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Reverb 2013

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#reverb13 | prompt 31 | at the finish

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

At the finish: What’s next for you?

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I’m a firm believer than you can have a fresh start anytime you want one.  It doesn’t have to be January 1 or a Monday or the 1st of the month.  Anytime’s a good time.

But I do love the feeling of January 1 because it feels like a blank slate.  A good time to evaluate what worked for me last year.  And what just didn’t work out very well.

What didn’t work out so well was being a perfectionist.  I do this thing where I believe that if I can’t do it perfectly, well then I’m not going to do it!  Since I’m rarely perfect at the start of anything (Unless we’re talking starting a carton of ice cream.  That I do well.), one can see how being so perfect limits me to just about nothing.

If I can’t write the perfect blog post, I won’t publish it.

That set of pictures I took turned out overexposed, so I’m not taking any more photos.

The bread I tried to make turned out like a hockey puck, so I’m not making any more bread.

When I tried that eyeshadow kit, it looked liked I got punched in the eye, so I’m done with eyeshadow.

I’ll show you, life!  I won’t do anything!

So being perfect hasn’t worked out.

But being imperfect is going pretty good.

Teaching group fitness helped me get over being perfect pretty quick.  Here’s a secret: I don’t ever teach a perfect class.  I make a choreography error here and there.  I didn’t get as deep as possible into a squat.  I said glutes when I meant abs.

But here’s the thing:  I keep teaching anyway.

I figure, if I like teaching (which I do) then I’ve got to accept that I won’t be perfect.  I will always try my very best.  But I’m human and humans make mistakes.

And here’s the other thing:  I learn, I improve, I get better.  I continually put myself in the arena and try again.  Somehow knowing that flawless execution is impossible, I feel freed.  I’m a woman, not a machine.

So accepting imperfection and continuing to try my best has worked out.  I’m pushing myself to try more and more and more things, even if I don’t get the greatest results at first.  I’ve got some new things I’m going to try right here on this blog.  So expect some new types of content.  Expect some vulnerability.  Just don’t expect perfection because she doesn’t live here any more.

 

 

#reverb13 | prompt 30 | relationships

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Relationships:  Did you find a new best friend?  Delve deeper into a relationship?  Break up?  Get back together?

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It’s not the endless piles of laundry or the constant making and cleaning up of meals or the countless visits to the pediatrician that gets to me as a mother.

It’s the loneliness.

Being a mother of young children is lonely.  The loneliest I’ve ever been.

So I cling tight to my relationships, those people who offer life support when I’m drowning in a sea of diapers and goldfish crackers.  A special thanks to:

To my Tribe.  That’s what we call ourselves, my family and Dan’s family.  When Dan and I first were engaged, I couldn’t have imagined how this family dynamic would play out.  I foresaw years of alternating Thanksgivings, eating twice for every holiday, driving to this house and that house for Christmas.  Then one year I suggested that we all have Thanksgiving together.  And now we do it all together.  Holidays, birthdays, everything.

And when I refer to my family, I mean my Tribe.  Everyone.  I don’t see it as Dan’s Family and My Family.  We’re in it together.  And this year was especially traumatic with my grandmother’s move to a nursing home, Michael’s surprise early arrival, and various other familial trauma dramas involving extended family members.  But what’s remarkable is we drew closer together.  Circled the wagons.  Tightened our love hold on each other.

To Corrine.  I’m glad you don’t think I’m crazy when I text you because I think Michael is holding his arms strangely and do you think that means there’s some underlying, never-heard-of-before disorder?  Am I just being nuts?  Okay, we agree I’m being illogical.  Great, thanks!  I’m glad you don’t judge my dirty house, that I let Kate eat animal crackers for breakfast, and when you’re pretty sure I wore those black yoga pants yesterday…and maybe the day before that.  You totally get it.  And I need that.  Because I don’t want to explain myself.  And with you I don’t have to.  I cherish all those playdates in your basement where we exchange heartfelt conversation while the kids scream at deafening volumes and throw plastic balls at each other.  Sometimes I think about us, several years from now, with our kids in elementary school and us having lunch at Panera, alone, not having to cut up anyone’s grilled cheese.

To Kim and Ginny.  I remember when Kim emailed me, and said she wanted to come over and had something to tell me.  I thought she was going to tell me she was dying.  And I was prepared to get real upset.  She was acting all cagey.  And then told me she was in a relationship with Ginny.  And I wanted to kill her.  She had me all concerned over nothing!  That’s all you got?  I THOUGHT YOU WERE DYING!  Anyway, Kim and Ginny, I couldn’t love you more.  I’m so glad we’re not only deeper pals this year, but we’re also neighbors.  You both inspire me to live my life on my terms.  A common phrase in our house is WWKS?  (What would Kim say?)

To Marie.  I read somewhere that if you’re friends for someone for at least seven years, then you will be friends for life.  We’ve been friends for just over a decade.  Remember in high school when I owned flip flops in every color of the rainbow?  And remember when I’d get mad when you couldn’t eat lunch with me because you were studying for the Calculus AP exam?  And remember at U.Va. when I convinced you to haul your laundry on the bus so we could do wash together and we’d wait between cycles in my extremely small dorm room?  When I see you, I still see 16-year-old Marie.  Even though we’re married and own homes and really I know we’ve come a long way, when I see you, you’re still high school Marie.  And I’m high school Sarah.  And we’re in Creative Writing class making up bad haikus.

To Dan.  Marriage with small children isn’t for the faint of heart.  And it’s a reminder that there’s no such thing as equal.  Some days someone pulls harder than the other.  Some days it feels like we’re just Small People Managers.  Some days we can be like ships passing in the night – literally changing rooms as you attend to one Small Person and I attended to the other Small Person.  And I need you to take care of Small People while I do my thing.  And you go out of town so I’m on Small People duty.  I worried about this at first.  But it’s just a season.  This is life with Small People.  And in that short time between Small People bedtime and when we crash for the night, we plan and scheme about all the things we’ll do and all the places we’ll go when people can take care of wiping their own bottoms.

To myself.  You think you don’t know who you are.  But you do.  You’re not just one thing.  You’re a lot of things.  Be all the things.

#reverb13 | prompt 29 | list it

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

List it | List posts are everywhere.  Top 10 Ways to be Happier TodayThree Tips for More Energy.  Seven Ideas to Stay Focused.  Give us a list.  Of anything.  Your to-do list for the day.  Your grocery list.  A Buzzfeed inspired list.  Anything.

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What I’ve learned in 2013

+Not everything is my fault.

+Worrying is akin to praying for what you don’t want to happen.

+Ask and you shall receive.

+Two kids are easier than one.

+When faced with a problem/inconvenience/bad news/etc… it works best if I give myself a requisite number of minutes/hours to fuss about it.  And then I need to move on.

+I’m starting to learn that perfect is not only unattainable but unnecessary

+I’m happiest when I’m busy.  But not too busy.  There’s a fine line.

+You get back what you put out.

+Little irritants aren’t worth getting worked up over.

+When in doubt, lean into gratitude.

+I’m doing my best.  And that’s all I can do.

+This, too, shall pass.

+Say yes and figure it out later.

+And opportunities come back around and around again.

+Good friends are hard to come by.  Cherish them.

+Using castor oil to wash my face has improved my skin quality more than any other type of cleanser.

+Hold open doors, say thank you, tell the cashier have a great day.  People don’t expect kindness.  That’s sad.  So give out kind words and smiles often.

+It’s not all about me.

+Everything will work out.

#reverb13 | prompt 28 | cry it out

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Cry it out: What moment in 2013 brought years to your eyes?  Are you usually a crier?  Or did tearing up take you by surprise?

I’ve already told you how I cried for three days after Michael was born.  Full on shoulders shaking, ugly cry.  Definitely the most tears shed this year.

But you already know that story.  So the other time I cried this year, and the thing that makes tears sting behind my eyes is this picture:

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When I see this picture, I want to cry.  Every time.  I can’t look at it with out getting all emotional.

Being a parent defeats all logic.  Several times a day I want to tear my hair out Britney Spears style and sell my kids to the circus and tell Dan I’m moving out and don’t try to find me because I’m tired of being my family’s maid and so over having my every bathroom visit supervised by small people who want me to open a Go Gurt package while I’m on the toilet.

And then there are those moments where I can’t hug them tight enough, can’t squeeze them enough, where my heart burns with fierce love.

#reverb13 | prompt 27 | pee your pants funny

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Pee your pants funny:  What was the funniest thing that happened this year?  Was it funny when it happened?  Or was it one of those things you laughed about later?

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That disastrous trip to the grocery was definitely the most I’ll-laugh-about-this-later moment.  I wasn’t laughing so much as clinging to my sanity that day.

But on the whole, living with small people is about as equally entertaining as it is infuriating.  We have to laugh or else we’d cry, right?

I’ve written before about stuff Kate says.  The things that come out of her mouth never cease to make me chuckle.

Here’s a few more moments that have me a little concerned about what she says at preschool:

A conversation between Kate and Mommy on the way home from preschool.

Me:  Kate, tell me about baby Jesus!

Kate: He’s just a baby.

Me:  Okay, well what did Mrs. S say about baby Jesus.

Kate:  Well, there was no room at the hotel.  He live in a stable.  With a cow.

A conversation between Kate and Daddy.  Note: Belle is barking in the background like the crazy nut she is.

Kate:  That f!!!cking dog!

Dan:  Kate!  We don’t say that.

Kate:  Mama say that!

A conversation between Kate and Mommy on the way to preschool:

Kate:  Mom, when you’re a bigger girl, you can go to school!

Me: snort!

Kate, Mommy, and Daddy talking about Christmas.

Kate:  Okay, I will sit on Santa’s lap.

Mommy and Daddy:  Great!

Kate:  But I’m not going to kiss him!

 

#reverb13 | prompt 26 | five moments

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Five moments: Tell us about five moments you don’t want to forget from 2013.

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1) When this guy joined our family.

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2) When his sister first held him.

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3) When we celebrated our family of four with professional pictures on the beach.

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4) When we signed the contract and began the process of building our new home.

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5) When I pushed myself as an instructor, passing my AFAA group fitness instructor program, took a BodyStep AIM 1, and passed my BodyPump video certification.