Monday, September 29, 2014

A New Routine

The last time I can remember consistently working out was about the time I started dating my husband Blake.  I ran a 4 mile road race in May 2009 and about a month later I went to Nicaragua for two weeks and got some sort of intestinal bug that took at least a month or two to go away.  Since I got sick every time I ate, I finally quit exercising, and by the time the bug ended I was thinner than usual (lost muscle) and spending the time I'd previously spent at the gym or running with Blake.  I didn't mind the trade and loved spending my evenings with him.  Over the past few years I've walked a lot, gone to the gym some, but between two pregnancies, the related recovery, and a torn meniscus/surgery, I've not consistently really worked out--meaning the sweaty, fast heartbeat kind of workout that gives me the rush of energy I craved in the past.

Now that I'm most likely finished birthing babies I've decided it's time to attempt to develop an exercise routine of sorts.  So for step one we joined a gym with excellent childcare.  Step two is getting my daughter Ella Kate to stay with the strangers in the childcare.  Today I ran a mile in 9:40 on the treadmill, which is the furthest I've run since I had part of my meniscus removed in April. And Ella Kate made it 20 minutes with only a few minutes of crying.  We gotta start somewhere!

I'm super motivated by numbers and goals, so I think I'll work up to running a 5k and work on my one mile time.  I think a 9 minute mile is a good short term goal.  My weight is where I want it to be, and I can wear all of my clothes; but I'm guessing my body fat is not in a healthy range. And I could definitely use some toning.  So I've asked a trainer at the gym to test my body fat. Interestingly she said she didn't think numbers mattered and wanted to know why I needed to know my body fat percentage. I explained that I think body fat percentage is much more of a health indicator than weight and that numbers motivate me.  

p.s. I'm thankful for our new gym and the kind childcare workers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Since the beginning of August I've been trying to get a written explanation of the PMI removal process from our current mortgage holder (I won't bore you with the details of why).  After speaking with several customer representatives with a poor command of the English language who clearly did not understand the basics of a mortgage, I sent several emails and made several more phone calls.

Over a month passes with no response to my requests.  So I send a final email and just happen to end my email with "Gratefully, Ally R., Esquire."  And BOOM! I receive a certified letter, signature required from an assistant vice president on card stock with a real blue ink signature.  It never ceases to amaze me how people treat me differently when they learn that I am/was an attorney.

Before we bought our home, I lived in a loft that had occasional maintenance issues.  If I sent an email from my gmail account, I often never received any response whatsoever.  I found that if I sent the exact same e-mail from my work email account (a law firm), I would received a response within minutes.  This was over the course of years with the same building manager; it's like he didn't remember I was an attorney unless I used the work account, and I guess only attorney tenants deserve responses?

Oh well, at least my continuing ed and paying dues has some upsides while I don't work.

p.s. I'm thankful Jackson and I will be able to see my oldest niece play softball tomorrow evening.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Official

I've lost my mind.  On Saturday we met our friends and their three boys at Touch A Truck, which is an annual event here at the Riverpark that includes an array of vehicles (dump trucks, ambulance, bus, street sweeper, etc.) that children are allowed to "drive" and touch.  I was holding Ella Kate and realized I didn't see Jackson anywhere.  I glanced around and got that anxious feeling I occasionally get at the park when I realize I can't quickly find him.  I asked my husband if he saw Jackson, and he and my friend Kate look at me in amazement...and inform me that I'm holding his hand.

p.s. I'm thankful for fun and relaxing weekends.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Friday Five

1. This week I had a quick (and rare) lunch at Panera alone.  As I placed my order I repeatedly thought I could hear Elmo giggling and talking.  As a parent of two young children, I'm familiar enough with Elmo and definitely familiar with phantom cries/sounds (like I imagine I hear a child crying over the fan in our room, but when I check the monitor Jackson is asleep), but I've never quite imagined cartoon sounds.  After a few minutes I finally realize a mother has her iPhone in a stand with what must be an Elmo video loudly playing for her child as he eats his lunch.  I guess I see how it can help keep your child quiet and to each their own, I suppose, but I was pretty surprised someone would think it was socially acceptable to play a cartoon so loudly that I could hear it across the restaurant.  

2. I've had two girls nights (really just dinner) out in the last two weeks.  Tonight the discussion included homeschooling, breastfeeding, prayer requests, and similar topics.  Last week was a totally different group of women, and I drank hunch punch for the first time since college and ended up talking about sex.  A rare topic of conversation at my age and season of life.

3. My new goal is to have a date night every other week.  We have two dates in the last month under our belt now, so I hope this will become our routine.  I believe our marriage needs to be our priority (before our children), but practically I have a hard time actually doing that.

4. My children had sweet time with their grandparents this week.  Jackson would probably live with my mom if he could.

5. I'm on a real reading kick.  A lot of what I'm reading is easy fiction (the Divergent series, for example), but I've got some non-fiction in the line-up too.  One of my favorites of the summer was To The End of June by Cris Beam, a non-fiction book about the foster care system.  It read easily and opened my eyes to how poorly we're caring for so many children as a society.  

p.s. I'm thankful that I started my day with a walk with my friend Chasie. Happy Friday!