So …

Hello, knock knock. Is this thing on?

Yeah … it’s been a while. I am a crappy blogger, but enjoy checking in with everyone else who is actually posting. I feel like all the bloggers “I grew up” with have stopped posting, so it just gets easier to ignore this space. But I do miss it and miss writing just for me.

So to update …

  • I did run that marathon and kicked its ass. Or something. Well, shaving 20 minutes off my 1st marathon time made for a nice PR for this girl. I know that 4:43 isn’t going to shatter any records, but I was proud of my work that day. At least the first 20 miles. The last 6 pretty much stunk, but I finished. Thank goodness for pushing the pace when I still had it in me.
  • So, still on that runner’s high, I put my name in the lotteries for the NYC marathon and NYC half. Well, guess what? I got into the Half. On March 16. That’s in 8 weeks. So, guess who pulled together a very condensed training plan?
  • I have also made a lofty-ish goal of running 14 races in 2014 — I think it comes out to 7 halfs, 1 10-miler, 4 10k’s and 2 5k’s. September and October are full, but otherwise, it’s pretty spread out and do-able. Come join me!
  • M&L are growing up overnight it seems. They are both in Kindergarten and loving it. Starting to read, honing their writing skills, learning Spanish, and enjoying other classes like science and art. Oh, and lunch. Can’t forget about that. I sometimes find myself just staring at them and admiring their little personalities. Or big personalities. They are inquisitive and funny, and sometimes sassy.
  • I post pretty often on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there. http://instagram.com/szdavis5

Lurking in my drafts folder

I clicked on my Drafts folder today and was surprised to see quite a few half-way written entries.

Including this one. Snort.

Ok, so this photo is (obviously) from my wedding day and I have no idea who half of these celebrities are.

JLo? Hmmm. I wish.  Judy Garland? Total compliment.

Florence Henderson? Whaat?

My cool celebrity look-alike collage from MyHeritage.com.

 

It looks like this website now still has this feature as an app. It may be interesting to see who I look like now.

forty.

40. Wow. It really is a milestone and I am shocked that it got here this fast.

Most people know that on your birthday, your friends and family provide a day-long love fest via Facebook. There really isn’t anything better. Texts, emails, phone calls, flowers, and Facebook messages galore. Heck, even the guy who checks people in at the gym wished me a happy birthday!

One of my friends commented about how we spent my 30th birthday together. Was that really 10 years ago?

It made me think about other momentous birthday’s.

In 2003, I celebrated being 30 and single! with a group of friends at one of my favorite neighborhood pubs. I also really regretted living on the 3rd floor of an apartment building.

In 2007, I interviewed for (and later was offered) a job.

In 2001, I spent my birthday in Paris. Ooh, la, la.

In 1994, I drove to Key West with a great group of friends for Spring Break.

Now, in 2013, I am very content to eat dinner with my loves (little and big), hopefully enjoy a glass of vino, and some cake. I know that a party is being planned for me this weekend, but I have been told to butt out and let someone else plan it.

 

bday pic

 

Not the best picture of us, but sometimes being with the ones you love & that love you back is more important.

Tra la la la la …

I had a conversation with my friend ET recently about blogs and the activities on them just feeling a bit too staged. I mean, I get it. When I take a photo that may end up on the blog, or Instagram, or Facebook, I may take extra care to shove the dirty dishes out of the way, wipe someone’s face, or make sure I don’t have lipstick on my teeth. But sometimes I don’t and that is OK.

I certainly don’t post every day, don’t get paid for this stuff, and know that coming up with exciting content is not my job. I just find myself wondering … does this stuff really happen in anyone’s REAL life? I’ve always said that Facebook only shows the fairy dust and happiness of everyone’s lives or the moaning and groaning of how hard their life is and most of those people are quickly hidden from my feed. Most days, the fairy dust doesn’t bother me at all.

Sometimes  it’s hard enough just trying to live your life without comparing yourself to others, and when you feel like your dinners aren’t as healthy, your kids aren’t as smart, your running isn’t as fast, or your house isn’t as perfect, you can really begin to get down on yourself. I guess the normal – middle of the road stuff isn’t exciting enough to show up via social media. Whoops. I think that is all this blog is about.

Last week was Valentine’s Day and for us, it was pretty much another Thursday. Hubby had a group run scheduled that evening so I picked up Maddy and Libby and we made dinner consisting of heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and strawberries. How romantic, right? I was pretty proud that the sandwiches were heart shaped, I used the Valentine’s Day plates, and the girls were excited to help me. I’m sure my photo on Instagram showed how wonderful it was.

It was pretty wonderful until about 10pm when Maddy wandered downstairs and threw up on Hubby, plus two sofa cushions. Or at midnight, when Libby threw up on the bedroom floor.

Yeah, up and down until 3am with sick twins is no fun way to spend any night, let alone Valentine’s Day.

So maybe the  fairy-dusted unicorn trodden path is better.  Because I don’t think anyone wanted to see the other relived.

unpoor = unfun

So far, so good, but these may be the most boring posts EVER.

Highlights of the past week:

  • I have not been to Target, I have not been to Target, I have not been to Target.
  • I packed my lunch 5/5 days last week.
  • No extracurricular shopping for me or M & L.
  • Grocery shopping on Sunday and meal planning for the week definitely helps.
  • Checking out the trial on Dave Ramsey’s budgeting tools to see if I like it

Things making it hard to stay on the Fiscal Cliff 2013

  • Damn Stephen Bonanno 50% off sale.
  • Brooks Running winter sale.

But I just don’t have the heart to unsubscribe from either of those companies. Shoes … it always goes back to shoes.

Fiscal Cliff 2013

Ok, so it’s not a cliff and not really like the real Fiscal Cliff, but I may be starting my own conundrum in our household and feel like I need to jump off a cliff.

After a conversation (without wine) with ET, a discussion of no spending until July came about. Not really no spending, but in an effort to get un-poor or how many of us feel after the holidays, a way to curb spending habits and halt unnecessary spending until July 2013.

I know my triggers:

  • Target: I go in for say, laundry detergent and I leave with the detergent, new notecards, shirts for Maddy and Libby, a new sports bra, bottle of wine, huge container of animal crackers, lip gloss, hand lotion, a new type of vitamin, tights, and a travel size container of hand sanitizer. Don’t even get me started on the Neiman-Marcus items they had. Michael Kors clutch, I’m still looking at you.
  • Online shopping. Damn you Lands End, Old Navy, and Kiehl’s for filling my inbox with your offers of free shipping, $16 dresses, extra deluxe samples. I curse you. I have been an unsubscribing fool as of late.
  • Meals. This one is more family related, than to me specifically, but Hubby probably eats lunch out about 5 days a week. I have been packing my lunch and trying to limit my lunches out to 1-2 times every 2 weeks. We can also get in a bad habit of running to Harris Teeter every night when there is nothing in the fridge or picking up pizza. While I know we have to eat, we just need to be more mindful about meal planning and eating what is in our house.

We were lucky to recently pay off some credit card debt and are currently refinancing our house. Given this, I really can’t think of a better time to take an honest look at our finances, set goals, set budgets, and get to work. After all, college is expensive and will be here in 13 short years.

In the meantime, I have been working on goals that I would like to achieve. I know there are things that we have to buy, but I want to be more mindful about what we are spending.

For me:

  • No clothing purchases including running clothes until July. I have plenty of EVERYTHING and unless I lose all my socks, I shouldn’t need anything new. *Exception: I am allowed to buy ONE pair of running shoes. Mine have approximately 500 miles on them and got me through the marathon, so I know it is time and this will help keep me injury free.
  • No clothing purchases for Maddy and Libby. They received a lot of clothes for Christmas, plus a lot of hand-me-downs from a good friend. I will give myself the exception here of bathing suits (because we don’t have any in a size 4). This one is really hard, because consignment sale season is upon us and I usually find lots of good deals for the upcoming season.
  • Limit lunches out to “Payday Fridays.”
  • No more Nook Book downloads … use the free ones from the library.
  • Set goals for saving and start doing it.

I have even been researching Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, but can’t quite commit right now. Has anyone gone through it and would you recommend? I do think he has a lot of good online tools and tips.

So cheers to getting un-poor in 2013. I will post updates here and try to give an honest look at what we do, the mistakes, and hopefully successes.

Forty

2013 is the year I turn 40.

20 years ago, I thought that 40 was ancient. Even 10 years ago, I probably did.

I wish I could look back 20 years and see where I thought I would be at 40. It is really hard to believe that TWENTY years ago, I was in college. That makes me feel old. Old as f*ck as they said in Knocked Up.

So I can feel better (or worse) about myself, over the past 20 years, I have:

  • Graduated from college
  • Driven cross-country, twice
  • Attended graduate school
  • Explored the western part of the US, lived, and worked in Yellowstone National Park
  • Screamed, cried, and laughed my head off
  • Lost some incredible people in my life – my Grandmother, Aunt Jean, Grandma and Grandpa Martin, Uncle Horace and Aunt Lucy
  • Gained some incredible friends and kept nearly 40 year old friendships alive
  • Rode a Greyhound Bus
  • Drank wine in Napa Valley
  • Broke someone’s heart
  • Had my heart broken
  • Ran over the Golden Gate bridge
  • Became a wife
  • Became a mother
  • Became a half-marathoner and marathoner
  • Traveled to Paris
  • Swam with stingrays
  • Started a blog
  • Moved to North Carolina with only a job
  • Volunteered
  • Got laid off more times than I could ever imagined
  • Bought my first house
  • Found a church
  • Enjoyed countless sunsets and even a few sunrises
  • Felt helpless, empowered, strong, weak, invincible, stubborn, sad, and full of joy
  • Wasted time and savored every second

As I approach 40, this year I hope to

Be content

Be creative

Be open-minded and loud-mouthed

Love more

Work hard in all aspects of my life: family, marriage, work, exercise, faith

Have fun, be silly, and secure in my own skin

Blogging about dairy

I was thrilled to recently serve as a guest blogger for the Southeast Dairy Council’s blog, Dairy Delivers.

You can read my post here.

Their blog features recipes, nutrition tips, and of course the benefits of incorporating dairy into your healthy diet. I know I have posted about it here, but my favorite dairy products include chocolate milk and Cabot cheddar.

Enjoy!

 

Marine Corp Marathon

I finished! I promise a longer-winded recap later, but all in all, it was a great experience.

I finished in 5:04, definitely slower than I had hoped (and anticipated), but fairly early on, I knew I wasn’t keeping up with the pace band and a potty stop around mile 24 threw me off.

But, I felt good, only walked at water stops, beat the bridge, and tried my best to speed up the last .2 of a steep hill at the finish to the Iwojima Memorial.

We battled hurricane weather forecasts, Amtrak cancellations, missing photo ID’s, and ran a great race. More to come this week!

 

 

Authenticity

I’m going to preface this by saying that  this original post has been in my drafts since Feb. 2011. I still don’t have the answer and it’s nearly 2 years later.

This past Sunday, we had a similar conversation at church in our small group aka Sunday School class. We all have different names, wear different titles, but who are we at our core, who is our authentic self. How do we learn how to just be ourselves.

This topic really weighed on me throughout the day and I guess I feel like I should know the answer. I know the titles that I wear: Mom, wife, daughter, sister, employee, volunteer, friend, etc. You could even add things like southerner and runner. But I feel like those are all just titles, or things that I do. Am I really different than any other Mom/Sister/Wife/Friend? We may do things differently, but that title certainly doesn’t make me unique.

Now, at nearly 40 (gulp), shouldn’t I know who I am? I will say, it was refreshing to see that others felt the same way, or that they had a hard time being themselves. I think from early on, we are taught what is “right” and “wrong” or “different” or “weird.” It’s very hard to find yourself as a 13-year-old and figure out that you are different. You just want to fit in, be liked, have approval of whomever is important to you. It’s probably much the same for 40 year olds comparing ourselves to others with the requisite house, 2.5 kids, minivan, a dog, a cat, and swim club membership.

Crap, and I still don’t have that other .5 of a kid.

Original post – 

I attended a Junior League women’s leadership training earlier this week with two friends. I love their company and I was glad that they agreed to go with me.
The speaker’s session was titled “Imagine You, Leading” and one of the first things she had us do was fill out/draw information about yourself. I wonder if anyone else heard the audible “ugggh” that came out of my chair.
I did agree with her statement about that we are all leaders … in our work, homes, churches, volunteer groups, social groups, etc.
But, I had the hardest time coming up with my list and found it easier to not take it too seriously.
What am I good at? I did say diaper changing and one of my friends said pumping. I can say that she really is good at pumping and I’m probably just OK at diaper changes.
How do I enjoy spending my free time? Ummm, reading, running, and drinking wine?
What is my life’s vision? Silence.
Can you answer this question?
I’ve never been one of those people who always knew what they wanted to be. Throughout my life, I can remember wanting to be a Veternarian, Fashion Designer, Artist, Writer, Public Relations Guru for Nike, Calligrapher, Stationery Store Owner, Stay at Home Mom, and a vagabond that works at Yellowstone National Park in the Summer and Jackson Hole all winter.
Do I know what I want to be? Is it crazy that I am almost 38(!) years old and I can’t answer this question?
This question spurred another conversation about who is the authentic Susan. Hell if I know.
So, I ask you, do you know who is the authentic you? If so, was it an aha moment, or just something that you have always known? I really hope this isn’t a mid-life crisis coming upon me.
Just wanted to post this to see if there are others out there that feel this way ~ I really didn’t mean to get all Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy on a Tuesday night.
I promise I will get back to tales of marathon training blisters, what flavor Gu is the best, how two four-year-olds can trash a house in .2 seconds, and what Zoe has pilfered off the counter this week.