Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Has Spring FINALLY Sprung?

We had another great weekend, this time taking our travels to "the Valley" as they call it here. Of course, I grew up in Ottawa-which has a totally different valley but a valley nonetheless.
We went to see the sights, but also because it was Apple Blossom Festival time.

We headed out on Sunday, so we had missed the parade and fireworks and all that good stuff. We went instead to a tiny little fair that had events like firefighter bucket filling, pony rides and face painting. It was pretty small and low key, but my daughter was thrilled to get a balloon animal and we all had ice cream cones afterwards. That's always a win!

Best part of the whole excursion was just seeing the beauty all around us. We stopped at Blomidon Look Off and (according to my tour guide and friend Tammi) there you can see four counties! It was pretty spectacular! Thanks to my daughter, I also got to see the inside of an outhouse. Sigh.

It ended up being WAY hotter out than we had expected, and we were all quite depleted after just being outside for a few moments. Clearly, we need to build a tolerance to the strange warmth emanating from the sky.

That heat continued into today and gave me a real boost in energy! I did laundry, added another coat of paint to a bench for my daughter, cleaned the carpet on the stairs where a Smoothie Explosion took place, put away all of our winter gear, and mowed the lawn. I accomplished everything on my "list" today and all by noon. It's funny how the sun can just make you feel like getting off your butt and tackling some "To Do's."

I'm off to Zumba again tonight, and I hope that there is air conditioning in there! Otherwise, I may melt completely-who knew I'd be saying THAT any time soon!

Better late than never! Welcome, Spring!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


On Tuesday night, I was coaxed (okay, pretty much forced) into doing a Zumba class at the local rec center with a new friend. In turn, I asked my friend Conny to join me. The more the merrier, right? That's what I thought, plus, it's always better to have familiar faces around when you're beyond anxious.

I literally spent the day worrying about this class. I heard from various people how much of a workout it is, and that scared the poop out of me. I really didn't know if I'd be able to do the whole hour. I knew if I did, I'd net a terrific calorie burn though, so I really wanted to try. I also don't like sweating. It's never really been an issue for me, actually. My head sweats like it's going to explode, but otherwise, I don't usually get sweaty. Umm, I said usually.

We got to the class and jumped right in to the workout, or so I thought. Apparently that was just the warm up and I was already red faced. In my typical fashion, I cracked jokes the whole time. It makes me less nervous-don't judge. But as I was laughing and wiping my face on a towel repeatedly while guzzling copious amounts of water for my cotton mouth, I realized I was having a great time. It was actually kind of fun. Okay, the sweat was disgusting, but the class was enjoyable!

Zumba incorporates many of my "likes" in one class. It burns a lot of calories, it's aerobic and cardio, and it involves dance and music. The other neat aspect was that the class really DID host a wide assortment of people, from men to women, from big to small, from old to young. My friends also weren't lying to me when they said that nobody watches you because they are too busy trying to keep up themselves. I know I was focused squarely on myself, well, and the girl in front of me. Sometimes I couldn't see the teacher!

All in all, I enjoyed it enough to go back, drenched shirt and all. I'm totally not even kidding. Gross.

I'm sure like everything, at some point I'll get bored with it, but for now....I'm shakin' it while I'm fakin' it. I'm going back next Tuesday for more!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How We Spent Our Long Weekend

We had a really great May long weekend (Victoria Day is the holiday for you non-Canadians!) with lots of sight seeing and exploring. We are new to the province so it's always nice to really get to know and check out our new home, but more than that, we are on a quest to spend weekends doing something outdoors and active, as a family. This, of course, is weather permitting, which it hasn't been of late! Many times, the weekend gets full of errands and tasks, and while that does still need doing, there is ample time to get some play time in as well.

On Sunday, my husband chose Lunenburg as our destination. The weather was kind of damp and windy, but that didn't deter us at all. We spent the afternoon wandering the waterfront, browsing in little shops,lunching with a view, snapping pictures, and purchasing some fudge for the drive home. It's a beautiful little town, with so much history. I really loved it there and would go back on a sunny day. We'll likely take my Mom there when she comes for a visit.

Monday was my choice, and we headed to Truro. I had heard great things about Victoria Park and had done some Internet checking before heading out. We had lunch at Saltscapes to start our time there. It's a restaurant with down home comfort foods, served at reasonable prices, with a small and quaint gift shop attached. They pride themselves on local products, both food and decoration. After lunch, we made our way to the park. Let me just say, WOW. It's 1000 acres of park land, donated first in the 1880's and forward. It houses two waterfalls, a wishing well of stone, and many, many, many ladders and steps covering a gorge. One of these such staircases is called Jacob's Ladder and comprises 175 steep steps. My eldest and I scampered up briskly, stopping once to let others pass while we waited for my husband and youngest behind us. My youngest was a bit teary, nervous and overwhelmed by the amount of steps (and possibly the big spaces in between the steps!) but still she made her way all the way to the top. We spent about 80 minutes in the park, walking and climbing. We lost count over 400 steps and I'm sure it was closer to 500 or 600 all said going up and down. Suffice it to say, that evening we were all pretty WIPED.

On our way home from our hike, we stopped at two houses to pick up new bikes for the girls that we found on kijiji. They both needed new ones as they'd outgrown theirs, and kijiji offered the perfect (and cheaper) solution. Next up? A bike and helmet for me. I'm not a fan of road biking, but it would be awesome to bike along the trails that can be found all around.

It was a truly fantastic weekend and I enjoyed it all. I'm not sure where our next adventure will take us, but I know many are ahead!

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Month!

I can't believe we are nearing the end of May already and heading into the last month of school! Where has the time gone? We've now lived in our new province for (almost) one full school year. It's been a great year.

The coming month is a little crazy with all of the school things wrapping up-concerts, graduations, recitals, birthdays. Then, just past mid-June, my Mom is coming to visit, and staying for a month and a half approximately. I cannot wait!

My Mom and I are polar opposites in many ways. I would say personality wise, we don't really share many similarities. That said, we usually get along really well and like sight seeing, cooking, reading, and discovering new things. We can chat for hours, much to my husband's chagrin. The bonus on top of all of this is-she's a fantastic Granny. Hands down, number 1. My daughters are truly beside themselves that Granny will be here soon. I know kids love their grandparents, but I don't know that as many get as TRULY excited (especially older kids) that their Grandmother is coming to spend the summer.

We have love of plans for her visit. A trip to PEI, to New Brunswick, to Cape Breton and everywhere in between.

So, I'm counting down the month. Did I mention that I can't wait? Ya. That.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Sun WIll Come Out....Tomorrow

It's literally been raining in Halifax for 3 weeks straight. We get the odd day of sun and you get fooled into thinking that the weather might FINALLY be on the upturn, but nope. I've started building an ark in my backyard, just in case. I'm really hoping this brings some nice summer temps into June, but we'll see. It might just bring bugs.

Due to all of this rain, and the fact that I'm clearly made of sugar, I haven't been running outside as much as I had wanted or needed in order to run the 5k for the Bluenose. I've waffled between run/walking it anyways (just doing my best), walking it with friends, or deferring it to next year.

There are a few factors that made this a tricky decision. I mean, I could just TRY to run as much of it as I could. I'm competitive, but Halifax is hilly. The problem with this option is....let me repeat....I'm competitive. I really want to do this feeling ready, trained and umm, faster than I am. I don't expect to do it in like 24 minutes or something crazy, but I'd like to be a bit more speedy. So, while I might be happy I DID it, I know I'll be pissed with myself if I walk any or have a crap time.

I could walk it instead. I'd be getting some exercise with friends and hanging out having fun for the morning. The thing with this option is-it seems silly to have paid money to walk a distance that I do twice over on any given weekend. It would likely be cool for the experience of the event, and seeing friends is always a bonus, but the challenge isn't there for me.

Lastly, I could defer it. I'm leaning to this one because there are two more 5k's coming up in the fall, one in October and one in November. I would be lighter, faster and more ready for those ones and I imagine doing the Bluenose next year would be a better showing. Who knows-maybe by then I'd be ready for a 10k? (I'm totally getting ahead of myself here!) My husband likes this option because then we can actually have a weekend together, with our kids, and go and do something as a family. Of course, he doesn't help me make the decision by saying that he thinks I could totally do the 5k easily and that I'm stubborn enough to push myself while there.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm still running on my treadmill 5x a week. I try to mix up the length of time I run and up my speed. I'm up to 45 minutes straight running, but I do some days at 25 minutes as well. I'm also trying to mix it up with some steep incline walking and jogging so I get used to hills. Yuck. Lastly, I'm 9 lbs lighter! Those of you who follow me on myfitnesspal.com already knew that, of course. Those of you who don't are either skinny bitches or don't like me. Ha!
I'm also still doing yoga about 3x a week. I find it's the perfect stretch for me after a run.

So, with all of that said, I'm not sure what my long weekend ahead will look like-but it will be good whatever happens. I just know it!

Oh-and for those of you Jonesing to see pics of my girls' bedrooms-I didn't forget! I'll get those up this week or next at some point! We bought my youngest a little table and chair that I'm re-purposing and she has a bench that I'm sanding and repainting as well. So, I'm not quite done the projects in there yet but I'm on it!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cue The Waterworks....

Are you the type that wears your emotions on your sleeves? If you are happy, do you practically beam with giddy overflow? When sad, do you let the tears fall unabashedly down your cheeks? Does anger seethe and rip through you with no restraint? When surrounded by chaos and stress, does your body take the hit?

I write those words like they aren't totally foreign concepts to me, and yet, not a one of those describes me. It's not like I'm all blank faced all of the time, it's just that, outside of my family, I try to keep how I'm feeling on the down low.

Lately, however, it's like some sort of hormonal alien has taken over my body. I literally can't seem to contain any source of emotional content. For me, that's totally horrific. I hate nothing more than letting myself be weak (how I see it for myself, not others) and breaking down, in public no less! What the what what?

My husband and I spend Mondays together, his "weekend," and while those days often entail errand running, we also try to squeeze in a sort of "date" day. It might just be shopping together, or lunch, or spending the day napping and lounging in bed.

This Monday, we decided to go out and have a nice lunch together. We were pleasantly discussing various topics ranging from the news, politics, our house plans, our kids, yada yada, when we veered dangerously left to topics best left undiscussed. Now, anyone who knows me is aware that, I don't LET topics generally, "go." I'm not the sweep it under the rug and pretend everything is fine type. I'm a confront, confront, confront until we've put this baby to BED, type. So I usually have no qualms just laying it all out there. However, as I've said, I've been having trouble keeping my emotions in check lately, and sitting there in Moxie's, the waterworks started.

Not even just a little trickle of sniff sniff. Nope. It was full on tears, have to look away so people don't see me with rivers down my face and streaked mascara torrents. Yikes.

It's been a stressful time, and Monday was the day that my Dad's wife was going to court to take over as Executor and basically kick us once more in the collective guts. I was trying to keep busy to avoid having to think about it all, which clearly I shouldn't have been since it's not my usual way of dealing and results in Tammy Faye Baker copycatting. Compound that with other stressful topics and discussions and roll it all up in a neat, tidy little package called, "Welcome to your Moxie's breakdown." Guess I was overdue.

I, of course, was totally mortified. I'm hoping it never happens, EVER AGAIN, because frankly I don't like looking into the mirror at a streaky faced stranger. I pulled myself together and off we went about our business for the day, hormone crazy free.

My husband then cheered me up by buying me a Starbucks, writing me silly notes on post its and on the ipad every time I left the room, and by generally ignoring that I'd lost my shiz all over lunch.

By bedtime I found myself back to my normal stoic self. Phew.

Stiff upper lip, hip, hip cheerio-and all that.

The emotional alien inside me has left the building!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where Does Time Go?

The weeks just seem to be flying by around here, maybe because it seems like every time I turn around there is something that needs to be done, a kids school function or dance class requirement. There's also getting stuff finished around the house. We moved here over 6 months ago, and I know from experience it'll take over a year to have the house how we want it. At least, starting to look how we want it.

I've been painting a few little things like mirror frames and such. There's a few more little jobs like that to do. Then comes the big painting job. We are planning on painting the whole house except for the basement. It won't be fun, at all. I'd like to get it done before the end of the school year, because getting ANYTHING done with the kids home 24/7? Not so much. The exciting thing is, once it's all painted, we can start decorating and putting up pictures! We would also like to purchase a few more furniture pieces. We also need to paint the front and back door, the front porch and wash off the deck and beams. I'd also like a shed for the backyard so we can get some of the storage out of the house. Yep, projects. Luckily for me, most of those jobs fall to my husband.

I'm still running, trying for 5 days a week. When I'm not running 35 minutes straight now, I'm doing intervals. I HAVE to start running outside more often, but when I see rain and wind, I just don't feel like it. So, I head off to my treadmill. I found out last night that I need new runners, big time. I actually had to kick mine off at the end where I was just doing my walk to cool down. They cramp my toes on one side something awful, just when I do intervals. I've had them about 2 years so I guess it's time, and I know with running you need to replace them more often. Any recommendations? I know I've been referred to go to the Running Room and have them fit you-but do I really want to spend extra money just for a casual fairweather runner? I mean, I own Nike's and I typically spend more than seems reasonable on runners but.....

Partnered with the running is the myfitnesspal.com thing. I'm set at 1200 calories a day. Well, let me tell you, it's HARD to stay in that calorie range if you don't work out EVERY day. I'm not willing to give up a snack or two each day, so I try to either run or do yoga or walk my dog. Last night, for example, was ridiculous.

I knew I'd be over my calories yesterday. I was busy doing "house stuff" all day, so I didn't get my run in. The girls have dance and we get home about 8pm. By the time we do bedtime routine and such, it's 9pm. Well, then I had to watch Survivor and make lunches. I figured I'd just leave it at being over. The more I sat though, the more it bothered me to see that red negative. At 1030pm, I got on my treadmill and started walking on an incline. I joined a Twitter party I had wanted to attend, and once it was done, I started doing 10 intervals. I finished the whole 500 calorie burn at almost midnight. Umm, obsessed much? I was literally pouring sweat-which is not like me but felt AWESOME. I had some water and hit the sack.

That about sums up my life in a nutshell right now. Running, yoga-ing, kids school and dance, house stuff. Normal day in the life of a Mom, no?