Monday, June 30, 2014


Atlas Carry

It's been 48 hours since I participated in the Spartan Beast. 
12 miles
28 obstacles
Barbed wire
and so much more

I can not even begin to process my thoughts about this race.
I worked so hard for it.
There were triumphs and disappointments.
There was pain and elation.
And now that it's over, I'm sort of lost.


In the meantime, here are my recaps of previous Spartan races:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ducks, CDs, and Free Panties

The other day I put on my Awesome Mom suit and walked my kids to 7-Eleven for Slurpees. 

(Read: It was 6:00 p.m. and I was desperate while Scotty still had four more hours of school).

I loaded up the double jogger (purchased from the thrift store for $10 - thankyouverymuch), gave my kids the official Busy Road Speech, and off we went. 

One of the problems with taking my kids for a walk on a busy road is that my children are utterly fascinated with garbage. Our commute time is drastically increased by the garbage exploration process. Nicky is the worst

I have a rule that I proclaim loudly and regularly: If you don't know what it is, don't touch it!


They don't listen.

It could be bleeding and pulsing, and they'd still pick it up!

Which leads me to the first finding of the night: a dead duck. Fortunately it was not bleeding or pulsing, but there is a slight chance its head was missing. My kids had to stop and study it for a good five minutes. I now know not to gasp when I see something dead unless I want to spend a significant amount of time with said dead thing. Luckily they refrained from touching - for that I am most grateful. 

Of course, we had to stop and look at it again on the way home while we mindlessly sipped our Slurpees.

The next finding was a discarded rewritable CD. 

There's just something about CDs on the side of the road. I automatically assume that they are loaded with the most foul, vulgar, and violent music known to man. I just really can't imagine that they're going to have Celine Dion or Charlotte Church on them. 

Then again, I never check. Maybe it's Celine and Charlotte that get tossed out the window. How would I know?

Either way, I'm never happy when my son finds a CD on the side of the road. 

Because he's going to bring it home.

And this particular CD was in really good condition, and he knew it, and he was so excited to put it in the CD player at home and see what was on it.


(There was nothing on it. Glory hallelujah. But now he asks me several times each day to burn him a CD with "Human" on it. Yes, that is my seven-year-old's favorite song). 

The third item of interest was a "Free Panty" coupon from Victoria's Secret. 


This was the ultimate, "Oh, please, no!" moment of the night. 

I'll take a dead duck over a "Free Panty" coupon any day. 

It was Nicky who found it, of course, and he immediately held it in the air and yelled, "Oh yeah! I get free girl underwear!" 

Then for the next several minutes, my coupon-obsessed son asked, "Mom, when can you take me to this store to get my free girl underwear?" "Do they have underwear like yours there?" "Do you think this coupon will work at Wal-Mart?"

On and on and on.

I'm not the type of mom to immediately freak out over something like this. Instead I sit back and observe and try to see what kind of questions he has so I can figure out what kind of discussion we need to have. On the inside I'm usually going, "Oh no, oh no, oh no!" But on the outside I play it cool. So I let him ramble on for a block or two while I contemplated ways to break the news that I wasn't going to take him to Victoria's Secret for a free panty.

Fortunately, Nicky eventually discovered the expiration date, which was June 6. He let out a disappointed, "Aw, maaan!" and then he abandoned the coupon.

(Huge sigh of relief from Mom).

I then pointed out to him that he didn't need any girl underwear anyway, to which he replied that he planned on giving it to his friend Rilee for her birthday. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Currently {June 2014 Edition}

Reading: Raging Star by Moira Young. This is the third book in the Dustlands Trilogy. This is one of those times when I don't remember a lot of the first two books, so I had to fake my way through the first half of the third book until it started making sense. But really, I only half know what's going on.

Watching: Call the Midwife (I have one episode of season 3 left, and I'm saving it for a day when I really need it, but I need to need it real soon because it expires on the Masterpiece Theatre web site in a few days), Granite Flats (this is to appease my son, who loves this show, and give us something to do on Sunday nights), and Master Chef.

Procrastinating: taking Nicky in for a haircut. I could do it myself, but it's one of those things that I'm willing to pay for to prevent "the fight."

Wanting: some shorts that are comfortable and somewhat flattering.

Craving: watermelon.

Wearing: a Dirty Dash shirt, khaki shorts, and silver strappy sandals that are *this close* to breaking in half (they have lived a good life).

Relieved by: the fact that I made it to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday of the first week of summer break without completely losing my cool. (Key word: "completely." I've definitely lost my cool "incompletely." Whatever that means).

Missing: the Albertson's that used to be by my house. That was always the place I stopped when I needed one or two things. Now I go to Smith's for quick trips, but I hate their location and their parking lot.

Excited for: the honey mustard chicken I am going to make... sometime.

Neglecting: household chores. I usually take Wednesdays off. Today is no exception.

Thankful for: our pediatric ENT and his staff. Zoe is getting tubes next week!

Looking forward to: Scotty graduating in less than three weeks!

Loving: Zoe's ever expanding vocabulary. She's a little behind in her speech (most likely due to ear problems), so every word is such a delight!

Proud of myself for: standing up for someone the other day.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Journeys out of my Comfort Zone

To begin this post, there's something I need to tell you about myself.

I'm shy.

You might not gather that from what you read here. You may not even gather that from what you have seen in person. Or maybe it's obvious. I dunno...
I also have angry resting face, which is quite unfortunate. Shyness and angry resting face are a toxic combination. I've often been perceived as stuck up and mean. If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, "I used to think you were so stuck up..."

Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of moments where I have behaved in a stuck up manner. But mostly, I'm just scared. Scared to approach people, scared to talk to people, scared to initiate conversations. 

In high school, a dance choreographer once called me "timid."

It really hurt my feelings because I had tried very hard to be something different for her - to be a brave dancer and put myself out there and dance vulnerably. And she saw right through me.

She was spot-on, though. I was timid.

Still am.

My shy and timid nature is part of the complicated package of an anxiety disorder I've never quite been able to kick. I can mask it a little, and I've learned several coping mechanisms, but it's always there. I am a very scared person - particularly with anything new or unfamiliar. I am very, very dependent on my comfort zone, and my comfort zone is a very small place (that is why "own a passport" is on my non-bucket list. My comfort zone doesn't branch out anywhere that requires a passport). 

About four years ago, I began to feel prompted to make a change in my life. I was very nervous because I didn't know what, specifically, needed to change, but I felt a strong push toward... something. For months I found myself frequently in tears because I knew that, whatever it was, it would be really uncomfortable for me. Scotty and I started considering some big life changes. Were we supposed to move? Have another baby much sooner than planned? Start a company? 

We talked about things and came to no conclusion. We talked about moving out of state, and the very thought of it nearly made me hurl, but we considered it seriously, if only for a moment, and decided that that wasn't what we needed. We did try the baby thing, which would have given us an 18-month gap. It didn't happen at that time, but two years later we got Zoe.

Eventually, the overwhelming feeling went away.

But then it came back. 

It hit me again a year or so later - an absolute demand for me to leave my comfort zone. And again, I had no idea what I was supposed to do, but I cried when the familiar feeling returned because I knew I needed to do something scary.

Again, I never figured out what it was.

And now, for the past year, I've once again been feeling that familiar push to leave my comfort zone, but I don't know where I'm supposed to go. It feels like it's supposed to be somewhere big, but since it still plagues me as a mystery, I've taken a new approach. I have to do something. So in baby steps, I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone.


I'm not kidding when I say baby steps. I'm talking... going to the grocery store at a time of day I normally wouldn't go, starting a conversation with the stranger sitting next to me, accepting an invitation to somewhere unfamiliar with people I hardly know, or even trying a piece of gym equipment I haven't used before.

The biggest thing I've done in the past year outside of my comfort zone was when I participated in Ragnar last fall. This required me not only to run (something out of my comfort zone at the time) but to pick up two strangers in a Walmart parking lot and drive them across the state line (whoa, Nelly!)

That would be such a small thing for so many other people, but for me it was HUGE. So when I start to think that I can't do something because it's too scary, I remind myself that I once did something completely unfamiliar, and IT WAS FINE!


So for now, I'm doing small things. Taking baby steps out of my comfort zone and sometimes retreating right back in. But at least I'm sticking a toe out here or there. Maybe eventually I can get a whole limb out. One thing at a time... until finally, I discover what the Big Thing is. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Non-Bucket List

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of bucket lists online. Looking at lists of what people hope to accomplish by the end of summer or by age thirty or the like has gotten me thinking about things that would not be on my bucket list... if I had a bucket list.

I'm a firm believer in "never say never," so this list includes things that:
A) I really can't see myself doing,
B) are not a priority to me, or
C) I flat-out don't want to do
But it is not a "never" list. A few of these things may end up crossed off over the rest of my life. It will be interesting to see what my future brings. After all, I was never going to be a runner, and I was never going to "not find out" the gender of my babies.

Britt's Non-Bucket List:*

Play on a sports team
Own a passport
Have a pixie cut by choice
Go sky diving
Gamble in a casino
Meet a celebrity
Build a home
Do a triathalon
Take a science class
Paint on canvas
Read Pride and Prejudice
Serve as a pianist in the Church
Have cosmetic surgery
Get a spray-on tan
Get drunk
Bungee jump
Move out-of-state
Audition for something
Have fake nails
Do a back flip on a trampoline
Own a convertible
Get a dog
Run for office
Perform a solo

Would any of these things be on your non-bucket list? Or even more interesting, are any of them on your bucket list?

*This list is not intended to insult anyone who does these things. Yeah, I never want to have a pixie cut. It's because I don't think it would look good with my face - it has nothing to do with anyone else's desire to have a pixie cut.

(And I totally want a spray on tan, I just can't bring myself to pay for one or take of my clothes for a stranger to spray paint me).

Monday, June 2, 2014

Seven Days

This morning I saw a writing prompt asking, "If you had seven days without seeing a soul, what would you do?"

It's rare that a writing prompt actually prompts me (you have to admit, there are some really bizarre writing prompts out there), but as a mother of three who is always on the edge of Crazy Town, seven days without seeing a soul is the kind of stuff I daydream about.

I'd be lonely, of course. But it would be good for me.

I'm not sure about the location of this fantasy, but if I get to choose, it would be somewhere warm enough to sunbathe once and cool enough to spend the rest of the time in stretchy pants and a hoodie.

(It's my fantasy. I get to control the climate).

So, the sun-bathing? That would be done naked.

I'm alone. I deserve to be sun-kissed in the nude.

I would spend a lot of time singing... channeling my inner Pink. I'd also whip out all of my old high school dance moves - stuff I haven't tried in years - just to see what it's like to dance like a 16 year old in a 30 year old body.

I would take lots of hot showers. Long ones.

I'd listen to all of the songs that I'm embarrassed to like - nice and loud! No holding back!

I'd watch all six seasons of Lost, and I'd talk to the characters like I'm one of them. That's 86.9 hours of TV, so I'd have to multi-task. So Lost in the shower. Lost while I sunbathe naked. Lost while I hang out in my stretchy pants and sweatshirt in a super comfy bed. Lost while I sing "Family Portrait" and do triple pirouettes.

I'd sleep whenever I want for how long I want.

I'd use the bathroom with the door open.

(Slight chance I do that anyway).

I'd read a book or two and write a few blog posts.

I'd engage in some gospel study. Really, I would. Time alone studying the gospel is rare and beautiful. I would make that happen. (Okay, so Lost and gospel study don't exactly go hand-in-hand, but this is my fantasy, so I'm going to make it work).

I'd do some real soul-searching, goal-setting, and journal writing.

I'd feel guilty for watching so much Lost, but I'd do it anyway.

Maybe I'd go for a run, but I can't make any promises.

I'd probably cry a little since being alone tends to bring out some strange, suppressed emotions.

What would you do?