new normal

It’s been ages since I’ve posted here or on any of my other blogs. Due to my current job, I have avoided any and all online social life outside of a protected group of Facebook friends. But recent events in the country have me desperate to express myself. I have no other place to grieve.

For historical reference – because I often look back, years later, on my posts – a few short days ago – Friday, December 14th, I came in late to work so I could help my daughter set up a booth at her school’s craft fair, and so I could also attend the morning assembly at my son’s school. He was getting an award (it was a surprise to him – both the award and that we would be there to see him get it) for doing well in class, being a leader. While both of these things were taking place at my kids schools – 3,000 miles away, an elementary school was being attacked in a random assault by a mad man that left 20 kids, the same age as my son, dead, as well as 6 adults and the gunman. I got the news as I was racing to my desk. My phone buzzed – CNN is set up to give me notifications – a shooting at a school – an elementary school – Please, God, no. In that instant – it felt like the world went forever off it’s track. The future forever changed from how it was “supposed” to be.

Since that moment, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I know other people deal with these tragedies differently. Sam, no less devastated by it, deals by complete avoidance. So when I feel an uncontrollable urge to bring up the subject – it’s almost always a change in the subject. And then it’s quickly changed back to something else. We are not making a big deal of it in front of the kids – my daughter understands the details more than my son. I’m trying to make sure she’s not afraid to go to school – life still needs to be lived. My son is too little to understand any of it. There’s no point in giving him details. I only told him that he might hear about something that happened at a school, and a lot of people got hurt – and the most important thing he needs to remember is that he should always listen and do what his teachers tell him to. I feel like that act probably saved a lot of kids.

That is what’s happening on the outside. Keeping up appearances. Going on with life. Going to work. Making dinner. Putting kids to bed.

Inside is a different story.

Inside, I feel forever broken. Particularly because of the ages of those kids. I will never know them – but their pictures are burned into my brain. My son will bear a burden, possibly for the rest of his life, that he may never be aware of. I will forever look at him and watch him grow, and think about those kids that will never get the chance to reach the age he does, or the accomplishments he will. I will look at him and he will hold the marker in my mind for where those kids are supposed to be, what they’re supposed to be doing. I will watch him live a life they never got the chance to. And I will be proud of him, cheer for him, and I will grieve too.

In one second, I am trying not to watch the news – I’m trying to skim past facebook posts that dwell on this. I just can’t handle it. And on the other hand – I’m seeking out the news – I want answers. Why did this happen? How did he end up at that school? Please, tell me there is something that can be done to make it so this doesn’t happen again, or at the very least – it would be really really difficult. Make more hurdles. Make it harder. It shouldn’t have been this easy for someone to do this.

I drop off my son at school, and there is still a small voice of panic at the bottom of my stomach. =please keep him safe= I don’t want him to be afraid, I want him to feel safe, but I don’t feel like he really is safe.

It’s ironic that in the President’s speech he gave at the memorial service in Newtown – he described having a kid is like having your heart taken from you, and letting it roam free. Your heart’s accomplishments are like your own. It’s mistakes, it’s pain; your own. I used those exact words when trying to describe it to a friend of mine that day.

I know so many people that are just overwhelmed with emotions. I think most people are trying to move on and take action. I am too. I’m signing petitions. I’m getting information. I’m waiting for the news to give (reliable!) details about how and why this happened. I’m planning on putting pressure on law makers to not be bullied anymore into allowing this to be just part of our culture. But I came here because I also need a place to grieve – because my heart is broken, 3000 miles away. And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

Keep Calm – Everything Will Be Ok

I forget how, but we somehow got on the subject of what you would wish for if given 3 wishes. (And wishing for more wishes was off limits) 😉 I said I would wish for the ability to go back in time and visit my younger self so I could tell myself that everything I was worried about didn’t matter. It was all going to be ok – everything would work out – or it just wasn’t that big of a deal. When I think about all the wasted energy I’ve spent worrying about random crap… Just about every time it was not a big deal. One year later… two years later… it didn’t matter. Most times I don’t even remember what it was. To which my mom said, the fact of the matter is that 99.9% of the time – you can just assume that’s true. Except in rare cases – whatever I’m worrying about at the moment – it doesn’t matter – everything was going to work out.

Almost immediately after that conversation – everyone in the car was stressing about parking or something else that was equally unimportant. I announced to everyone that I had an important message – I was from the future – and that everything was going to be ok – and not to worry. LOL!

Since that time, when I start stressing out – I’ve been trying to imagine an older, wiser version of myself with me – telling me how none of what I’m worried about is worth the energy. That everything will be ok.

I’ve recently seen the quote “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not, then it’s not the end.” I really like that one.

Food Journal

I decided to start taking pictures of all my food – so I started a food journal and named it “The most boring blog ever.” LOL! So if you’d like to see what I’m eating – feel free to take a peak.

A new day, a new plan

So my weight loss has stalled because I’ve become very frustrated with counting calories. I *always* feel hungry. If I exercise, I feel even more hungry. I don’t want to, and can’t exercise everyday – but that would probably be the only way to “buy back” some extra calories so I can eat more than a sliver of what is already a healthy meal. I also can see that any time I eat bread or pasta, it screws things up. I had some success on South Beach and Atkins in the past. I know the theory behind those and it makes sense – but the rigidity of those plans is also daunting. This is a “lifestyle change” after all – and if that change means “You can never eat another piece of chocolate again” – or you can only have it once a month – well, that’s going to make that change really difficult to stick to. Additionally, on the weekends we’ll often get together with family for big dinners and trying to be on a “diet” when I’m with everyone – it’s not a lot of fun. Our get togethers always seems to revolve around food – there’s no escaping it. For example: We’ll get together with my brother for dinner – and he loves high quality wine and cheese – and he’s an AMAZING cook and makes gourmet-style AMAZING food. Seriously? You want me to eat some celery sticks while I watch everyone eat everything else? Not gonna work!!

Christine has been raving about the “4-Hour Body” plan she’s been on, and sounds like she’s lost a decent amount of weight. About double what I’ve lost in half the time. Granted – if I had been able to STICK with my plan more precisely, we would have been closer to being even – but that’s the problem with my plan. Eating only 1200 calories a day, and not giving into hunger… it’s not sustainable. It’s how I ended up gaining all my weight back in the first place. I initially figured the Four Hour Body was just another Atkins or South Beach – but the one thing that drew my attention was the “Cheat Day”! The general idea here is that you follow the plan (which does not let you go hungry – but does restrict what your options are) 6 days a week. Then 1 day a week you reset your metabolism by having a cheat day. I know people are losing weight on this, but I have my doubts. If it does work, this would be awesome and would totally fit my lifestyle perfectly. The plan encourages eating the same meals repetitively – which would also work for me. I usually have the same breakfast every day and I could easily rotate the same 2 or 3 lunches every day too. For dinner I like to add variety – but that’s doable here too. And then for “cheat day” – that’s family day.

Since the calorie counting has just about run it’s course this time around, I’m ready to try something new – so we’ll see how it goes. So far my plan for breakfast is 2 hard-boiled (organic) eggs, with black beans and (no sugar added) salsa. (FYI – Green Mountain Gringo Salsa is my absolute favorite!! Not only does it not have sugar added – it tastes AWESOME!!!! I may also add Canadian or standard bacon every now and then.) Lunch for now is bean salad – This recipe in particular was really good: 5 Bean Salad – I added some canned mushrooms to that recipe. I’m also thinking that hearts of palm and/or artichoke hearts might be good in there too! (I believe both should be good on this plan) I’ll probably also vary it to by adding either some cooked turkey breast or tuna fish on occasion.

For dinner last night I made this Chicken Fried Faux-Rice. OMG. I loved loved loved it. (I even got Zach to eat a small bowl of it – with only a minor battle! Probably the most fiber he’s had all year!) Tonight – I’ll be making this recipe: Egg Foo Young. Wednesday will be this recipe: Black Bean Salsa and Chicken

The one thing I’m a little disappointed with is that on this plan, going completely vegetarian isn’t really possible. (Or at least it makes it really really difficult!!) Oh, that and Quinoa is on the “no” list. I did love Quinoa! I’m still trying to work in more beans and vegetables (and eggs) as the primary, reoccurring food so we’re not eating STEAK every night – and when we have meat – focus more on fish and chicken. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes….


My mother and I went to a day-long “creativity” workshop organized by the synagogue. It took place in a little community garden center. It’s not that far away – but far enough into the hills that there is no cell service (the place does not do wi-fi) :) It always feels a little like going back in time when I’ve gone there. In any case, upon entering – we were greeted by two very tame deer that allowed us to stop and take pictures of them while they politely posed.