We’ll all float on Ok.

I don’t seem to know who I am anymore.

Not so long ago I felt like I had it all figured out.  I’m a mom.  I’m a runner.  I’m a teacher.  I’m a friend.  Things were going well.  I had a wonderful new daughter, two amazing boys, and a fantastic support system of friends and family.  I literally had no complaints and was perfectly content any happy.

And then I broke…again.

This wasn’t like the first time I felt that I had broke, when my dad had died.  When that happened I feel apart all at once so it was almost easier to out myself back together.  The pieces were right there and easier to find, not scattered over space and time.

I wish I could say I knew the exact moment that it happened, but really it was a series of events that started small, each one separately almost microscopic in size, but together crumbled my world into a million pieces.

I cut back on my running and dropped out of the NYC marathon.

An old friend came back into my life just when I thought I was finally over our past.

I lost a person in my life who I thought was a good friend.

The separation began…and ended…and began…and changed so much that I don’t even know where we are at this point.

Most recently I’ve done things I probably shouldn’t have.  I’ve eaten things I probably shouldn’t have.  I’ve stopped running altogether.  With each passing day, the numbers on the scale keep inching closer to where I said I never wanted to be again.  And the worst part of it all is that I just don’t seem to care.  Not about being a bad person, or losing certain people from my life, or even losing everything I worked for.  None of it.

I feel like I’m on the roundabout on the playground spinning more and more out of control each day.  The sad part is that I know I’m the one that’s pushing it to go faster and faster.  I am in complete and utter control of this and I can’t seem to jump off and just stop. Because I know that when I do I’m going to break even more from the impact.  I know that I’m really going to have to work to find all the pieces and put myself back together again.  Not only in the “now” but in the past too.  The task seems daunting and so impossible that 99% of the time I don’t even have the desire to try.

But then, out of the blue, today happened.  The 1%.  The one glimmer of hope I had been hoping for.

We’re driving to the park and the library and all three kids are squeezed into the back seat.  Charlotte is singing along to Modest Mouse playing in the background while Oliver and Max argued about how many sheep are in an adjoining field.  The sun was shining in the blue sky as wispy clouds float by, my hand out the window rising and falling in the warm air.  I finally felt it.  What I had been longing to feel for so long lately.  A sense of peace and contentment.   A sense of placement.

This is where I was supposed to be.  Maybe not forever, but at least for right now.

And with that tiny feeling of hope, I know that pretty soon I’ll have enough courage to make the leap off the roundabout.  And maybe, just maybe, my feet will actually hit the ground and I’ll be able to pick myself up and begin to collect all the pieces.


It’s been a while since I have written anything.  Life has been busy, and wonderful, and messy and excruciating all at the same time.  But that’s usually how life is; the good with the bad, the best with the worst.

As the weather gets warmer I tend to spend most of my time outside, soaking up the sunshine, recharging my batteries, and just letting my mind wander to the tune of a gentle breeze and warmth on my face.  Lately my mind has been drifting more and more to the relationships in my life; friends, foes, loves, lovers, children, colleagues, etc, and how some stay and some go.

Recently, I lost a friend.  I’ll save you all the dramatics that surrounded it, but quite simply, one minute we were friends and the next minute we weren’t.  And quiet honestly it was for a stupid, arbitrary reason that I won’t even dignify by putting it into writing.  There was no falling out.  There was no betrayal.  Quite simply, it just ended.  But irregardless of the reason, I have one less friend than I had before.  Because of that I feel like “less” than I was before, like something in my life is missing…because it is.

And I’m sad.  I miss my friend.

There’s something so refreshing about having people with which you can be your unequivocal self, with no questions asked and no judgements posed.  I have very few people like this in my life, so when I find someone who’s soul meshes well with mine, I try to hold on to them for as long as I can.  I’m fiercely loyal and protective of these friends, so when one of them has to leave, it hurts.  A lot.

But all this aside, my most recent friendship ending has led me to evaluate many other friendships and relationships in my life.  I have best friends, and close friends, and acquaintances, all of which play integral roles in my life and help shape who I am.   And they all play their self-selected roles well.  We’re there for each other.  We check in.  We do the celebrating when it’s warranted and the cheering up when needed.  Just by being in my life, every single one of them makes me a better person.

But if that is the case, if I have some truly amazing people in my life, then why, oh why, do I continue my relationships with the toxic ones as well?  Those are the friends that lie, cheat, and manipulate their way through friendships and relationships.  It’s usually directed towards other people, not at us.  And we sit back silently and watch the way they treat other, judging quietly, but not saying anything.  Because it will never be us.  They’ll never lie to us or manipulate us.  We’re safe, we believe.

Until we’re not.  Until we realize that we’re the ones being lied to. And the moment you catch them in that lie, it’s like the wind gets knocked out of you.  You have no breath, you have no words.  And then comes the anger…followed shortly after by the overwhelming sadness.

And we tell ourselves that’s just the way they are and it’s something we need to put up with in order to keep the friendship.  And up to a short time ago, I would have believed this.  I would have put on my game face, hoped they didn’t do it again, and let our lives move on just as they had been doing.

But today…no.  Today I say THIS IS BULLSHIT.

Why the hell am I going to continue to put up with someone who treats me so poorly?  And not just me…but everyone else as well.  And the plain and simple answer is: I’m not.  I have some amazing people in my life, including my most recently lost friend.  I don’t need to continue to be friends with the toxic ones; the ones that make me feel less than, the ones that always make me second guess the truth, the ones I simply do not trust.

I’m 35 years old and I know that I still have a lot to figure out when it comes to life, love, and relationships.  Most days I feel like I don’t know much at all.  But I do know this.  I’m no longer going to allow these people to be in my life.  I may not always be the most self-confident person, but I do know I’m better than that.

What defines us…

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post.  Too long.  I really have no excuse.  I seem to form a million posts in my head every day but they never make it down.  Things have been busy, school was ending, and a million little things kept piling up and it was hard to keep my head above water most days.

I did accomplish something though…I ran my first 10k.  I won’t go into too much detail here because that is a post in itself but it was hard, scary, amazing, wonderful and a million other things all rolled into one.  It was the most fantastic accomplishment I have to date and has actually made me a little excited about tackling the half marathon in October.

I posted a few pictures to Facebook earlier today and although I live with myself every day, it’s crazy to see the changes that are happening, especially within the last year.  I run everyday. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve never felt better.  I have made so many lifestyle changes that I can’t help but be proud of all I have accomplished.  And yet…

There are other things I know I still need to focus on.  Character, emotional instability, and simply overall personality.

I tend to get angry too easily, and sometimes for reasons even I can’t identify.  I yell too much, and usually at the people who love me the most. At times I can be completely and utterly selfish…forgetting that it’s not just me in my life anymore, but that I’m also a wife and a mother.  I tend to push people away and challenge them too much…and not in a good way. Most days I am simply too much; too overbearing, too emotional, too demanding.  A tornado when most people can only handle a rainy day.  A hurricane when most people only want a light breeze.

And the worst part of it all?  I know most people can’t handle it.  But I still fault them anyway.  And the ones that can handle it?  I don’t cherish them as much as I should.

I seem to have the physical changes down…but maybe it’s time I start working on the other aspects of my life.

Because what’s the point in moving forward if I have no one to share my life with?

Blast from the Past: 2012 New Year’s Post

Here is my New Years Resolution Post from 2012.  Oh how things change and still remain the same.

Each year I try and come up with a few (dozen) New Year’s resolutions, and every year I fail miserably when trying to follow them.  Maybe it’s because I know that 7 million other people are making the same exact ones (eat healthier, exercise more, yell at the kids less).  I don’t know.  The point is that this year I am only going to make one resolution: no regrets.  I have spent so many years regretting almost every decision I have made and I realize this is a giant waste of my time.  No matter what choice I made I always figured that it was the wrong one, that maybe the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.  Then I worry and complain and whine because yet again I didn’t get my way (when in fact, that’s exactly what I got).

I came up with this resolution a few nights ago when a friend asked me and my husband out for New Years Eve.  I had to decline because of the kids and I began to reminisce about what it was like before I had kids.  When M was first born I was too scared to ever think that way.  M was our little miracle baby after a bunch of mishaps so it felt almost blasphemous to feel tired and simply need a break.  Once O came along though, the weight of working full time and having two tiny kids really did start to take its toll and I began to remember what it felt like to sleep in, eat whenever/whatever I wanted, drive out to the beach on a moments notice, pick up and move to a different state, go out with friends when they invited…

I started to think where I would be if I hadn’t had kids.  Would I be teaching english in Chile?  Would I have joined the Peace Corps?  Would I be getting my Ph.D?  All these little thoughts begin to creep into my sub conscience and I start to feel jilted, like I would be so much happier and better off if I had waited for a few more years and really done these wonderful, un-kid friendly things.

And then O looks at me a cracks up and M comes over to give me a snuggle and I realize had I become that person, running around the world doing all these wonderful things, what I would be thinking is how wonderful I bet my life would be if I had children to share it with.

Here’s to no regrets in 2012.

How nothing and everything has changed…

“Driving home, the sky accelerates
And the clouds all form a geometric shape
And it goes fast
You think of the past
Suddenly everything has changed” ~The Flaming Lips

Since I hadn’t been on Facebook in a few weeks, I missed random things that were happening.  As I perused a little this morning, I saw my brother had posted that last Thursday marked 6 months since my father passed away.  I couldn’t believe it.  Had it really been six months already? Had close to 180 days truly passed?  Have I simply been asleep or in a coma to suddenly wake up and find out this information? How can something feel like yesterday and years ago all at once?

I can honestly say that I have been through more in this 6 months than probably the rest of my life put together.  The dizzying highs and lows, the turmoil that was self-created throughout the summer, it caused a sort of retreat into myself that I have not quite been able to come out of yet.  True, I am not the person I was in August, not quite knowing which way was up and which way was down, confused about the sheer aspect of living life on a daily basis at time.  I am far from that, but I still sometimes feel the need to protect myself from people, and even from feelings, making sure I don’t become that summertime person I was.

While I have let go of the summer; of my dad, of memories, unsure decisions, and enlightening life changes, I haven’t truly let go.  Everything about these few months still hang around me like a dark cloud that could either blow on by or begin pouring down on me at any minute. Every time I think my stride has become right again and my path is straight and narrow a turn, or a rock, or even a small pebble comes out of nowhere to cause me to stumble and fall.  It causes me to relive and remember things that I don’t necessarily want to.

While I may have used the excuse of my dad dying before as the reason I was so off kilter this summer, I need to stop. First and foremost, it’s not fair to him.  He wasn’t a great man, frankly, he wasn’t a good man either, at least not to me, but when someone leaves us we can choose how we see things, and I choose to remember the early years over the later ones.  It’s not fair to continue to blame him for my short comings.  True, his death contributed, but only in the way that it caused initial strife and turmoil within myself.  I had the choice at that moment to begin getting better or continue down a path of self-destruction and we know which one I chose. I had no way to handle my feelings, or really simply to understand them, so I created myself anew, became someone that I wasn’t, simply so I wouldn’t have to deal with the effects of the pain; simply so I wouldn’t have to deal with feeling anything at all.

So many things died this summer, most notably, important parts of myself marred by uneasy choices and decisions along the way.  I have used the fall to rebuild what was lost and broken, and find the parts that were stolen and forgotten about. Some times I feel like I am back together better than ever and at others I feel like I am still a giant pile of rubble ready to be swept into the trash, missing pieces that are so integral to my survival

I’d like to be all zen and believe that all the decisions, even the bad ones, contribute to who you are. I’d like to think that even the bad decisions have gotten me to the place I am today and I should be grateful.  But I’m not all zen. I’m not even a little zen.  I’m not an optimist, I’m a realist.  In the words of Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Life could be a little sweet, But life could be a little shitty.”  And really, in a nutshell, that’s how I feel.

But if we’re still breathing, if we’re still upright, if we can still find something to smile about, then we haven’t lost our hope.

What I know now more than ever is that sometimes life sucks.  But then again, sometimes it doesn’t.

Who’s got W-I-L-L-P-O-W-E-R? Not me…

“Willpower is trying very hard not to do something you want to do very much.” ~ John Ortberg

Things have been going well and not well all at the same time.  Is that even possible?  I’ve been pretty sad lately because a knee injury has sidelined my workout and running efforts.  I probably could have worked out this week, but it was hard to motivate myself knowing I was going to be in pain.  Running was simply out of the question, as it hurt just to walk sometimes.  I got back on the scale and was happy to see I had not gained anything, especially during my crappy eating binge of our snow days.  There were times I should have said no when I whole heartedly said yes and it was reassuring to see that the healthy band wagon didn’t get too far ahead and I am still able to jump back on.

I realize, though, especially during these snow days, that I have a terrible problem with willpower.  The fact seems to be that I don’t have any, or at the very least, I seemed to have misplaced it somewhere around the end of spring.  I’ve tried finding it, but have not had any luck.  I was doing so well last winter.  Eating healthy, working out, letting myself have random treats when I needed them, but for the most part saying no to those things that were going to harm me in the long run (I only ate a small piece of a homemade red velvet birthday cake last year, so that should tell you something).  I had gotten to the point where saying no felt good.  I wasn’t doing it to be pretentious or show that I was better than anyone else or that I could say no when others were saying yes.  I simply knew what that piece of cake/glass (bottle) of wine/cheeseburger was going to cost me in the long run and how I was going to feel if I gave in to the fleeting wanting; to that small dose of happiness I would feel during, but not after.  After, of course, I was going to feel like utter crap.

But lately, the “cravings” are getting the best of me and while I still feel like crap when I give in, I keep going back for more anyway. Part of the reason I deleted my Facebook account was that I was spending too much time on there when I should have been concentrating on other things (work, family, in-real-life friends).  I was wrapped up in this world of needing to know what someone ate for dinner last night, who went out with who, looking at photos, and spending too much time in the past.  And you know what? Every time I did it, spent way too much unconstructive time online, spent too much time on profiles that I have no reason to be on anymore, read conversations that had absolutely nothing to do with me, I felt gross.  Almost as if I had eaten an entire chocolate cake.  I’d get upset because I wasted time, jealous because I wasn’t invited somewhere, hungover on information I did not need.

I spent too weeks off Facebook and really did manage to get more done.  My basement is spotless.  My bed was made everyday. I read three magazines.  I was amazed at my willpower.  I couldn’t believe that I, a self-proclaimed Facebook junkie, had kicked the bad Facebook habit.

But you know what?  I hadn’t.  I had deleted my Facebook account, I had deleted the apps from my phone and iPad.  I had deleted the book mark from my computer.  There really wasn’t an easy way for me to get back on without having to re-log in or re-download something.  Essentially it wasn’t willpower.  Willpower would have been having access to it, but making the conscious decision not to get back on. I made it close to impossible for me to get back on.  Willpower would have been keeping my account, but forcing myself to limit my interactions and time online.  I made it so there was no choice to make.  I took the easy way out, the cowardly way out.

And really, the whole Facebook issue is reminiscent of most of the issues I have with my life.  I lack the willpower to say no or make a better decision.  Even when I know that what I am doing is the wrong choice I simply do it anyway because I can’t say no.  And really, I can, but it’s hard and sometimes I don’t know what I want.

But instead of taking the easy way out, I need to “man” up.  I need to learn to do what is best for me in the long run, not what is going to be a fleeting source of happiness.  I have to stop being so blind sided by what is right in front me and begin looking at the big picture.  I have to realize that pretty much everything is OK in moderation…but I need to make sure I am moderating (food, time online, time with family, etc.)

I’ve seen what I can accomplish when the challenge was easy.  Now let’s see what I can do when we up the ante.

Another Old Post…This time about Max.

I posted an old post about Ollie a few weeks ago, so I feel like I should do the same for Max.  Here are two posts about going through the IEP process with him.

My Dearest Maxer:

Tomorrow is my first meeting with the IEP team about you.  We’re not sure what’s going on, if anything is going on at all.  You’ve been having some trouble at school playing with friends and following directions and we just want to see if there is anything we can do to help you out!  That’s not to say you don’t have good days.  As a matter of fact, you have had two perfect days at school that last two days!

We’ve been so proud of you throughout your short, but lively, three and half years.  When you were born, it was a miracle.  Literally, a miracle.  It was the happiest day of my life and I can’t see any way that day will be topped.  I wanted to take this time now, before any meeting, before any checklist or specialist can decide who you are, to tell you all the things you are to me, and how, no matter what is said, these things will never change.

  • Our eyes are exactly the same color.  I haven’t noticed this until recently, but I love that we have this in common. You actually told me about this. Its a subdued hazel color that reminds me of a calm lake and I love that it links us together in a way that is only for us.
  • You have the most amazing vocabulary, better than most kids I know.  You use so many words I didn’t even know you knew and in the correct way
  • You are a wonderful big brother.  You go out of your way to make sure your brother is included in most things you do and are always sharing with him and asking him to play with you.
  • Your memory is remarkable.  You remember things I may have said once weeks, even months, ago (and are oh so kind to always remind me)
  • You give the best hugs.
  • You love your family; your grandparents, your uncles, and me and daddy.  You have no trouble telling us this and do so frequently.  This is a gift.  Don’t ever lose it.
  • One of my favorite times of day is the first five minutes that you wake up.  You run in, jump into bed with me and pretend to go back to sleep as you snuggle up.  Guess what.  I pretend to stay asleep, just to have a couple quiet minutes with you.
  • You love to help out and always want to be involved in everything.
  • Your stubborn streak drives me crazy, but I secretly love it.  It’s a part of me in you.
  • You are very interested in building and making things.  Anything you can do with your hands, really.  That makes me so proud considering I can’t even put together IKEA furniture.
  • You have a very active imagination.  You make up amazing stories and songs and constantly keep me laughing.

I could continue to write this list forever but I’ll stop here for now. Really, there is only one thing you need to know. No matter what happens, I love you.  As long as you know that we have nothing else to worry about.




I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Part of me just wasn’t ready to post until I had a final answer about Max. The other part of me has been crazy busy with so many things going on that I can’t even keep my head straight most of the time.

About a month ago we had Max’s testing date. I got the results in the mail a few days ago and today I met with that evaluation team to talk about the results. He received hearing and vision tests, was observed at school by a child psychologist to evaluate social behavior, and was given language, speech and cognitive tests as well.

One of the biggest things we found out was that Max has profound hearing loss in his right ear and borderline hearing loss in his left ear. This hearing loss has most likely been there for a while, probably more than a few months and it just shocks me that we never even noticed anything about it. Both the audiologist and the pediatrician believe it’s due to fluid buildup behind the eardrum when he had an ear infection almost a year ago! We went back today and saw that the hearing loss is getting worse.  We’re hoping that with this next round of medication he will be able to regain all of his hearing. If not we’ll have to visit the ENT to find out if surgery is needed.

As for the other tests, long story short…we have a well adjusted, highly articulate and well mannered, very bright, slightly fine motor delayed three year old who is well socialized for his age in all areas.  I don’t know if you know what it’s like to have a 50 pound bolder lifted off your chest, but that’s what this news felt like.  As first I was so relieved that I cried.  Then I became so angry I cried.  For two years we have been going through this nightmare where his teachers have been saying that something is wrong, or he might be on the spectrum and in reality, nothing is wrong. I wasted two years of my life trying to change my child and expecting him to adapt to what certain people think is “normal” instead of finding the right environment for him…the one that will let him be his quirky, lovable self.

Throughout this whole process I’ve learned a lot about Max, things I never knew.  Amazing, wonderful, delightful things.  But more importantly I’ve learned a lot about myself and my role as a mother and an advocate for my children. I’ve learned better to stand up for myself, my thoughts, and my opinions, and to stand up for theirs because they can’t do it themselves yet…that is, until I teach them to.