentle parent. Had a rough bump this past year with our unschooling but I feel like we are coming out of that and moving along just fine. I have seen a lot of growth in my 30s and I like what I have experienced for the most part.

So, when I turned 37 I thought it would be cool to make a list of 37 things that I wanted to do in my 37th year of life. I am not a risk taker. This list will not include things like skydiving or rock climbing. It will probably look pretty boring to those on the outside. It is simply a list of things that I want to accomplish this year. So, without further ado my 37 in 37 list in no particular order.

37 thing to do in my 37th year of life

1.Run a 5k (in training now)

2.Reach my goal weight of 120lbs

3.Participate in an archaeological dig

4. Take a hip hop dance class

5. Take a photography class

6. Take a trip with Grandma Marty

7.Knit a sweater for myself

8 .Open an Etsy shop

9. Journal everyday

10. Blog daily–Starting in Jan.

11.Watch the sunset on Lake Michigan

12. Learn to knit socks 2 at a time

13. Read 1 fiction book a month

14. Hike in every state park in Indiana

15. Visit 37 different covered bridges and take pictures

16. Enter a poetry contest

17. Finish my dining room chairs

18. Take an archery class

19. Take a yoga class

20. Finish my knitting needle case

21. Learn to shoot a gun

22. Run 100 miles by my 38th birthday(11 miles done so far)

23. Visit a state I have never been to

24. No unhealthy fast food

25. Take a weekend trip with my big girls

26. Get my photos printed and organized through 2011.

27. Go geocaching

28.  Decrease my yelling

29. Say yes more

30. Try once a month cooking

31. Go to a pow wow

31. Laugh more

32. Photograph myself more

33. Get a tatoo

34. Find and participate in 37 free things in and around our city.

35. Actually participate in the Handbook of Nature Study blog http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/

36. Host a party at our house.

37. Live Out Loud