Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Marathon Madness.....AGAIN

Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 2:13 PM 0 comments

So....They say that people have one of possible two reactions to running a marathon. 1. I will never do this again because it is the stupidest thing I have ever done. OR they are Googling and or discussing with their running partners when the next race is. Obviously I had the later of the two options. 

Now, I didn't go for a "regular" marathon the first time. I decided it would be a pretty awesome idea to run a half marathon the day before running a MARATHON NBD

I enjoyed every step of the way, well that is probably a lie. I hated the last two or three miles of the 39.3 combined. I was REALLY HUNGRY

Since Disney and Goofy's Challenge I have been struggling with goals. Disney is the best of the best when it comes to racing, it has everything you want and need in a race and it also comes with a hefty price tag. If I had to guess? Between the two years back to back I've run it, travel, lodging, etc...we are looking at....I would rather not say. 

Let's just say you could be driving a new Kia without a car note. 

Do I regret the bling hanging on my walls? Not a bit. Did I get a little selfish and rage-y this week when registration opened for 2015? Yes. I did a lot of "well I mean we could swing it, I could fly in for the races and leave" "and I don't race A LOT" "all of my friends will be there" blah blah blah. Right after I vowed to NOT run Disney so we could go home for Christmas. So it's obvious now to EVERYONE that I am a jerk and a self-serving one at that when it comes to running. 

When I left Disney this year I said........No Goofy in 2015. I want a FAST marathon

I meant it. I am glad B and my best friend helped me realign my thinking. Reminded of my goals and reminded me that in 2016 I will be turning 40 and I plan to rock Disney all over again with my marathon greatness average showing. 

So? I am knocking two birds out with one stone. We want a fall trip back home. (Along with Christmas). The Grand Rapids Marathon was kind enough to GIFT ME a spot. Guys? I feel SO lucky. We get to go home. I get to run with one of the best ladies I know. I get to see family and friends. I get to breathe the fall air and I get to do something I LOVE DOING. Blessed much?

What comes next? An Ultra. I am running Cowtown in March of 2015. Training will wind down in time to ramp up for Dopey in 2016 and I will ride off into the sunset. Maybe I will take up Zumba or something. 

This isn't going to be an easy training cycle. Fall Marathons and Houston weather during the summer don't mix. I will be seeing a lot of 2 am alarm wake up's, I will be grumbling a lot about the heat, the time, the pain, the ......But in the end it will all be worth it. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 7:42 AM 4 comments
I've talked about my mother a few times here. Usually in a negative fashion. It is no secret that her and I have a very strained and difficult relationship, and that there are many many reasons that she and I are in a much different place than most mom's and daughters. 

After my dad died there was no reason for her and I to have a relationship really. She had always been quite vocal about her disdain for my being here in general and once my dad passed it was time for me to go. I get it. I have accepted it and I have moved on from the why's and how's of everything. She did what she needed to do as a 34 year old widow and mother of two children and that is OK. 

One of the main "issues" between us in my adult life has been *stuff*. My dad didn't have many things but the things he did leave behind all had very strong sentimental ties to his life. He lost both of his parents at an early age, had struggled with addiction, had been to prison and had far too many life lessons for someone who died at 46 years old. When my mother felt like she needed control she would offer a trinket of my father's and dangle it as the golden carrot. She would exchange an item or a photo for money or...Whatever. I took the bait WAY too many times for my own good before I got wise and understood his things would never be my things. I had two photos of him, one from my aunt, and one given to me by my mom many years ago. I cling to them pretty tightly.

SO imagine my surprise when a box shows up on my doorstep this weekend from her address. I open it thinking it's the usual box of nothingness that she sends. (She will occasionally send art supplies, or snacks or whatever to E, nice? Yes.). Of course the box is stuffed to the brim with Fruit Roll-Up's and Cheese-It's but at the bottom of the box there is a Ziploc bag, with an envelope in it and a note. 

I open the note, it says. I am giving this to you with great pride and I guess a little sadness. I am so proud of the journey you have decided to take..

I open the envelope. 

It is my dad's rosary. One that he used at his Catholic School. One that his grandfather had used, one that a family priest has blessed. One that my dad held in his hands. The hand I used to hold tightly. 

She also sent a pocket rosary that I hung on Emilee's wall. My mother has had the pocket rosary for years. I knew she was hoping E would like it; and she did.

We spoke on Easter and I thanked her. I try never to read into anything or any event that transpires with her. Perhaps this was a moment of clarity for her. Maybe it is a sign of things to come or maybe it was a complete fluke and we will continue on the way we have. All I know is that I am beyond thankful and grateful. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pretty, Happy, Funny...Real. Miracle Edition!

Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 8:58 AM 1 comments
I hope that each of you had a great holiday weekend with your family and or friends. It was very nice to be off on Friday and enjoy some extra family time and get a ton of spring cleaning done. Who knew a 6 year old could hoard that much JUNK!

Our weekend was filled with a church, sunny days and the relaxation that we all needed; oh and one child who was up earlier than most people need to be on ANY day. 

There were also some miracles involved. The obvious one came on Easter (I did stay out of the Easter candy too!) but y'all know what I am talking about. AND I wore a dress. One that actually fit. We will get to that. 

It was awesome to see so many people at Mass on Sunday, it was even more awesome to be a witness to the services on Good Friday. Since I am rusty I had to call in some informational favors from Gina over at My Broken Fiat and have her give me the run down on what was going to happen. She did an amazing job of encompassing the meaning and the importance of Friday's services. I have to say a huge thank you to her for opening my eyes to what I feel was the most important service of this weekend. If you've never been I encourage you to give it a try next year. Our parish was in tears. It was very powerful. 

I am pretty sure I don't need to sum this up for you. But yesterday was a great day. I was trying to get a photo of Em and B when a friend of ours from rosary came out and said jump in the picture! It is VERY rare that we can capture all three of us; so I was happy that we were able. 

E took this one of B and I! 

So the "MAIN" thing on the list from the Easter Bunny was a jump rope. THIS GIRL! HELP!! How do you teach someone how to jump rope? I showed her the best I could but she needs some practice! Ha. 

So. I never wear dresses. I have worn two in the last six months which says a lot folks. When I was thinking about what I would wear for Easter Sunday's mass I just could not bring myself to wear leggings and some longer shirt. I had two dresses in my closet. BOTH were purchased last year on MEGA clearance and both were XXL. Which I find interesting because I was not a XXL last year either. Whatever. So I asked B to take me to Old Navy at 6pm on Saturday. On the hunt for a cheap, and cute dress. I made a decision before I went in to the store that an XXL was not an option; neither was an XL. I vowed to take the medium in first, if it DID NOT FIT that was OK. I would get a large and we would be on our way. Well this dress was/is a medium, it was $10 and I rocked it. Did I feel comfortable in it? Not entirely. But not because it was too small. It was because THIS dress was forcing me to view my body in the way other people do. SKINNIER than the XXL shirts and dresses I wear that are falling off. 

This isn't a toot of my own horn. This was a small victory for me in the mental battle of body image. I don't care about the size. I care about the reflection in the mirror and NOT seeing my former self. Baby steps. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Answer Me This....

Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 10:35 AM 3 comments
Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for some burning questions. Burning in a good way folks. 

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?
I happen to like the 11 am mass at our parish. B likes the 9 am. Personally 9 is too early for us, I have my long runs on the weekends and at the moment I am setting an alarm for 3:50 am to get them done! I don't want to get up any earlier. SELFISH I KNOW. 

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
Too hot for sure. Look I really don't like either. BUT I am currently freezing my baguettes off in the office. It's 75* outside and I am wearing a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and a jacket. The air conditioning is on and it's on too high. 

3. How many brothers and/or sisters do you have?
I have one brother. Younger, he's 8 years younger. 

4. If you were faced with a boggart, what would it turn into?
I know this is a Harry Potter reference. However I have never read, or watched. So I am just saying UNICORNS RULE because; well they do. 

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?
I am kind of indifferent. Because I have a pretty awesome kiddo. She understands that everyone has a different shapes, sizes and "images". She doesn't play with Barbies all that much anyway. 

However. Being a former fluffy girl I get the No Diet movement, I get the other side of it too. I see that there is hatred in the world for people of size, but I also find it deplorable that people have an issue with the fact that people would like to have a healthy lifestyle by choice. At one point I was engaged in a disagreement about Fat Shaming/Versus Diet Talk. It's OK for me to want this for MY life. But I understand what whomever wants for their life! 

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?
BE YOURSELF. Breathe. It's OK to NOT BE PERFECT. Nobody is. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life Lately.....

Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 9:52 AM 1 comments
Pollen? Or the visit to Chuck E. Cheese? (WHICH included a ton of hand sanitizer). I am taking bets on which of these items has resulted in one of the worst colds I have had in awhile. I would imagine the trip to Chuck E. Cheese didn't help anything, does it ever?

Let's get on to what's been happening lately in our house! 

See the decorations above the windows? They have been there since Emilee's birthday party, along with the handmade snowflakes that B made for the party. I like them! I don't want to take them down!! I know I need to but they just add a little bit of fun to the kitchen. 

Outside of needing to turn our letters around how awesome is it that she leaves love notes for him! Smitten. I am too. 

Can we talk about his belly for a second? The level of squish is pretty insane (in a positive way!) and he is the most loving and adorable kitty. This big fella lays like this EVERY NIGHT. From time to time I will wake up in the middle of the night and go to get a drink of water or something and I see this......Sprawled out. ASLEEP. How in the world? I will mention that a few days back he was awake and lying like this and accidentally fell off the bed. Oops. 

If you follow me on IG (@cpcakemama) you've seen that I have been in shoe hell for awhile. During training for Disney I had to make a switch when it came to my shoes. WORST timing ever. However (naturally) it all worked out and I had found "the shoe". Guess what? It was a later model for the company who made it and well I can't get them anymore. SO after many sessions in the running store and on the road I *believe* we may have found a replacement. 

I understand that for most this isn't life changing or earth shattering. When you sped countless hours on the road with pavement and your thoughts you need the right shoes. 

My journey is taking a few twists and turns lately, and I will admit I am a little bummed I am not registering for Disney this year but.....I would rather go home. We haven't been home in a long time and everyone has been forgoing their vacations for me to run. Not fair. I am however stating now that for my 40th (January 2016) I will be participating in Goofy's Challenge again. FACT. 

I attended my first Rosary meeting this week. Beautiful, amazing and welcoming. Awesome stuff. 

What is going on in your world?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tagged and Bagged.....

Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 10:08 AM 3 comments
Guys? If you don't read or follow Kendra at Catholic All Year you should. She is pretty amazing.! 

She was tagged with a Liebster Award and has tagged me with some questions. 

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?
We live in Houston Texas, we are Michiganders by blood and will never change. We live here for a few reasons. One for the medical care at MD Anderson. Two there are more opportunities here than in Michigan. We dislike it with a serious passion. 

2. What's are you currently watching and/or reading?
Reading Waking Up Catholic, I am really enjoying it. Watching? Well I am an ID Addict. The TV in the bedroom is ALWAYS on the Discovery on ID channel. Always.

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)
Raised Catholic, fell away from the church, so a revert. Working VERY hard on understanding the faith, growing in it, raising my child within it and not being a half-.....ed Catholic. I am going all in. It's worth it. 

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)
Sitting in the movie American Hustle (I know right?!) thinking about our "prior" life in our home, in Georgia, new daughter, new marriage, new life and I remembered sitting at my desk in our home office looking out the window thinking this is what I waited my whole life for. I woke back up from this day dream and had this unsettled feeling the rest of the day. I kept thinking about WHAT made that life so different than the life we have now; outside of losing all of that. Faith. I was attending mass on a regular basis in GA, I was focused, I was a good wife, I was a better mom and a better person. 

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Oh boy. Hmm maybe 100? I will say that 98% of them are running shoes, and I am ashamed to think of the amount of money we have wrapped up in them. As I search for my next marathon. 

6. Are you a good dancer?
Has whiskey been served? No. I am not a good dancer on any level. It's fairly painful to watch actually. 

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?
He does. I am terrible with directions, road rage, stress and well anything when it comes to driving. He can be in a city once and know exactly where to go and how to get there. I follow the plan of landmark driving. Malls as my landmarks. 

8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?
Easter. My mom was a pretty awful parent overall but she always made a huge effort to make my Easter Basket something that stood out from all of the other holidays and presents. I LOVE Easter candy too. These were my favorites HOWEVER they are impossible to find now.  We will be going to mass, and probably being pretty low key. With no family in town it makes it difficult to celebrate holidays. 

9. Which is correct? Left or right?
Left.  Honestly? I would just be excited if the Boy and the Little Person could navigate the difficult seas of the toilet paper roll Bermuda triangle. It seems there are some rough seas between the roll running out, throwing it away and PUTTING IT BACK ON THE ROLL. 
Tough times. 

10. Do you have any scars?
Yes, a few. One really large and gross one on my leg. 

11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done? 
Hmm famous. Well being on the radio is how we moved here. I had emailed one of the bigger stations here after finding out MD Anderson would take me as a patient. We were featured on a segment called Houston's Heroes.  I explained that we had been living in different states (me working in IL and B and E living in MI) and that we wanted to be together, working and having me on the road to recovery. One of the listeners worked for a large company here, told her boss what we were going through and they CREATED a job for Brian. We moved. We started over. We are blessed. 

Thanks for tagging me Kendra :) So fun. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Life Lately......

Posted by CupCake Earthquake at 12:56 PM 0 comments
Life Lately consists of: 

Outside my window: It's rainy and beginning to be VERY muggy. This is about the time I start to lament about Houston's weather (often). Last weekend WAS PERFECT. I went out for my long run and it was GLORIOUS! In fact I came back and my lips were blue!! I didn't think it was "cold" but apparently my body did. I felt amazing in a tank top with 50* weather and no humidity. 

It's about to get hot and I am not interested. I did pick up a snazzy vest for running at 2-3 AM. I am thinking of going to an open casting for America's Next Top Model; thoughts?

I am thinking:  A lot about quitting my job, homeschooling E and being knee deep in macaroni necklaces by this time next year. Don't get me wrong I feel very blessed to have a job by no means is it a career or where I would have imagined to be. However it help supplement our income, keep bills paid and us on the road to recovery after losing it all. BUT I feel like I am losing it all by working in such a soul sucking environment. I understand I could look for a new position, I have tenure and *perks* so it's a toss up. I just have to keep pushing. 

I am thankful:  For the courage to reach out to the Mother's Group at the church, for the awesomeness that they have shown me and for them offering meals, baby sitting services, an ear, a hug, and or just to show me the ropes with the church. I am a lucky lady. 

Learning all the time: Patience. Love. Patience. More PATIENCE. Friends I am Italian and I have to explain that patience is not a virtue that I consider my strongest. My weight is an "issue" I am SO CLOSE to my goal, taxes, work, marriage, faith, kids.........You couple all of these things and well my patience is short for allthingsallthingsallthings. So I am counting (silently of course) a lot, praying for patience and to SEE the reasons, or the lessons. 

From the kitchen: I am trying to cook at least one "different" thing per week for B. Our week night dinners are a whole lot of eggs, sandwiches, or quick and easy things. I need to step it up some. Saying that I am not sure that a baked potato with chicken and fried eggs is considered gourmet, but he liked it. 

I am reading: Waking Up Catholic. I am really liking it too! 

Around the house: I need to attack the garage again. I need to purge older clothes. I need to release the baby stuff that won't ever be coming back in to the house. It's been long enough and it's time. I can do it! 

What are you working on? Reading? Making? Loving?

Also follow me on Instagram @cpcakemama


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