Back to the Mat….or Anthony Kiedis Spoke to Me!

I was out for a run on Saturday morning. It was the second week of my early morning runs and Truffle Shuffle was playing a little RHCP for me. At first “Can’t Stop” was pushing me because of the beat and the fact that it kept telling me I Can’t Stop! However, when it got to the last line in the song, “This life is more than just a read-through“, I immediately hit replay. Why? I needed to hear that part again….and again….

I played the song 3 times before I reached the end of my run. My run had felt like I had lead legs. I knew that it was early and Saturday and that there was no good reason to be up running other than I’m trying to get this going, but something hit me hard about that line.

This life is more than just a read-through

I came home and decided that I was going to try and meditate on that idea. The idea of life needing to happen now, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t meditate as I have in the past. I couldn’t keep my eyes closed. I couldn’t shut down. Perhaps it was because I’d just finished running, but more so because there was just so much rushing through me at that moment that I couldn’t get the clarity I needed.

Why were these lyrics touching me so powerfully at this moment?

All I can say for sure, at this moment, is that it’s almost the end of the year. I hope I’m not leaving anything in my life unfinished. It’s not very “yoga of me”, but it’s sometimes hard to let go of what I’ve not done and live in the what I’ve accomplished mode. Often times in my life I come to the end of something and then find myself filled with great regret of all that I didn’t do. In high school it was working harder at school. I was a smart girl and I could get by without doing a whole lot of studying or busy work. But, high school is a lot of busy work and not just exams…..the same went for the beginning of college.

There have been jobs I’ve held where I didn’t give my all and relationships that I held back in. I have had races that I didn’t fully prepare for. I am not always “living up to my full potential”, a phrase I’ve heard more than once in my life. So, I’m not sure if there is anything deeper to this sentence right now, but I do know it’s the end of the year and things are milling in my head. This might just be a kick to bring me deeper into the present…after all, it is a gift!

What have you accomplished in 2015?

I am not INSANE, but….

I’m a little behind (almost two weeks) in writing this post, so THANK YOU to Amanda at Running With Spoons for hosing her regular Think Out Loud Thursday so that I can share this with you as a nice little photo dump.

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Happy Turkey Day 2015!

I am not INSANE, but…I did drive all the way from NC to IA with two kids under the age of 5; by myself for Thanksgiving.

We left on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving….1200 miles ahead of us (supposed to take 17.5 hours). We were all smiles and ready to go!

IOWA! Here we come!
IOWA! Here we come!

Luckily, the kids fell asleep shortly after this photo was taken and I was able to drive for awhile uninterrupted. I had already been up since 5:30am and had taught 5 hours worth of yoga. I knew I was in for an adventure as the hotel we had booked was an 8 hour drive away on a good day.

We stopped….a lot, because the little guy decided that he’s now potty training. Yep, on the way to Iowa. We finally got to dinner, somewhere barely inside of West Virginia, at the fabulous Applebee’s. The kids were excited for swirly straws! We did their appetizer

Have you ever been so happy to drink water?
Have you ever been so happy to drink water?

special so that dinner was cheap. I had tolls to pay for! Then, it was back into the car for another couple of hours. The kids were sooo tired by the time we stopped at our hotel (still in West Virginia), that they didn’t really notice me carrying them in or putting their pajamas on.

Sleeping like a baby!
Sleeping like a baby!

I too crashed for a few hours and then it was time for the start of day two! Continental breakfast isn’t what I remember it to be…either that or I’ve been spoiled by hotels that give free HOT breakfast, but the boys didn’t mind. They were just excited to get to Iowa!

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Yum….some sort of “danish”. There wasn’t even any fruit at this place!

As soon as we got on the road, my hip seized up on me! It’s been a recurring problem that I’ve had since birth, but that’s a story for a different day…..There’s only so much stretching you can do while driving a car, so I improvised a make shift “foam roller” out of my water bottle. I had used cold cans of soda (something I rarely drink but brought along for a sugar boost) the day before to keep any inflammation down, but needed something a little deeper this time. 20151125_083631Setting it right into my piriformis did the trick! I can’t tell you the hours that I drove like this off and on in both the trip to Iowa and back again! The states were flying by on day two…. Kentucky (we saw hardly any horses, much to the disappointment of the boys),

Needing to stretch the legs!
Needing to stretch the legs!

Indiana (why is this state so long?), and then finally into Illinois for the cheapest gas of the trip and LUNCH! We went with Panera, because although they have priced me out on trips for work….the three of us can easily share a You Pick Two  and a chocolate chip cookie for a decent price. We went with a Sierra Turkey and Mac and Cheese. 20151125_135145They were both a big hit! We had not all that much further to go (Illinois is kind of slow driving) and we started to hit some rain, so I encouraged the boys to close their eyes and we’d be there before you know it! We pulled in around 6:15 that evening to everyone’s relief. The adventures were varied and many that week. I didn’t take enough pictures (I was living the moment instead of recording it).

The new haircut....
The new haircut….
The last cut with my hairstylist before she moves to Colorado....so envious!
The last cut with my hairstylist before she moves to Colorado….so envious!
Bowling night with Grandma and my nephews, brother, and sister in law.
Bowling night with Grandma and my nephews, brother, and sister in law.
Certain people in our family have a habit of letting loose in the wrong direction.
Certain people in our family have a habit of letting loose in the wrong direction.

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I swear he grew into a real little boy on this trip!
I swear he grew into a real little boy on this trip!
Saying good bye to Grandma. Do I have a teenager on my hands?
Saying good bye to Grandma. Do I have a teenager on my hands?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After dinner they snoozed to the second hotel.

And before we knew it, it was time to head back on the road. The trip home was a little harrier than the trip there. I overslept on waking the second morning.

Sharing a HOT breakfast...eggs!
Sharing a HOT breakfast…eggs!

We hit traffic, road construction, bad weather, accidents, and rerouted. The thing about the trip in general is this…..I tried to remind myself the entire way that my kids are kids. They are going to get tired of riding in a car, watching movies, seeing the same thing out the window, eating at restaurants, staying at someone else’s house, etc, etc, etc. This fall I have cultivated some serious patience that I needed for this trip. I kept my calm, took it in stride, and tried to be sensitive to their situation throughout the journey. And I’m proud to say, that I only snapped at them once: coming across the bridge into town because they were being so loud and yelling about how they wanted out of their car seats that I missed the turn and we had to go around and try again…..Man I hate driving into Wilmington!

Have you ever been so daring?

How do you travel as a family?

How is your patience holding up this holiday season?

Thanksgiving

My yoga students have been asked to meditate on “Appreciation” during these past few weeks. I would really like to find the time to spend on this exercise myself. I am packing today for my annual trip home during the holidays. This year I will be driving the two boys myself, so everyone around me is telling me how brave I am….that or how insane….you choose. The thing is, the trip doesn’t worry me or stress me out, but life in general has of late. I’m trying hard to keep it all together, but I have been very short tempered of late with my kids.

I just commented on a post today over at mylittletablespoon that reminded me that I wanted to write about this topic this week. Many of us will sit down to a meal with friends or family this week and will share something we’re thankful for….we will make Thanksgiving. But, for me, I have found that I need something more.

I need to be more open-hearted.

  • I need to remember what it was like to be a new mom of one and how much I loved that little boy when I looked into his eyes.
  • I need to remember that feeling of him needing me and only me to make everything right in his world.
  • I need to remember that now, at almost 5, he still needs that from me while he tries to grown and learn and explore the world around him.
  • I need to remember that my baby at 2.5 is also becoming more independent and that that is something I want for the both of them.
  • I need to remember that when they challenge me, it is not out of disrespect, but out of a will to have control of their own life…..the same will that we search for as adults.
  • I need to look at my children with eyes of love and not through red.
  • I need to turn down the shark music.
  • I need to appreciate and honor all of the unique qualities that makes them them.
  • I need to show them the kind of love that I did the day they were born.

I think that, sometimes, remembering who you were  when you were happiest with someone can make you appreciate your life more. My kids may be willful and stubborn, but that’s because they’re also smart and independent…..they are many parts of me that I haven’t learned to accept in others. They challenge me daily to be a better person and I love them. They are the one thing in my life that I am most grateful for and I am happy that each day (no matter what happened before) I have the opportunity to wake up and start anew with them. A chance to try again to love them to the fullest and to truly revere our relationship.papou faces

If you were to meditate on appreciation…what would you learn about yourself?

The Metal Element

“Metal correlates to autumn, a time to begin turning inward.” ~Eating With the Seasons by Teri Mosey; IDEA Fitness Journal Jan. 2015

I’ve written a few other times this year about eating with the seasons and this article from January’s IDEA Fitness Journal. (You can find my other posts linked below.) I hadn’t had a chance to cover the fall foods yet, and for those of you who’ve read my posts in the past, you know how much I love fall foods! So far this fall we’ve had our 2nd annual chili cookout and I’ve been making pumpkin everything! I actually plan on making chili at least once a month now through the end of the winter season. But, I’m also feeling like a shift is coming in my eating patterns all together.

My goal for 2015 was to see myself as stronger by the end of the year. I’m really starting to believe that I can accomplish anything….again. One of the things that I’m looking forward to in the new year is taking better control of my health through food. I haven’t been “scared off” by the recent reports about bacon and other pork products causing cancer. Instead, it has reaffirmed my belief in “everything in moderation”. Also, I’m not that into pork products and never have been. I’ve really tried, for my family, but I’m more of a sausage once in awhile kind of gal and the occasional pork chop when I can’t think of anything else to make.

So, I really loved the quote at the start of the section on fall eating. It spoke to me on many levels. I am a fall baby (sorry I still haven’t gotten around to posting about my birthday), and it’s also one of my favorite times of year. Who doesn’t love the crisp air, college football, and the changing of the leaves? And the food that comes with fall is the best….think Thanksgiving!

This article mentions the dryness that comes with fall and foods that have a moistening quality including: tempeh, barley, millet, mushrooms, almonds, cooked pears, beets, carrots, daikon, parsnips, squash, yams, and soups and stews. It recommends pungent flavors and smells to clear the sinuses, like peppermint, radishes, watercress, turnips, garlic, onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, and scallions. These things remind me of some of my favorite recipes that I’ve shared before and have also linked here. I also love that it says this is a time of, “opposing emotions of courage and grief.” I encourage you all to take time to turn inward, cultivate your strength, let go of your sorrow, nourish your body, and enjoy the gifts of fall!

 

Simple Simon: Soup and Chili

Appreciation for Smarties

Simple Simon: Menus of Greatness

IGE: Kale and Butternut Squash Penne

IGE: Smoked Sausage, Kale, Apple Cider, Quinoa Skillet

I added butternut squash to mine and used a grain blend from HT Traders that included Red Quinoa, Green Lentils, Barley, and Brown Rice.
I added butternut squash to mine and used a grain blend from HT Traders that included Red Quinoa, Green Lentils, Barley, and Brown Rice.

WV Mountain Mama: Venison Barley Soup

Weelicious: Black Eyed Peas (I combined this one with the next recipe)

FS: Hoopin’ John with Venison

What is your favorite fall food?

I got knocked down…..

My last post was over a month ago. In the last six weeks I have suffered two bouts of sickness and a little bit of a breakdown. I somewhat anticipated this as I knew that I was over scheduled and that I wasn’t dealing with it well. So, on this Think Out Loud Thursday, I’m jumping feet first back into the game and GETTING BACK UP AGAIN! So, instead of lingering in the past, here’s my look ahead to the rest of 2015!

TOP THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2015

1.Halloween!

Our most recent bonfire from chili cookout night. My sister’s boyfriend and my brother in law were trying to burn down our new patio shelter with this one.

My kiddos are psyched for Halloween this year and probably mostly for the candy, but I don’t care. They both came up with their own ideas for costumes: Ike will be a bat…not Batman…he doesn’t like superheros. Eli wants to be a pirate like Mickey Mouse is dressed as on a window decal in his room. On top of the adorable little monsters I will have at my house, we are also going to be camping out in our backyard with our friends, having a bonfire, and doing S’mores. What could make for a better Halloween than that? Well, I get to work a race that morning with my new friend Gina for RTE. If you’re near Havelock, come and join us for the run!

 

 

2.Battleship 5K

The inMotion walking group at New Balance is coming to an end soon. It will be nice to have those nights back to my family, but I will miss the ladies that I’ve been training. Our big event that we’ve been working toward is the Battleship 5K and I’m looking forward to seeing how well they do that early Sunday morning. Come out and walk with us!

3.Mother/Child Day

Ike’s preschool does a special day for the moms and the kids one Thursday afternoon. It’s coming up soon and I cannot wait! School has always been a favorite of mine….so much so that I still hope someday to go back and get my PhD. But that’s not the point. The point is that he enjoys school so much and this will be a day that he and I can celebrate that together!

4.NETA Travel

I haven’t been out to a workshop in awhile and I’m starting to miss it. I have a workshop each of the next two months lined up and one with travel actually booked. Plus, I get to teach something that I’ve never taught before! I will miss the boys and my hubby while I’m away (I always do), but I always miss presenting when I’m not doing it. I have taken a backseat on writing for the time being, so getting out and working for NETA again is something I’m really looking forward to!

5.Fall Races

I have at least one more race I’m working for RTE this fall. Working the races has kept me motivated to keep running myself. I’ve been off for awhile now due to illness, but the thought that others are out there pushing through as the temps drop and the rain falls makes me want to do it even more. I still have to tell you all about my new running shoes and how amazing they are! They even kept me from hurting through an entire day of walking at the NC Zoo!

6.Thanksgiving

I’m going home for Thanksgiving again this year! Be sure to check in with me that week as

Can’t wait to see this sign!

I’m traveling with the boys….solo! It will be our first cross country trek alone and we’re driving the whole way. I miss my mom, my brothers, my nephews, my aunts and uncles, and especially my two grandmothers. It’s a blessing that I still have them and that the boys have two great grandmothers still in their lives. I wish we could spend more time with them, but living far away we really treasure the time we do get with them!

7.Christmas

This year we have Ike’s first Christmas Concert! If that’s not enough to look forward to, we’ve also get to host Christmas at our house for a second year in a row. I can’t wait to see what our tree looks like and the meal we come up with and the way the boys look when they awake to see what Santa has brought them! Most of all I am looking forward to having family over and close to celebrate this special time of year. Christmas means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, it’s more so a reflection than Thanksgiving because it’s the end of the year. It’s a time to look back and be joyous for all you’ve made it through and all you have to love and look forward to in the future.

My blog has changed a lot over the last two years and will continue to do so, I’m sure, as I continue to write. This year I am trying to see myself as stronger and I think that the fact that I chose to write a list of things I’m looking forward to means that I have a mindset that is more strongly rooted in the positive. My yoga has been an integral part of my development this year. I hope to write more to you in the near future about what my students have taught me this semester and the amazing way that yoga has impacted each of their lives…..there may even be a few guest bloggers.

Please keep reading as I hope to continue to share with you this yoga life.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?