Fairy Tale Mom

I spent my weekend with a tap dancer. That means I carried tap shoes, provided plenty of water and managed to get to three separate call times on time. I win dance mom. However, long days with my dancer often means that I sit and watch rehearsal, then the show. Then, I carry the things back home again to repeat the next day.

This weekend I changed things up a bit. While I usually hit the gym on Saturday and Sunday, this weekend, I got to walk around my beautiful city to get my 10,000 daily steps in. I found the most interesting things on Massachusetts Ave. I walked to my favorite book store. I walked past a pipe organ manufacturer (I was way more excited about this than I should have been). I saw an art gallery. I walked past one of our local theaters and I covered a few of the local war memorials.

While my girl rehearsed, I walked. I was front and center for show time, but I realized a few things on my walks through the city. I made a choice to get active. I can make this same choice every day. I mapped out a quick mile that I can walk in my neighborhood before I go to work in the morning. While I’m no morning person, I’m sure I can find 15 minutes, or less, to cover a mile.

My pace is a little off when I don’t have the gym equipment to keep pace, but I’ll be getting the steps in daily to get me closer to that 5K in 19 days.

McDonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free ONeAmerica 500 Festival or Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an Arch Card, a t-shirt and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

Theoretically, this is actually week 7 of training. That is how long I’ve been spending 4 days a week at the gym. That is 7 weeks of moving 200% more than I had been. 7 weeks of drinking more water and watching what I eat a little (a little tiny bit) more closely than I was. I realized that I had to get in better shape if I wanted to avoid some of the genetic maladies that have been passed on to me from my parents. So, I’ve been going to the gym.

It was this week that things changed. By “changed” in no way do I imply that I gleefully skip off to the gym and merrily work my way through 3 miles on the treadmill. Things changed in that everything started hurting in all of the wrong ways.

It was spring break, so I took some time off to spend with my girl. She and I had many things planned, mostly just being together. I had decided to go to the gym daily. After 5 days I realized that this was a giant mistake. This body hasn’t moved that much in a very very long time. So, after my gallant efforts, I’m in pain. My knees are killing me. My left hip (yes, just the left) is on fire. I’m like an old lady the way I’m gimping around. A cane actually sounds like a mighty good idea.

I am still determined to get to 10,000 steps daily. My fitbit monitors my progress and I keep a close eye on the activity levels. Except for the last 2 days, because I’m in pain. Did I mention the pain?

I am still determined to complete the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Finish Line Festival 5K. I’ll be walking the 5K portion of this event, with several friends and my girl. I am determined to get to the finish line, but not really keeping track of the time quite yet. My goal is a 13 minute mile. And walking with Michelle, should get me there with no problem. Her long legs force me to take 4 steps to her every one.

I’m grateful to have my fitbit to keep me motivated to move and this great partner to help keep me focused on a bigger prize, my health. McDonald’s may seem like an odd choice for a get moving campaign, but they have really done a great job at getting the focus on the moving and not the eating.

McDonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or Finish Line 50 Festival 5K registration, an Arch Card, a t-shirt and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

You know those days where nothing goes your way? Thing after thing after thing goes wrong and you can’t see the possibility of anything going right? I just lived that day.

I started by planning for this day 14 different ways, the variables kept changing. There were meetings to rearrange, much to the displeasure of my employer, appointments to manage, kids activities to squeeze in and an evening appointment at the gym to keep. I planned, changed plans, changed plans again and thought I had things all worked out.

Surprise! My mom came the night before to join us in our first activity of the day. Preparing for a visit from my mother requires time and work and cleaning. She’s a meticulous woman and doesn’t understand my, more laid back style. I had exactly 2 hours to prepare for her arrival at the exact same time that the Princess needed to be delivered to and picked up from dance lessons. Yikes.

I survived that event. We woke to attend to our day. We started the day taking my favorite boy in all of the land, my brother, to the hospital. He was to have his heart jolted back into rhythm (with the paddles) first thing. This was scary on so many levels. We weren’t sure the blood clot had dissolved yet; we didn’t know if the procedure would work. There was a tiny possibility that something could go wrong. And it’s his HEART! That’s cause for worry.

After successfully seeing that through to completion, with great results, I was off to a work meeting. This is an annual event to get a large group of people motivated toward common goals and reset standards for continuity. The meeting had three sections. In each section I felt more and more inadequate as I realized that I have work to do to catch up. My ego is now sufficiently bruised.

Or so I thought, at the first break I get a text from my girl asking “who’s picking me up from school?” SHIT! With all of the schedule adaptations I forgot that I was no longer available to pick her up. I phoned a friend. Not available. My mom? Already on her way back home. My brother? Resting, couldn’t reach hum. Finally, the pirate (my dad) can get there only a few minutes late. I’m clearly not winning parent of the year after this one.

Speaking of the pirate, he sends a text after dropping off the girl that the surgeon wants to further amputate his leg to above the knee. WHAT?

I’m still in this meeting. I’m overwhelmed with emotion and worry and my own inadequacy and I’m rapidly reaching my breaking point. I keep it together to the end of the meeting, I get to the car and literally throw my hand up and say, outbound, “I surrender”.

In that exact moment, I was looking to the sky, arms in the air, ready for tears when a calm washes over me. My next thought is to finish my sentence. “I surrender! it all to you God.” And, I prayed. Right there in the street, I found God had been waiting for me the whole time.

When I was forced encouraged to start using social media, my bio was easy to write. I lived with a pirate, a fairy and the princess, so Fairy Tale Land was easily created. I haven’t lived in Fairy Tale Land in a few years. I’ve tried to update my bio, but I can’t find words that suit my name and my location at the same time.

I refuse to use any words about princes of any sort, let alone charming. I still have the princess and our loyal steed, er dog. I just can’t see the new kingdom as a Fairy Tale. Maybe that’s more telling than I initially considered.

So, I struggle to find the words. Maybe you can help? Let’s rewrite my bio

The thing about rarely cooking dinner that I love is the part where I don’t have to do it. Mostly, NBF makes dinner and cleans up after. (Good gig if you can get it.)

He is an excellent cook. We eat at home 90% of the time and its awesome. But, it’s also adding numbers to the size of my pants. Worse yet, it’s impacting the princess too.

Again, excellent cook. But, he’s not a fan of anything low in fat or calories. We eat late due to work and after school activities. Scheduling is my enemy. He doesn’t see an 8:30 dinner time as a problem. I do. I’ve read everything I can read about meal time and nutrition, but I can’t seem to get everyone on the same plan.

The changes we need to make for the health of my girl are going to be a battle. I’m considering utilizing the local YMCA nutritionist to help.

If you have any experience at all with your local Y, let me know. I’m grasping at straws here.

Love For Shaundi

Love For Shaundi

You know that song, that says “We are just one phone call from our knees”? Well, it’s true. Except sometimes it’s a text. And you stop everything that you are doing, everything that you considered doing in that moment, to pray. And you find yourself hugging your child and through your tears telling her to pray too.

Because, nothing at all that you had planned for the evening, was ever going to be. Praying for a friend becomes the most important thing in the moment when you get a text that takes you to your knees.

I’m glad that the first thing I did was pray. And, I’m glad that my dearest friends did the same. These women that I am lucky enough to call friends, we all got the same text. It was haunting. It was scary. And it meant that we needed to do nothing more than support our Katy, because she was going through hell.

We spent the next few days making sure that we could support her in her time of grief in any possible way. And, I spent my time realizing that some of the things that I thought mattered, didn’t. When all you know to do is love the people that surround you, that is becomes the most important thing. And, it remains the most important thing.

Standing by Katy, as we sent our prayers to Heaven, our Love for Shaundi was strong – remains strong. I continue to pray, I continue to be glad that my friends pray with me. Even more, I’m glad that I know this group of people that rally their love when it is needed.

Thanks to @mooshinindy for putting together this amazing video from the service.


In my quest for perfect beauty products, I was spending my lunch hour with my most recent fashion magazine. While I realize it will never be “perfect”, I’m super happy to try new products and read about what Drew Barrymore is using on her face. (Even though I totally know its photoshop and airbrushing creating that glow.)

I love reading this stuff. I love looking at clothes I can’t afford (and shouldn’t wear in most cases). Still, it makes me happy. I’m going to keep doing it, judge if you must.

Here’s my issue today: inside the cover of this wonderfully enjoyable magazine is a list of what the Editor in Chief keeps in her makeup bag.. Even without the $88 fragrance, it’s 9 products at $300! Maybe I’m the crazy one, but that seems like way too much to pay for an eyeliner ($22).

Now, I’ve recently chosen a foundation that is a bit out of my comfort zone at $30. But, even with that luxury item, may daily routine products are $91. That includes moisturizer and cleanser. From making my face clean to covering it all back up, with 9 products, my total is 1/3 of hers. Maybe that’s in part due to geography. In her job in the industry there is a greater expectation than of me in the Midwest. But, can a $30 mascara work THAT much differently than my $6 version?

I could have this all wrong. Maybe those luxury purchases make all the difference in the world. My budget tells me that I’m going to have to figure it out for the Midwest price.

If you were curious, I’m reading Lucky today. It’s one of my favorites. While her makeup bag is outside of my price range, the magazine is a perfect lunch time treat for me.

Really. It is the saddest day ever. In the history of days, this was the worst.

Today, my mother called me to tell me that a week ago (A WEEK AGO!) my beautiful, amazing, talented princess told her that she is picked on at school, every day. EVERY DAY. She is made fun of because she doesn’t live in a big house. She doesn’t have an iphone. She doesn’t have all of the newest electronics. She only has one Northface jacket and only 2 pairs of Ugg boots.

I get it. They are all first world problems. And, she certainly isn’t lacking in luxuries. She has an ipod touch, her very own cell phone, the previously mentioned Uggs, we have internet and cable. She has been to Disney like 4 times. We go on vacation. She dances, that costs a ton of my income. We aren’t hurting. But, in comparison to her friends, we are the poor kids on the block.

And, because she is different, they found a way to make her feel bad about it. And, they tell her how fat she is. And, how fat her mom is. And, her mom is mean and won’t let her watch certain movies. And, she generally asks permission to do anything she is unsure of. She gets good grades. She is kind and gentle and sweet. It wouldn’t even occur to her to say mean things to people. Why are these little girls saying mean things about things that she can’t control?

I’m so angry at these little girls for breaking her heart. But, I’m really mad at the parents of these little girls for teaching them that its acceptable to be mean. I am really angry that this group of people has taught their children that the value of things, possessions, stuff, is more important than people. They break her heart every day, all over things she can’t control, instead of noticing how funny she is or how kind she is or how much she loves to laugh.

I’m saddened by our society. I’m saddened that she didn’t tell me herself. I’m saddened that she endured this for a nearly the whole year before I found out. I’m just sad.

I let myself get talked into a magazine subscription at the makeup counter last month. The deal was I would get it once, call and cancel the subscription and move on with life. Except, I got the magazine and absolutely, positively fell in love with it.

I’m not a fashionista, but only becaus

Magazines, Connaught Place

Magazines, Connaught Place (Photo credit: prolix6x)

e I don’t have the budget. But reading that magazine (cover to cover including all of the beautiful glossy ads) made me realize that I had stopped taking care of myself. I had begun to settle for lesser products. I stopped buying shoes like I once had (and I love shoes, I mean love). This one magazine sparked in me a desire to take care of myself again. I want to try all of the fancy creams and new makeup techniques.

I want to wear pretty clothes that don’t involve mom jeans or practical shoes. I want to drink in every single word on those pages and take those hours all for myself. Then, I want to go back to being a mom. But, I want to do it with dewy, smooth skin and very pretty shoes.

It’s not as though I had forgotten how much I enjoy pretty things, I just quit prioritizing them. Well, no more friends. I continue my quest for the perfect skin care products and I’m back to shoe shopping. It may be on the sale racks, but I’m shopping.

That magazine brought me back to a joy in fashion and pride in my appearance. Those hours I spent reading that magazine (possibly more than once) are the best present I have given myself in years. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Ulta, yes, again.

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Here’s the thing, I am vain. Not quite like Carly Simon needs to write another song, but I want to look pretty nonetheless. I’ve been thinking a lot about my skin care and makeup lately. And, I’ve been talking with a coworker and friend, Bethany, about it daily. She and I are in search of the perfect, age defying, price appropriate skin care and foundation. We search reviews; we read articles; we look at comparisons. We may be obsessed.

Yesterday, we began our quest at the nearest Ulta store. (I will not deny my love of this mecca of all things beauty.) We had an hour and were looking for a BB cream. This BB stuff (beauty balm, I know you wanted to ask) has gotten tons of hype lately. Bethany chose one and gave it a try for the both of us.

It should be noted here that we are both fair (like nearly glow in the dark fair). She is an oily skin mix. I have normal to dry skin. The use of glitter in products is our favorite and we both want coverage. Bethany, very much unlike me, uses very little base or foundation daily. She uses an under eye concealer and an all over bronzer. I prefer full coverage, near mask like foundation. I use a moisturizer and bronzer. The rest is too detailed to mention.

Today she came in wearing Too Faced Airbrushed BB cream. The coverage looked great, almost airbrushed. Her skin tone match is “vanilla” something. While I was impressed with the look. She was not impressed at all with the feel. By the end of the day she was complaining of feeling greasy and shiny”. The product started to feel heavy. After a bit of research, we learned that this particular cream does not rate well with other users either.

The price point is a bit much for my liking at $39 . This isn’t a product that I’m running out to pick up. But, I will say that the coverage looked good on Bethany today.

The quest continues for exactly the right stuff for me. I’ll keep you posted on what I try and what works here. Maybe I’ll even go so far as to document this search with photographs.


The opinions expressed here all all mine and in this case completely second hand. Except for that of Ulta; I really do love that store. No one has provided product or compensation for mention here. I’m including

Ulta Beauty, 928 Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor, M...

Ulta Beauty, 928 Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, Canrbrook Village Shopping Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a link to the product via Ulta. You may check out further details there.


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