Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Super Spy Tip

So, I did a little science experiment on Monday. I remember seeing this in a movie, or reading it in a book, or hearing about it in science class. Actually, maybe it was Mr. Wizard. (Remember that show?!?!) Wherever I heard it, I'm glad I did because it saved me $60 in postage this week.

I printed, folded, stuffed, labeled and sealed 130 letters and envelopes soliciting donations for our Wine to Water event coming up in April. After sealing letter #129, I realized I left out an important form in every.single.last.envelope. And yes, they were already stamped.

So, the next day, I took on the task of unsealing each envelope, putting in the last paper and resealing it. Tessa helped too. :)

Now, for the science experiment. I steamed them open. I boiled a big pot of water, balanced a spoon over the edge and then balanced the envelopes two at a time on the spoon.

It worked and I was proud of myself. It doesn't take much.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Running Update

So, I was going to do a 12 week training program for the upcoming Indy Mini, but the last two weeks have been more than crazy. I'm already down to 11 weeks left (actually 10 weeks and 5 days), so I adjusted down to a 10 week program. (Here is a link to all of my running posts. I cringed when I read what I wrote about recovery last time. Why am I doing this again?)

A few weeks ago, I bought this book. It came with a "free" running journal as well.

I somehow got sucked into it after receiving an email early one morning. It caught my eye. I added on a subscription to Runner's World too. Weak moment I guess.

Good news for me is that the plans in the back are 10 week plans. See? Procrastination does pay off. :)

Actually, the book is really good and has a good chunk on nutrition as well. I always seem to get confused about what to eat and when so I'm looking forward to tackling that chapter. Along with nutrition, it has sections on types of training, hills, speed work, what to do when you get tired and motivational snippets from all types of runners. I can see referencing sections when I have questions as I am just skimming most of it now.

I've been fitting in a few runs here and there for the last three weeks, but really haven't upped the mileage as much as I had originally hoped. Today, I ran 7 outside - cold and slow - and felt really pretty good. Next week though, the real fun begins. The program I chose is the Intermediate one and has longer runs than I've done in the past leading up to the race. It involves running 4 days a week with one long run and one speed day. I think I can swing that.

I have a handful of songs I'm trying out as well to see if they make the cut for my running list. (See my old post here.) A huge shout out to Tom for keeping me hip on the new music. I'd probably still be rocking out to Boyz II Men if it weren't for him.

From Flo Rida to Zac Brown Band with a little of everything in between - here it is...

Gone, Gone, Gone - Phil Phillips
Anna Sun - Walk the Moon
Can't Go Wrong - Phil Phillips ~190 bpm
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift ~174 bpm - OK - this was my pick...
Want U Back - Cher Lloyd - I'm in love with this song! It's angry and good for getting out some agression - especially on the treadmill when no one's watching
Express Yourself - Labrinth ~190 bpm
Charleston Butterfly - Parov Stelar
She Is - Ne-Yo (feat. Tim McGraw) ~186 bpm
Yeah Yeah - Willy Moon
On Top of the World - Imagine Dragons ~186 bpm
Creepin' - Eric Church ~180 bpm
Natural Disaster - Zac Brown Band - this one has great lyrics - even though it's about a horse, I picture myself coming around the bend with lightning in both hands - just a little on the crazy side :)
Whistle - Flo Rida
All Alone - Fun ~184 bpm - I think Fun's whole album is probably a good running album

I have found that my ultimate beat per minute that matches my stride is around 175-190 and those are always my favorite runnings songs, so I've marked those specifically. I use this site to calculate bpm. But, there are others that will make the final cut because they're just good songs.

It's all about to ramp up and I'm excited about getting started. The number on the scale has begun to creep again and I really do like being outside and running. Plus, it all means that spring to not too far away. That's probably my favorite part. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where's My Off Switch?

Here's what no one told us before we became self-employed...

There is no off switch.

As I was doing our bank reconciliations (eleven days late) at 8:45 last night, this fact was brought to mind again. I've learned it before - much before - now. Everything has to get done. And everything is up to me. (Oh yeah, and Tom.) We have those moments where you sit up in bed in the middle of night and say "Oh crap! I didn't ________." Fill in the blank here with anything from call back a customer, add a granite top into the bid, pay this bill... and the list goes on. When mistakes are made, there's no one to blame it on other than ourselves.

We talk business every night over dinner, on every car trip and most of every "vacation." There is no "How was your day honey?" We know exactly what happened, when it happened and most likely we were there or very close.

Not only that, but when you're sick, or laid up recovering from painful knee surgery and on major pain meds, or caring for said knee surgery patient, the work must still get done. Customers must be called back, bills must be paid, and there is no official sick day to be had.

Another case in point. This weekend, both girls were sick - Josie with a fever and Tessa with the nasty stomach bug. By Monday, they seemed better, but Josie's fever was hanging around. I decided to keep them both "home" from school. Guess what? Mommy and daddy had to work, so they got to come along and watch TV at Timber Run instead of staying home. They didn't mind too much and are used to that type of thing. I cared though - mommy guilt strikes again. Shouldn't I be at home with them cuddling on the couch and watching silly cartoons and making them Sprite with no bubbles? Nope. The customer is king and I had a meeting.

But, do you want the silver lining?

There is no off switch. (See what I did there?)

Since we don't ever turn it off, our kids are getting a pretty unique life experience. We used to laugh and say that Josie would make a fantastic sales person one day because she listened to a million Zig Ziglar CD's in the car when she was two.

Since we don't ever turn it off, the kids know the parts and order of what it takes to build a house. I'm seriously going to start having Josie help me file - she knows her alphabet - she can file. They've helped with getting checks ready to mail too - who doesn't like putting stickers on letters?

Since we don't ever turn it off, the kids have grown up around adults and been taught how to have a conversation and look people in the eye. We don't get a babysitter for the Homeowner Christmas Party. They come.

Since we don't ever turn it off, the kids see with their own eyes the value of working hard and that you can make your own way in life if you work hard enough.

Since we don't ever turn it off, if we have a great idea in the business, we run with it. There is no boss-man that has to approve it and no red tape to prevent it.

Since we don't ever turn it off, we can vacation more often. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a strategic business planning meeting on the beach than in the office.

Since we don't ever turn it off, we can do extra-curricular things like volunteer, fundraise, take time to go to MOPS on Wednesday and much more. The work still gets done, it just may be at 9PM at night. :)

There is no off switch and I'm learning to be OK with that. Every time that mommy guilt starts to rear it's ugly head, I remember that I am setting an example for my kids and living the dream of being self-employed.

I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catch Up Post

Am I really this far behind? I have so much to write about but so little desire to sit down and do it. Sometimes, when I get this far behind, I end up taking a longer break because it seems insurmountable. So, I will just do this post from my phone and catch up really quick so I can move on mentally and not feel so far behind...

1. We went to Mexico. It was awesome. I took some pictures. Most of them won't make it on here because I won't take the time to load them and commentate. I had full intentions of writing up what we did and where we ate, but that desire apparently stayed in Mexico. :)

2. Tom had knee surgery. It went well. Recovery is going well. We are two weeks and two days post surgery and he is off major pain meds but still on an ibuprofen regimen and on crutches and not driving. All in all, it has gone well.

3. I would not have made a good mom in the 1950's. Tom does so much around here from cooking dinner to helping chauffeur the kids to changing diapers to occupying the kids while I do laundry. And, I'm a better mom and happier person when he does all of the above. It all becomes very obvious when he's down for the count. I'm happy to be slowly gaining my partner in crime back. He's been missed.

4. Josie had a birthday! And I owe a nice post like I did for Tessa. But, again, I need access to the computer and old photos. We had a little party at home on her actual birthday and then I took Josie, two friends and Tessa out to lunch and bowling last weekend. I think everyone had fun.

5. I started running again last week. Only twice, but I started. This week is officially 12 weeks away from the Indy Mini. I ran yesterday too but didn't get one in today. I haven't picked a training plan yet but know I just need to pick up the frequency for now.

6. I'm over winter. I'm handling it better this year but I'm still over it. Every night when I take the dog out, I stand on the porch and just imagine sitting there in the summer after the kids go to bed. I'm sure it will be here before I know it and I shouldn't wish it away but man, it sure is a long season.

7. Josie's playing Upward basketball and she seems to really like it. I like it too. It's good for kids to get started in such a supportive league. She seems to be getting more comfortable and even dribbled the ball a little in the game last Saturday. I'm proud of her for being willing to play a new sport and learn something new.

8. Jack has been a sweet boy to his dad. When Tom was bedridden, Jack spent a lot of time in there watching TV. He's such a sweet boy and I just still want to stop him from growing up.

9. We taught Tessa Skipbo. Josie learned on Nana's phone and we were able to have a family game night. We also played Headbandz which was a fun one.

10. I'm working on a blanket and I don't have much of a desire to finish it either. I like the colors but just can't get excited about it right now. Taking a bit of a break.

I know I have more but this will have to do for now. I've added a random instagram photo dump too of the last month. Now, I feel better and not so far behind.