Friday, August 23, 2013

My Mom

My mom had been sick for sometime.  I think that our family was partially in denial that such a strong woman could be sick and partially we didn't really know how sick she was.  She would tell us little snippets of information but she had a way of doing it where it didn't seem all that bad. 

March 2013
In March of this year I went to the doctor with my mom.  Hearing from a doctor how sick she was actually made me sick.  At that point my mom had COPD and stage 4 emphysema, there is no cure for that. The doctor explained that there were not many treatment options, actually our only option left was hospice. With our focus shifting from prolonging life to making sure she was as comfortable as possible during the transition.
 We left the doctors office and she asked me how I was feeling, and I responded with "I'm fucking angry".  That was the truth, I was angry.   I wrote about how I felt cheated and angry previously, you can find that post here Cheated and Angry. 

Over the next few months we talked a lot about what was going to happen and I watched the strongest woman I know get sicker and sicker. We joked about death and other things that many people would find not appropriate for the situation  (and I am totally fine with this). We debated about ghosts vs. spirits, heaven and other random topics. What was coming still wasn't "real".

In May I stopped by my parents house on my way to a mud run and my mom asked me "do you want to be here when I die?"  I responded with "Are you serious? What kind of question is that?" and we left it at that for a few days.  My mom had expressed that she didn't want anyone to be around when she passed, and I then expressed how I didn't think I could live with myself if I wasn't there.  But in the back of my head it still wasn't real. 

June and July she continued to decline.  We talked almost everyday on the phone and I came out to see her.  She was dying and there was nothing I could do but standby and watch.  She had asked me several months ago to put together a slide show for at her memorial.  I agreed, then she said she wanted me to do it before she died, so she would know what we were watching. I was in shock and I told her exactly how morbid I thought that was.  I put it off as long as I could, I think in my mind if I did it, it was real. My mom was going to die.

I kept coming up with reasons why not to do it and why she couldn't die "yet".  We talked about death candidly.  I expressed my anger, hurt and fear.  Then we sat down and started listening to songs.  She picked out ones she liked and decided which ones she wanted in her slideshow.  I finally finished the "rough" draft of the slide show in July.  We watched it together, and I cried.  She told me there was no reason to cry, as she would be waiting for me in heaven.

My mom took a turn for the worse at the beginning of August, a few days after she celebrated 36 years being married to my dad.  I got the call and immediately rushed to her.  For the next few weeks, it was up and down.  We knew she was dying, and we struggled to be ok with it.  I spent every moment I could with her and it never felt like enough.  I was exhausted, upset and I was still angry.  I knew it was close to the end and she tried to remain strong for us right up until the end.

On August 21, 2013 at 9:40pm my mom passed away. She died peacefully at home with my dad, her brother and myself by her side.  

Over the past few months, I became closer to my mom then I had been in a lot of years.  I will forever be thankful for that.  There is nothing as precious as time.  Hug your loved ones and don't let a day go by that they don't know how much you care.


So life has gotten in the way...or not really. I have just not had the heart to write.

I hope to change that over the course of the next few months and have some topics already in mind.  For example, I have a few race reviews.  Also, a few product reviews.  And there will probably be some more posts about death and dying, as this is how I am going to heal and get through the loss of my mom.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cheated and Angry

I understand that death is a natural part of the life cycle and that we will all eventually die. Some die early in life and others live to be old people...we all do in fact die. My mom always says in life you have no control over being born or dying. Logically, I can wrap my brain around it and I do understand. It doesn't make me feel better or comforted.

As I struggle with the fact that I am losing my mom, I realize I'm a basket of emotions. I'm angry, really I think I need to find a healthy way to expend the anger so it doesn't consume me. I sat trying to figure out why I was so angry...everyone else in my family seems more upset then angry. Then it hit me...I'm angry because I feel cheated!

On my moms side of the family the women tend to live long lives....surpassing spouses and sometimes children. In 1994 for example we had 6 generations of women. In 1995, when my daughter was born we had 5.
For the past several years we have had a solid 4. My great-great grandmother was 100 when she passed. My great grandmother was in her 80's when she passed. And my grandmother is in her 80's and still very much a part of our lives.  Then we get to my mom, who is on hospice and likely will not make it to her 62nd birthday in October.  

I feel cheated.  I want more time! 

My best friend said today "you could have 1000 years and you would still want more time".  That is the truth.

Don't get me wrong, I do not want my mom to suffer.  She is at peace with the path she's on, and I'm along for the ride.

I am angry and I feel unbelievably cheated. I love her unconditionally. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Death & Dying

I took a class in college called Death & Dying, or something like that. It feels like a million years or at least a lifetime ago. The professor talked about how death is a natural part of the life cycle and how it is one thing in life we will all experience. He also talked about how the hardest deaths to deal with would be that of a parent, a child or a spouse (significant other).

At the time I was a new mom, had a set of parents and a significant other. I remember thinking how difficult it would be to lose any of them. Oi vey, I couldn't even bare to think about it let alone discuss it with near strangers.

One of the discussions was in theory if you had the choice between your loved one dying unexpectedly or expectedly, which would you choose?

I remember thinking about it and since I had to choose one or the other I chose expectedly.  I figured I would want to know that they would be dying. I thought that would be easier. That way I would have time to spend and the opportunity to say whatever I felt needed to be said.

Well, some years later....I want to kick myself for thinking it would be easier.  

Knowing that your loved one is dying and there is nothing you can do....SUCKS!

Watching your loved one go from a feisty, strong and independent person to one that can't walk down a hall with out being winded....SUCKS!

Sure I get to say all the things I think I need to say. And I do get time, that an unexpected death would not afford.  But I also get to see pain and suffering. The body shutting down slowly and my loved one giving up the fight!

Quite SUCKS!

Pictured is not my dying loved one, but it is their favorite flower.

Basically for me dealing with the dying process is a roller coaster ride. One minute I'm ok and want my loved ones suffering to end.  The next I'm angry as all get out and want to scream and yell.

I was told recently that once your loved one passes, no amount of crying will bring them back.  So make sure you love them while they're here.  I COMPLETELY agree with this. 

However, it still SUCKS!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April Recap

So April was my best month ever with 98.7 fitness miles. I am pretty happy with it.

I rewarded myself with a new tattoo. I got the word "relax". All of my tattoos have personal meaning and this one is no different. I often get so involved in "life" that I forget to relax and enjoy it. So that is my reminder.

May brings some pretty exciting changes in my life. I started a new job on May 1, in the field I went to college for. I reconnected (outside of Facebook) with some ladies from high school. We have a Mud Run coming up on May 18th. And lastly but most preciously my one and only daughter will be 18.

Chin up, Chest out & Attack

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ravensdale Cemetery

This one is near to my heart, though this was my first visit. I grew up out in Ravensdale and had looked for the cemetery a few times through the years....never with any success.

During my teenage years there were talks of parties and satanic worships there...but I never actually figured out where.

A few months ago I read an article about it on and searched it on Both which are websites I frequent and enjoy immensely.

Finally, this last Sunday I found it. I was both saddened and in awe. The cemetery lies a little off the road in the middle of a newer housing development. From the road you would have no idea there was a cemetery back there.

Findagrave states there are 39 interments buried there, though that seems to be of debate. There are graves but no recognizable names. A sign at the talks of how the cemetery was looted in the 1960's and the headstones were scattered throughout the town. It also talks of the mine explosion in 1915 which pretty much was a catalyst in the collapse of the town.

It was a peaceful setting, though unkept and forgotten by most.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k

I was both nervous and excited to do this 5k. I mean, who wouldn't get excited for hot chocolate and chocolate fondue? I was pumped.

I should start by stating that I am NOT a "real" runner. I am a walker and a beginning wogger (walking and jogging intervals) but I can not run for any substantial distance. This is where the nervous part kicked in. The race coordinators had strict rules that everyone must maintain a 15 minute mile pace (or be rerouted). So my initial goal (after finishing) was to not be rerouted at all.

I woke up at 4 am, anyone that knows me will realize how amazing that is all in itself. I am not a morning person at all. Met up with my partner in crime for the race and headed to Seattle.

It was chilly outside and the corals to start seemed to take forever to cycle through. I started off jogging, I made it a little over a 1/4 mile (personal best) then moved to a brisk walk. I repeated this pattern for the entire 5k. I finished the race with a time of 50 min, 21 seconds. It's not quite a 15 minute mile, but I was NOT rerouted! Success!

The hot chocolate at the end was worth it...Chin up, Chest out & Attack

March Recap

March was a successful month for me exercise wise. I logged almost 68 miles (a personal best), completed the Seattle Hot Chocolate 5k (without being rerouted...more on that later). I will be doing a race recap separately.

I participated in the "no girly push-ups" challenge and did better than I thought but got hit with a lil depression and fell off at the end.

April is starting strong and I have logged about 15 miles so far. Bought myself some running shoes so I'll be adding more "wogging" this month as well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Week 3/4-Check in

The last few weeks have been a real struggle. Some major life changes have taken place and I feel a bit out of sorts. My head has either been up in the clouds daydreaming of backpacking through Europe or in a state of panic.

I've made progress in the challenge, though again not as much as I would like. This seems to be a common theme for!

Currently, I'm at 8 "real" push-ups. Added to that I am doing counter push-ups and am at 3 sets of 17 (2x a day). I started out at 2 sets of 10 (1x a day), so I feel good about this!

On another plus, I'm averaging over 3 miles a day walking or wogging. I completed the Seattle Hot Chocolate 5k on March 3rd.

Here's to Week 5.

Chin up, Chest out & ATTACK!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 2-Check in

This challenge has been difficult, not only because it is hard.  Also, because I seem to be having the worst luck.

Here is the break down:  Truck battery died, left me stranded (fun).  Broke a tooth (more fun).  By Friday of last week I was bitchy and in pain, so I finally went to the dentist.  Well my broke tooth was fractured in such a way that they had to do an emergency extraction (sooo much fun).

What that boils down to is I made a ton of excuses as to why I couldn't do the push-ups this week.  Yes, I know exercise is a great stress relief.  I just wasn't feeling it.

Here is what I did do....2 days of 4 push-ups.  Since 4 seems to be my max.  Week 3 goal is #6.

I also decided that I need to do something else...since I am getting super frustrated with not improving as fast as I think I should.  This week I am adding modified push-ups.

Not "girly" push-ups...counter push-ups.  This will help me build some (much needed) upper body strength and I will feel like I am actually making progress. Like the one in the picture, only using my kitchen counter not the wall.

So, let's get out there and DO this.  Chin UP, Chest out, and ATTACK!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Week 1-Check in

SOOOO Week 1, was not what I expected or what I would have liked.  Here's the good, the bad and the ugly.

Good-I am up to 4 push-ups (started at 2, so progress).

Bad- I only did the challenge 2 days out of 7 last week.  I am lacking some serious motivation and have been dealing with some "new" headaches (that's part of the ugly).

Ugly-My form is something to be desired, and I could probably do more push-ups if I wasn't so intent on doing them right :)  I have been dealing with a "new" type of headache.  I should say that I have daily headaches and migraines several times a month (I have for years) and I can deal with those.  These "new" ones are kicking my rear, I spent more than 48 hours in bed and the rest of the time wishing I was.  Trying to figure out where they are coming from, and the only thing that I can think of is that I have been exercising more. HA, isn't exercise supposed to be good for you?

That leads me to Week 2.  I keep going back and forth between starting week 2 and redoing week 1.  Well since, I am starting tonight I better decide.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The No “Girly” Push-Ups Challenge!

So I have decided to take part in a challenge, called the No "girly" push-ups challenge.  I first heard about it on Twitter and then found it on Alex's blog (Alex tries it out and several others, she was just first).

This morning was Day 1.  I am way out of shape and could barely do 2 push ups. Yes,  you read that right TWO!  I fully understand that 2 is better than 0, but I am still not happy with myself.

Anyone that knows me, knows I am not a morning that fact that I tried this in the morning should say something about how I am dedicated to making changes in my life.  I don't know that I will succeed in this challenge of 100 push-ups by the middle of March 2013.  But I will succeed in being able to do more than TWO!

I used the website (100 pushups)  to determine my level.  I am at a 1, which means I can do less than 5 push ups.  My goal is to at least be at a 4 by the end of the challenge.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Motivation Monday

Sometimes motivation comes from a likely source be it a spouse, a family member, a friend or from within yourself. And sometimes it comes from a virtual stranger.

Last week, when I was discussing my lack of motivation a friend in an online group gave me the following advise: Chin up, Chest out & Attack!

At first, I thought it was an odd quote. But the more I repeated it to myself, the more it motivated me. I do in fact feel better when I have my chin up. I see more things around me and simply enjoy more. Chest out...that makes me feel tough, like I can conquer anything that comes my way. Attack the issue!

Everyday since then, I have repeated it. While I have a long way to go to meet my goals, I feel strong enough to chip away at them. There really is something to be said about self assurance.

"Chin up, Chest out & Attack"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


(Photo Credit)
A few days ago, I started following a blog by Lea, its called Running For Dummies. She posted a transparency challenge, a what are you afraid of or what do you hesitate for people to know about you.  Her post can be found here: Running for dummies

In an effort to better understand myself and why I do things, I decided to step up to this challenge.  I think what I am most afraid of is people thinking I am as broken as I think I am.

We all have a history, and we all have baggage.  Some physical, some financial and some emotional.  I think emotional baggage is the worst of all of them.  At the end of the day, I know that it is me that I have to live with.  And often times at the end of the day, I don't like who I see in the mirror.  I still smile everyday and try to be positive but  inwardly I have let my emotional baggage damage me. I am in fact, broken.

In all fairness, I am responsible for my brokenness (well most of it anyway).  They say that people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks. I repeatedly, and I do mean repeatedly throw rocks at my own glass house.  I constantly, tell myself that I am not pretty enough, skinny enough...blah, blah, blah...I am not enough.

  Photo Credit
There are many factors that actually went into me being broken in the first place.  The hardest one for me to admit is Domestic Violence.  I was one of those people that swore I would never be in a situation like that.  I would never tolerate someone to treat me that way.  I was wrong! You never really know how you are going to react to a situation until you are in it...and by the time I realized I was in it.  I was stuck.  My ex was not physically abusive, though at times I wonder if that would have been easier to swallow.  Not that I condone physical violence, I just think it might have been easier than the mental racket-ball he played with my head. 

The short version of the story goes.  We met on a online dating site, talked for several months before meeting in person.  He was amazing, kind, gentle and well spoken.  Looking back there were red flags, but I wrote them off and believed what he was telling me.  Once he asked me to marry him, things changed.  He stole my phone, my truck keys...but mostly, he stole my sparkle.  I was so afraid of what he would do if I ended things that I kept in contact.  Eventually, I did call it off (kinda).  I still kept contact, again somehow I felt safer knowing where his mind was.  Throw in some breaking my things, and a few gun incidents....and you have protection orders and us going to trial.

He had a record for violent behavior that I had no idea about.  And while this incident happened in June 2011, we are still waiting to go to trial.  I had high hopes for 2012 being the end of this chapter, it wasn't.  I had anticipated starting 2013 "fresh and sparkly"  that didn't happen.  While we are set for trial this week, I have little faith, it has been pushed out so many times.  

So I guess besides people thinking that I am as broken as I think I am, I don't want to be looked at as a victim. I refuse to be his victim.  It is a struggle everyday, it causes me to emotionally shut down when things get stressful.

In 2013, I will do the Spartan Sprint (which scares me to death). I will no long throw rocks at my house.  I will surround myself with people who build me up, not tear me down.  I will focus on building people up as well.

I know that I will never be the same as I was...but I can be better.  I WILL BE BETTER.