Little Miss Excuseopotamus

Darn you little miss Excuseopotamus…

The Excuseopotamus is an elusive creature that scurries around our lives without detection. It is wrapped in a disguise of reasons and explanations, but when you strip away the hogwash you’re left with a monster beast of epic proportions. You see this tiny creature is actually a gargantuan, an ogre, a run as fast as you can to escape from it sort of thing. Don’t let the Excuseopotamus confuse you, it’s not your cuddly warm fuzzy friend, it’s an evil foe to be slayed like a fire breathing dragon.

My Excuseopotamus has got the best of me this year, that sneaky little she-devil. I was going to start “running” this year, I swear I was, (raises right hand) truly I had every intention of enjoying the fresh air and “running”. I really really was going to “run”, but…. it was too hot, cold, windy, sunny, rainy, earthy, sinusy… EXCUSEOPOTAMUS.   Truth be told I chose to sit on my but and drink wine instead of “running”. What happened, I Excuseopotamused myself. It’s okay, I’ve figured out how this creature works.
This year I was going to focus on my writing. I really truly honestly for sure was. Then I became a sensitive artist and talked myself right out of writing. I can’t do it, I just can’t, sniffle, poor me. How can I ever compete with all of these other amazing authors. I suck, whine, whine… ooh wine, I love wine. I should drink wine instead of write. EXCUSEOPOTAMUS ATTACK…. run! Truth be told I made the choice to not write and spend hours watching Netflix. Yup poor me and 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (totally forgot Seth Green was in this, hello middle school crush that never left).
It’s a Tuesday like any other Tuesday except for one tiny fact. Today is the day that I package up my Excuseopotamus and ship it to the Arctic Circle. I send it with a one way ticket, holes punched in the box of course, and a pledge forget what that pesky little thing ever looked like. Today, rain is something to dance in, not something to hide from.
I want to encourage you to tell your Excuseopotamus to move on and ship it. You have an amazing life to live without the weight of a 1 million billion trillion ton beast. Honestly who wants to stand on a scale and see any extra weight. Free yourself and do your thing girl.
Brooke
Advertisements

You Might Be A Baseball Mom If…


Gabriel Baseball tagged

It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and baseball diamonds are a buzz with crazed baseball moms. That’s right, tis the season for fabulous, ball bag toting, bling shirt wearing baseball moms. You think dance moms have the supportive sport mom thing in the bag, oh now… baseball moms can get down and dirty with the boys while sporting perfectly applied eyeliner. Baseball moms are truly a unique breed.

You Might Be A Baseball Mom If…

  • You shout actions in threes. “Go GO GOOO” … “Catch it, catch IT, CATCH IT” … “Run Run RUN”. Because a simple “run” wouldn’t do and saying it 4 times would be redundant.
  • You invest in a wheely cooler to make it easier to tote around every flavor of Gatorade incase your little one runs out, another kid runs out, or there is another baseball hydration inspired emergency. Gatorade that you refer to by color: red, blue, yellow, orange. Do they actually have flavors, what flavor is blue anyway?
  • You’ve spent hours bent over a table like a mad scientist getting bedazzler elbow from painstakingly gluing rhinestone onto tanks tops, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Because “Hambones Mom” can only be properly represented in jewels and glitter.
  • You stop referring to other adults by their names. In fact you may not actually know the other parents names. Everyone has become, “Nick L.’s Mom” or “Will the short stops dad”.
  • You find yourself saying phrases like: “Way to get a piece of it.” “Michael stop playing with your cup.” and “Swing it like you mean it.”
  • You can tell anyone the score of your kiddos last ball game, how many runs they scored, or how fast they pitch. BUT… you have no idea who’s starring in the latest Blockbuster (Channing Tatums abs right?), can’t name the last time you read a book (does Casey at Bat count?), or blank when someone asks you when the last time you spent a weekend not at a tournament (When Santa came to town I think).
  • You’ve justified ballpark nachos as diet food. Nacho cheese is dairy and dairy is good for you right? I think I saw a commercial on TV that said that once.
  • You have no issue becoming the Hulk and chewing out, in epic fashion, the 15 year old umpire you watched get dropped off by his mom before the game. It doesn’t matter that he’s trying to earn money for college and that he’s just a kid, the kid needs to get glasses because Charlie was clearly safe on third.

Baseball moms love’em or fear’em, we come around every spring and we don’t go away until fall. Without us, little league wouldn’t be so fabulous or feisty.

Brooke

 

The Cure for any Breakup, Layoff, or Bad Day

Let’s face it bad days happen. Boys dump us, our boss is a witch with a capital B, and our dog ran away… again. Man, even our dogs hate us. These days are unavoidable. No matter how hard we try to chipper up and put on our big girl pants, days of suckage abound slamming into us like a freight train now and again. Since there is nothing we can do to dodge this speeding bullet, the best we can do is deal with it. You’ve come to the right place because I have the perfect cure for your summer time life is awful boys suck blues.

Wallow Break Up Chick Flick

Wallow… that’s right I want you to wallow and wallow so epically that they will consider making it an Olympic Sport. Now before you go all, I am woman hear me roar, hear me out. Because I might just convert you to a wallower by the end of this scheduled programming.

Here’s the scenario I want you to consider. You are driving home in a parking lot that once was the interstate, wishing beyond wishes that the jerk in front of you would stop riding his brakes. Then, ding ding, text message. You glance at it, it’s from your sweetie pie. Since your aren’t going anywhere anytime soon you decide to go ahead and read it (side note: don’t text and drive). “Hey Gurl, it’s been fun, but I don’t think this is working out. It’s not you it’s me. You’ll find a guy that deserves you.” Are you kidding? That’s right, you just got dumped via text in the middle of the highway…. heart broken.

Your friends are going to tell you to go out, forget him, he was a jerk anyway. That’s not an entirely bad idea, but what it does is mask that crappy feeling in the pit of your stomach. You feel like crap, he was a jerk, but you need time to feel all those crappy emotions. So ask the girls for a short raincheck and follow this game plan instead.

Go home and start by putting on the baggiest comfiest pjs or sweats you own. Order in mass quantities of takeout: Chinese, pizza, sushi, hot wings… really anything that will deliver to your location. Now plop your happy butt on the sofa or in bed and commence Operation Wallow. Fill your belly with junk of epic proportions. Ice cream, M&M’s, soft pretzels, nachos… whatever guilty pleasures you normally deprive yourself of so you can fit into your skinny jeans. Do this while watching heart wrenching chick flicks and romantic comedies. “If you’re a bird I’m a bird.” “You complete me.” “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love me.” Cry. Not a sniffle sniffle cry, but a full blown ugly faced cry. Heck watch yourself ugly cry in the mirror, we’ve all done it.

Then go to bed and sleep off your sugar hangover. When the sun comes up it’s a new day. No more tears over what’s his jerk. No more binge eating your feelings away. No more hiding in the darkness of your room watching Twilight for the 15th time. Get up, shower, put on something sassy. Do your makeup, spoil yourself with an awesome shade of butter lipstick by Nyx. Feel fabulous today, leaving all your negative juju in yesterday. Call your girlfriends and take them up on their dance party invitation.

When something craptastic happens we all deserve a wallow day to truly feel those junky feelings. Thus freeing us for a clean slate in the morning.

Today is a fresh step forward, no looking in the rearview mirror, today is to fabulous to miss even a moment of it.

 

Brooke

Fitness Friday: Goals and Accountability

Running Gear

We aren’t what we eat, but we are the choices we make. What are your choices saying about you?

Personally my choices don’t always reflect the type of person I want to be, or know that I can be. If I eat Taco Bell every meal for a month, I won’t turn into a tap dancing Dorito’s Taco. However the choice to eat Taco Bell with that kind of frequency will surly not result in the toned body I’m looking for. My choice to skip running because it’s a little to humid outside isn’t a huge deal, or is it? My choice to make an excuse about something I’m scared to fail at, only makes my failure a reality. See I can’t run, no… I’m not running there for I’m not getting any better. It’s really REALLY hard to run a mile when my butt is stuck on the sofa watching ABC Family, don’t judge me.

The beautiful and always stylish Ivete from Girl in a Hot City asked me two days in a row this week how exactly my running was coming along. I explained that it was going slow, very slow actually, like snail going in reverse slow. It’s time for a little blogger accountability here people, I hadn’t started. Yup, I had successfully freaked myself out of doing it for nearly a week. I’m not proud of that choice, but a good thing about choices, is we can always change them, and that’s exactly what I did.

The running training schedule I posted last week sort of overwhelmed me, how do I know when I’ve gone 1/16 of a mile. I don’t run on a track, I make it easy and use my good ole neighborhood sidewalks. That’s when my big brain started thinking, how can I make this super scary goal more achievable? How can I make it just a wee bit easier? That’s when I turned to my iTunes to create a playlist, one long 23 min MP3 that I created to make it easier for me to know when to run and walk. I was feeling all girl powered up when I created this track, so all the artists featured on this Training Track are powerful ladies.

Here’s how it works. I will include a link below where you can download the track I created. It’s a single long track where you change your pace each time the song changes. Since I’m probably explaining this wonky, let me get into a little more detail.

Week 1: Ladies Week Running Training Music (download)

Song 1: Warm up, just to get your muscles and blood flowing.

Song 2: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 3: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 4: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 5: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 6: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 7: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 8: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 9: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 10: Cool Down

I’ve tried this out and it works great. I don’t have to worry about checking a timer to see how long I’ve been running. I don’t have a robotic woman shouting in my ears how far I’ve gone. I just listen to the music and go. The music is fun and it really helps the time to fly by. I still used my Endomondo App to track my time, distance, etc.. but I wasn’t focused on the app itself while running. I simply put my phone in my pocket and went with it.

Interested in how I’ve been doing since my choice change, you can check it out here.

Remember you are the choices you make. Each time you do something it sets you on a path. If you are on a path towards an end results that doesn’t work for you, change it. It’s never to late to change your mind and change your life. A setback is a setback is a setback, they happen. We can’t avoid them, but we aren’t perfect, so we have to learn from them. One questionable decision does not a failed goal make. So shake off the negative setback juju and get excited to start working towards your goals. For me the proverbial mountain I’m trying to climb is being able to run a mile without stopping.

What is a goal you’ve set where you’ve encountered setbacks?

Brooke

 

 

Fighting Battles For Others, Be Switzerland

floral on path

I’m a giver, a fixer, a what can I doer, and most of all I’m a wear my heart on my sleever. You er, get the point. For as long as I can remember friends have jokingly called me “Ma” do in large part for my desire to make sure everyone is okay. If you’re sad, let’s fix it. If you’re hurt I have a bandaid. If someone broke your heart, I have a shovel. Protecting people is what I’ve always done, it gives me purpose, but it can also give me a great deal of stress.

There comes a time as we grow up, 30 years old and still growing up here, that we have to step back and allow people to take care of themselves. We have to be Switzerland or marooned on an island without offering advice to the outside world. This was such a foreign concept to me, it felt like I was turning my back on those I care about. By protecting them I was helping them, I was showing them I cared right? Wrong. I ended up enabling them and taking their stress onto myself.

Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself knee deep in crap and in desperate need of mud books. I was in deep, so deep in fact my entire body felt it. My head hurt, my body ached, I was feeling overly anxious about everything. A dear friend of mine was suffering greatly in a situation just far enough out of reach she couldn’t fix it. I’ll spare you the gory details, but we’ll say it involves yucky boys and their yucky choices. In my desperation to dry her tears and mend her heart I chucked myself smack dab in the middle of Yuckville, population me. It was dumb.

What started out innocent enough ended up with me becoming the scape goat for a whole slew of problems that had not an iota to do with me. BUT, since I’d dove headfirst into the mud and the muck, I became an easy target. For the lack of having a more eloquent way to word it, the situation sucked, hard. The positive thing about it though, I had brought it upon myself thus had total control to fix it. And so I did, today, like right now.

I’ve become Switzerland. My job as a friend is to sit back, drink some Swiss Miss Coco (or a margaritas, whatever), and listen. That’s right listen,  just quietly take it all in. It’s exhausting riding in with the Calvary every time a war doctrine is signed by a pal of mine. I tend to walk away with far to many unnecessary battle wounds. So a girls got to do what a girls got to do. Look at me like you’re sounding board, a comfortable place to vent, and feel safe to cultivate a game plan. However, that’s where the drama llama train stops. I have no opinion and once the conversation is over I’m clicking the erase button. In fact I’m inventing a bigger erase button.

Why do we all need an erase button? Have you ever had a friend confide in you about an injustice in their life? You are so fired up about, for example what an idiot their hubby is, that you then vent for 6 months about it. Fred is such a jerk, how could he eat all the white chocolate covered pretzels when he knows they are Wilma’s favorite. Then when Wilma asked him to get more at the store he laughed at her. What? What a jerk… you get the idea. Now all your hubby or BF hears about it what a jerk Fred is instead of what a hunk he is for putting his dishes in the dishwasher. When you hit the erase button, you are still being an active listener, you just aren’t taking the drama llama home with you. Houses are for dogs and cats, not llamas.

Does anyone else take on the problems of those around them? How many drama llamas have you put out to pasture?

Brooke

Signs You May Be A Control-A-Holic

Control copy

 

I would like to come clean right here and now, I am a recovering control-a-holic. I’m not proud of it, but I have spent the better part of my nearly 30 years as a micromanaging control freak.

Hey you, yes you the one in the shirt reading this post, don’t read it while holding your head like that. You’ll stress your neck bone and get a migraine and not get your stuff done and have to take yucky medicine and and and…..(controlling hyperventilation starting now…)

Often times my controlling dictations began as what I ignorantly called, helpful suggestions. However, if my suggestion went ignored I pushed a little, then a little bit harder, until finally my frustrated head was spinning around spewing green goo. At it’s worst festering point everything I said was one of those unwanted forceful “helpful” (inset major air quotes) suggestions. Imagine my surprise when my family and friends got more than a little sick of it all.

Duh, I know right.

10 Signs You Might Be A Control-a-Holic

1. No one can accomplish any task without you adding your 2 cents, but of course you know exactly how to install a circuit breaker control panel… you saw it on YouTube once.

2. Your children can’t function without you directing them precisely what to do… freedom of thought, what, when did that start? “Mom what do you want me to do?” “Okay, what do you want me to do now?” “And now, now what do you want me to do?”

3. Your husband/boyfriend/manfriend, cringes when you use the word “suggestion” “thought” or the phrase “can I say something?” How could the possibly think they no how to do anything better? You’re only trying to help them get the job done quicker, better, smarter, etc etc.

4. When your gal pal asks for relationship advice you dictate a 25 page monologue, insisting she take notes. Then you email, text, Facebook, Tweet, and smoke signal her hourly to make sure she is following the “Relationship Rules” you outlined for her.

5. You’ve booted Father Time and taken control of all that is scheduling.  4pm- snack time, 4:25pm potty break, 5:00pm movie time (your choice of course), 6pm dinner (you don’t care what it is as long as it’s exactly what you want), 7pm-dinner clean up (plates facing to the left in the dishwasher and the glasses at a perfect diagonal)…..What time is breathing scheduled?

6. If someone helps you out by completing chores/tasks, you follow behind and redo it to your specifications. Heck no we don’t fold socks in this house, by gosh we roll them. “So you’ll roll’em and you’ll like it mister.”

7. People tense when you are around, it’s of course because they respect you. Not so much, that tense up, stand a  tension, is called fear not respect. People tense and walk on egg shells because they don’t want to hear the fallout from displeasing you by drying their hands on the wrong towel.

8. You are quick to point out others mistakes and turn a blind eye to yours. You told them not to frost the holiday cookies like that and now look what happened. See the house exploded because they mopped vertically instead of horizontally, you told them so. Billy cheated, well you told her he was a loser, but did she listen to you, noooo. Sure enough everyone’s lives would be so much easier if they just listened to you in the first place.

9. You wear the sexy panties, therefore you decide when the sheets get some playtime. Your man is left groveling, begging, and getting shot down in the bedroom. Those who wear the panties dictate sexy sexy time, leaving frustrated unhappy men in their wake.

10. You’ve made a store clerk cry.  How dare he think cans and boxes can go in the same bag. It’s not that hard she should know of every single item in the big box store that is one sale. The nerve. Suddenly you see red and all basic kindness goes right out the window, but they should have known better. ( I actually watched this on go down today over a Rainbow Loom, the poor cashier was in tears.)

Bonus: You talk things to death, because if you say it a 12th time in the 4th different way they will really understand. A topic that should take 2 min, “Hey sweetie can you please shut the fridge door when your done.” Turns into, “Lauren what did I tell you, when you leave the fridge door open after getting your juice box the electricity bill goes up and you kill the earth. Do you want to be a murderer little Lauren. Because if you….” (Keep on talking because they aren’t listening.)

If any or all of these sound like you, take a deep breath, we can get through this. Check in next week as I share great ways to tackle the control-o-holic monster. You too can decrease the stress of control and ease the tension of those around you. It’s never to late to turn over a new leaf and enjoy each and every day to the fullest. After all, today is here and now, get out there and live it.

 

Brooke

Have a Trav Sort of Day, Be Kind

Travs smile

I was going to write about lipstick today, pink lipstick in fact, but then I took a shopping adventure. Radio was blaring, I wish I could say the windows were down, but it’s been a typhoon for the past 24 hours. The rain did not deter me from singing, loudly and off key, to every song on the radio. Then Kenny Chesney “I Go Back” came on and my singing abruptly stopped. You see, people lovingly call me an audiophile, I relate a great deal to music. This song has a line, ” And I go back to the loss of a real good friend. And the sixteen summers I shared with him. Now “Only The Good Die Young” stops me in my tracks. Every time I hear that song.” I mumbled the lyrics, fighting back tears, with a gigantic  smile on my face.

That smile is always on my face when Trav crosses my mind, even if from time to time tears accompany the smile. That goofy grinning guy above, sorry for the picture it’s a print circa 2001, is my best friend. My strength and laughter for countless days of my life. We lost him suddenly in 2003, but this isn’t about his death… it’s about how he lived.

And he lived a selfless amazing life.

If you needed something you could count on Trav to be the first one there. He smiled with laughter that filled an entire room. I didn’t realize until I got a few years under my belt that he’d spent the better part of our friendship protecting me. I never asked him to, I was as proud at 10 as I am now at 30, but he knew that my world could be a pretty scary place even if I couldn’t admit it. His heart was so very gentle and kind. In short he was my gentle lion. Quiet and reserved, but would attack to protect those he cared for.

He lived his life embodying the word, kindness.

Some days I forget to live my life with that same kindness. I honk angrily at the car in front of me who crawls 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane, side note please don’t ever drive under the speed limit in the passing lane. Life gets the better of me and I snap at my little kiddo when we are running late. Instead of going to bed I stay up watching Netflix until 4 am, so 7 am I’m grumptastic to say the least. I simply forget to be happy and make a world of selfless action around me. It’s so easy to go through your day tired and crabby or rushed and irritated. What I want to do is encourage you to take a breath and release the negative juju before it impacts the world you are creating.

The only guarantee in life is change, everything at some point in time will change. We can’t avoid change or force time to stand still, but we can remember to roll with the punches. When the world gets you down, laugh at it. There is humor all around us if we can simply turn off the negative thought record player in our heads. Focus on the good, embrace the awesome, and trust that the rest of the stuff will work itself out. Practice random acts of kindness, do something special for those who mean the most to you, and don’t forget to take care of yourself too.

What Trav taught me is to love life, love others, and love myself. It’s really hard to be a big ole jerk face when you’re smiling and embracing kindness.

When you’re out there today, think before you speak or act. Have a Trav sort of day.

Brooke

(Closing with one of Trav’s favorite groups)