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Change of Plans

Friday, June 24, 2011

Make big plans, but change your plans as time changes.—Marchant

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
gang aft a-gley.--Robert Burns ("To a Mouse")
[Popularly misquoted as: The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, or The best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray.]

Last night I had a Plan. My husband and girls were going to have a Daddy play date with a neighbor Dad and his two girls. I was going to get out of the house and run. I wanted to get one more outside run in before my running group tomorrow morning. I planned to get 4 miles in, because I know the running coach will push us to get 5 miles in tomorrow outside. I wanted to get out there in the night air and just go with it and get ‘er done.

Had I known that plans would fall through and the Daddy play date wasn’t going to happen I would have gotten my run in at lunch. As much as the dreadmill doesn’t inspire me, I would have done it. BUT I didn’t know.

So I get home, and instead of having the night to myself, I have two eager girls and a hungry husband. I am not the happy camper. I am, in a word, annoyed.

The bonus was that I would get to make the BBQ Chicken recipe I wanted to try out. The bad part was trying to actually cook with a soon to be 2 yr. old toddler grabbing my legs from behind and trying to wrestle me to the floor, and my 4 yr. old (soon to be 5 yr. old) asking me question after question about life. Not just simple questions, but questions about why lightning bugs don’t have brains, and why glass can break.

I hustle to get my pizza in the oven and make mini pizzas for the girls on tortillas, knowing they probably won’t eat them anyway (favorite foods of late are mac& cheese and hot dogs and any attempt on my part to inject them with veggies are thwarted).

By this time it’s already 6:30. A late dinner. Did I mention in the process of cooking dinner I stepped on a nail that was in a board that Marlo kicked off the kitchen cabinet earlier and I hadn’t had a chance to pick up yet?

Once the foot is disinfected, bandaged and everyone is fed, I look at my running shoes in the corner with a nostalgic feeling. I wanted to be on the road. I wanted to run before it got too dark out and I got scared again by a neighbor welding in his driveway looking like something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I didn’t want to be in the house, with my family….I felt…terrible. Like an awful mother. But darn it, this wasn’t my plan! I have a great plan tonight to spend quality girl time with both of them, but that was not Tonight. Tonight was my night….(do I sound selfish yet?)

So now I go from annoyed to irritated and I half-heartedly color with Lucy, thinking about running the whole time and wishing she would just fall asleep. I sing and read stories to Marlo, thinking of how I will feel after my run instead of how she is holding my hand and putting her head on my shoulder, wrapping her hair around her finger like she does….

I start to become aware that I’m not being present and as a working mom, these moments are precious. I give myself a silent guilt trip in my head about how I should pay more attention. Then I stop thinking about running and put my Momma hat on.

45 minutes later and I look at my watch. 8:30. It’s getting quite dark out. I know if I don’t go now, I never will. I kiss Lucy and tell her I need to get running before it’s too dark (she has taken a nap this day so gets a later bedtime of 9). She seems OK with it, and is focused on her coloring. I cuddle Marlo and sing her one last song, and then I hit the pavement.

And I’m off!

But….I see that the recent storms caused much damage and there are downed trees everywhere. I try to go my normal route but can’t, it’s a busy road and I don’t run in the street on that road, and after hurdling two large trees on the sidewalk, I decide to take a different route. I turn the corner and there are more trees. And more. I turn left and now I smell something like fire mixed with something else, something plastic, and I see a downed electrical wire. I’m only a mile in. I realize that I need to turn around. I can’t run in this, it was too dangerous and also frustrating to keep trying to find a clear route. Oh, and the YMCA is closed due to their power still being out, so the dreadmill or indoor track wasn't an option either.

As I turn around, I see something else besides the devastation caused by the storm – fireflies. Lucy has been talking about fireflies since Spring and they are only out for about two weeks. They are lighting up the now pitch dark sky. I know she’s still awake. I have time.

I get home and look at my Garmin. 2 miles. Not what I wanted to do, but it is what it is.

I get Lucy and her net, flashlight and mosquito repellent. We take a walk to an empty field and the fireflies are exploding like fireworks. It is amazing. I try to take a video w/ my camera phone but it is too dark to capture that beauty. But I know I will always remember it. After much trying, Lucy catches the very first firefly of her life. She holds the net close to her chest as we walk home, she desperately wants to keep it as a pet.

Once home we get the firefly into it’s home (a dome Lucy catches spiders in that has holes for breathing). I tuck her in. I feel…good. As I go to bed that night I check in on her one last time. She has moved the firefly house from her bookshelf to the corner of her bed so that the firefly can sleep with her. How precious is that?

I went to bed and thanked God for the day He had given me, and for changed plans. I had the best night and realized I had fought through most of it, when maybe next time I should just accept that plans change and embrace it. I got that by the end of the night though, and I fell asleep satisfied and happy. And I have a memory I will keep in my heart forever.

(From the movie "Grave of the Fireflies")

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    awwwwww! i just cried! You are such a wonderful mommy! This is a fabulous quote for the day and oh so true about life right? things change...especially when you are a mom! And I am so proud of you for having such a beautiful evening! You are such a gorgeous spirit!

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UNICORN212 6/25/2011 12:04AM

    And a lifetime memory is created....

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TEMPEST272002 6/24/2011 7:44PM

    This is such a well-written blog. I remember when my son was small & I was a working mum. That pull between all the responsibilities you have... and the things you'd like to do... and then these little people wanting your attention. I'm glad you finally gave in to your change of plans. What a magical night with the fireflies!

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KITHKINCAID 6/24/2011 6:29PM

    Wow. So beautiful. Good on you mama for remembering to cherish those moments even when you need to get some "you time" in. I think you did a beautiful job balancing both.

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CELEBRATELIFE1 6/24/2011 2:55PM

    I love this story. Thanks for sharing.

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KSGROTHE 6/24/2011 2:51PM

    emoticon on getting in a short run and realizing that your day was lovely despite having to change your plans!
emoticon quotes!

- Karen

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ROCKINMOM77 6/24/2011 1:46PM

    What a Great Mommy emoticon

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BLUESKY_321 6/24/2011 1:07PM

    Kudos to you for having the grace to embrace the whims of life!

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/24/2011 12:50PM

    Those are the moments that make life such a wonderful journey!

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AMBER281 6/24/2011 12:03PM

    That is a great blog and a great story!!!
While your night was not as planned it sounds like a great memory!

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BRAVACHASER 6/24/2011 11:55AM

    This is wonderful! I got a bit choked up about the firefly thing. I'm sure it will be a wonderful childhood memory for your daughter as well! I love your blogs.

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SKFEREBEE 6/24/2011 11:55AM

    Sometimes just going with the flow is the best (and most rewarding) thing. You just have to sit still and listen to what the universe is trying to tell (and teach) you. emoticon

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JENJESS48 6/24/2011 11:54AM

    First of all, I love that you quoted the original Burns.

I also don't always deal well when plans go astray. It's frustrating. And it sounds like your night started off just awful. But you didn't just salvage it, it ended up being lovely. And you are right to celebrate that. emoticon

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Inspirational Quote #6

Friday, June 24, 2011

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on so long in the first place."
~ Jared Leto

This quote is in my signature line at Spark because every time I see it, it reminds me to keep on keepin' on. So many times I've felt like giving up. When the scale doesn't budge, when it seems like there is no end to this journey, like I will never reach the top, never reach my goal. But then I remember why I am here and why I'm doing this:

emoticon For me
emoticon For my daughters
emoticon For a new start
emoticon So I never see that number 300 again
emoticon So that I don't become like my mother who can't play w/ her grandchildren
emoticon So that food doesn't rule my life anymore.
emoticon So I have choices and am not blocked in or defined by my weight
emoticon For sexy lingerie
emoticon For long kisses where I'm not worried about love handles
emoticon For higher self-esteem
emoticon For that feeling of climbing a mountain and knowing that nothing I try is impossible
emoticon I am worth it.
emoticon To prove that I can.
emoticon To show my daughters that anything in life is possible with God.
emoticon To fit into my favorite old jeans again.
emoticon Because I want to see what being under 200 lbs. feels like.
emoticon Because I love myself.
emoticon Because inspiring others feels better than depressing them.
emoticon Because smiling feels good on my face (and less wrinkles)
emoticon Because I am NOT a quitter.
emoticon Because I'm a FIGHTER.
emoticon Because I CAN.

"I am a fighter. I'm not just there to go along and get along."
~ Michele Bachmann

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 6/24/2011 1:52PM

    My favourite blog of the day! We've both come such a long way & it's hard to keep focused over that kind of time. This list is an awesome was of reminding yourself of why all the effort is worth it!

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SKFEREBEE 6/24/2011 11:58AM

    Awesome blog! Love the quote!

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AMBER281 6/24/2011 11:18AM

    That is a great reminder and great quotes.
Thanks for sharing!

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Inspirational Quote #5

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Even if the steering wheel fits, you don't have to keep gripping it."
— Beth Moore

I don't know about you, but sometimes life gets, well easy, or boring, or hard and remains hard. Maybe you're stuck in a rut, stuck in a relationship, stuck in the mud. Maybe you are comfortable there in that place. Are you comfortable? Sometimes we just get used to life not being the way we expect it, and while it "fits", it isn't what is meant for us.

We are all capable of things that sometimes our brains can't wrap around. This quote reminds me to keep pushing it, to keep demanding more of myself, to keep evolving and to know that just because my life at times "fits", that isn't my calling.

When I was 300 lbs. and sitting on the couch watching a movie, drinking wine and chilling out, that steering wheel fit. But is that who I was meant to be? Is that the woman those here on Spark know me think of? NO. I am no longer that person. I traded in that steering wheel for a new set of wheels.

Expand your vision of who you are and who you can be. Challenge yourself. Break out of the mold. Reach up and say enough! You are all worth it, and none of us were meant to live lives on auto pilot.

Who knows? Maybe one day I'll trade in my new set of wheels for a cute little Moped.

After all, anything is possible.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUN2BEFREE 6/24/2011 9:41AM

    Great blog! You said it extremely well!

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KSGROTHE 6/24/2011 2:56AM

    emoticon blog!

- Karen

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 6/23/2011 11:31PM


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KITHKINCAID 6/23/2011 11:15PM

    YES! I can totally see you on a little moped :)

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LOOZINITNOW 6/23/2011 11:06PM

    Love it!!! emoticon

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CANNOTFATHOM 6/23/2011 3:52PM

    Great blog! You're right, one needs to keep seeking challenges :)


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REENSKI 6/23/2011 3:29PM

    I love it! I glad you found your new steering wheel, and I so see a moped in your future! thanks for letting me realise I need a new steering wheel too.

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SGTSUNNY 6/23/2011 1:48PM

    Wonderful blog! Those ruts will suck you right in, good reminder!

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SEWINGMAMACDS 6/23/2011 1:25PM


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GLAMOURGIRL-9 6/23/2011 12:52PM

    Excellent! I love reading these every day! Make my mind go crazy in a good way! emoticon

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-ICANDOIT- 6/23/2011 11:59AM

    Great blog!

As for your car....I see you in a bright, shiny yellow Bug with a cute flower in the vase next to the steering wheel- you are so positive and chheerful!

I need to let go of my wheel- I've been driving the pity party bus for far too long!

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TEMPEST272002 6/23/2011 11:39AM

    I just love reading your blogs, you always write something that speaks to me. The quote is a great reminder that all it takes is a little left turn & we're on a different road completely.

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    What a fabulous blog! Thank you!!!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/23/2011 11:05AM


or a sleek race car!


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TREASURINGLIFE 6/23/2011 10:12AM

    :) Great blog!

Here's to fixin' our hands on a new steering wheel - one that better fits who we truly are!

- Michelle

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SHUTTERBUGG 6/23/2011 10:09AM

    Great post! I agree. I have caught myself getting into a rut just because it takes too much effort to change. I am slowly realizing that anything really is possible if I just get up an DO it.


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Inspirational Quote #4

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"YOU HAD THE POWER ALL ALONG" Glinda the Good Witch

One of my favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz.

When Dorothy first landed on the witch she received the ruby slippers. But it wasn’t until the end that she realized she had the power to return home all along.

Maybe Dorothy could have avoided the whole yellow brick road thing. She could have bypassed meeting the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Wizard and the whole trip to recover the broomstick. I mean she had the power to go home all along, right?

I fully believe that this weight loss journey is just that – a journey. I think that Dorothy also had to make a journey before coming to the knowledge, acceptance and belief that she truly held the power all along before she could truly use it.

Isn’t that sort of the way it is with all of us? We are born with the power to accomplish anything we want but somehow it's hidden from us. But our power is there with us all along, just like the ruby slippers. Your power is always there if only you will risk making the journey to find it.

I also believe that meeting the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the rest enhanced Dorothy’s life and changed who she was – on the inside. Just like my fellow Spark friends change me every day and push me to discover my own strength.

Have you found the amazing hidden power present in your own life? It is there.

Sometimes you will find it at your own two feet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMONTHERUN1 6/24/2011 2:06PM

    Love it!!!


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RUN2BEFREE 6/24/2011 9:39AM

    Love this blog! I believe that we have a bit of Dorothy in all of us - searching for the right way to be who we want to be. And yet, it is our yellow brick road that takes us through these extra journeys that make us who we are .... and to make us realize we are stronger than we ever thought.....


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RUNNINGPFUHL 6/23/2011 3:58PM

    Awesome Blog!! Thank you for this!!! I needed to hear it today!

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ILOVEROCK 6/23/2011 1:30AM


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RDARLING 6/22/2011 8:33PM

    Great! Thanks for sharing!

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LILIVW 6/22/2011 8:02PM

    Love your blog!

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LOOZINITNOW 6/22/2011 5:18PM

    Love it!!! emoticon

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TABIKATZZ 6/22/2011 3:58PM

    I love this! You do have the power, but the journey makes you who you are and changes you forever. How sad if Dorothy had missed the tin man, scarecrow and lion..... though I sure could have done without those flying monkeys........creepy!

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ABETTERSOUL 6/22/2011 3:18PM

    Great blog!

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TEMPEST272002 6/22/2011 2:27PM

    I love what you wrote. It really is within us... but we shouldn't discount the journey either. We not here to have easy lives... we're here to learn & grow & connect with one another. Love your attitude. Love you too!

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GLAMOURGIRL-9 6/22/2011 1:25PM

    LOVE THIS!!!!! So True!!! emoticon

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/22/2011 12:29PM

    Love this!!! Super true, too!

Thanks for posting this today! It was perfect for where I am right now in my journey!!!!!

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AMBER281 6/22/2011 12:01PM

    That is a wonderful quote and a great blog!!!
Thanks for sharing!

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    I LOVE Glinda!! Haha Wicked is AMAZING! I have a shirt that says "Defy Gravity".

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/22/2011 11:43AM

    Wonderful blog and a great reminder! Yes, we HAVE had the power all along, but it takes the journey to discover first the desire to 'go home' and then the power that has been given to us. Well said, thank you!


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Inspirational Quote #3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"A rock pile ceases being a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."

~ Unknown Author

This quote means so much to me, and has so many different facets to it. I can read this quote and apply it to any one area of my life. My view of myself - we all have the power to be whatever we choose to be. My writing, the ability to create something out of nothing, to look at the blank page and create brush strokes of words. My family, creating the family I want and the people in my life.

This quote is power. We all have strength and desire deep within to be who we were meant to be. All we have to do is change our thinking. The men who built cathedrals hundreds of years ago saw possibility in those rocks and stone...they had the foresight to see something amazing, and probably they didn't even know just how amazing their final creation would be. But God has bigger plans for us all than even we realize. Some men wouldn't see the final cathedral - generations worked on cathedrals...but they had faith that what the were building was solid...a firm foundation...and beautiful.

This quote challenges me to see the beauty in everything, even the mundane, and to choose to see the world with new eyes, and see the possibility that lies within us all. To honor who I am and to be the best "me" that I can be.

Winchester Cathedral - North Wall (I was here!)

Gloucester Cathedral (I was here too :))

We CAN reverse years of damage to our bodies by deciding to raise our standards for ourselves, then living differently. Old wounds heal, injuries repair, and the whole system improves with just a few changes in what we put into our bodies and how we move them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAMOURGIRL-9 6/22/2011 1:32PM


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TODAYIAM 6/22/2011 12:49AM


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EELS4PEELS 6/21/2011 9:02PM

    Awesome Blog, And that quote is amazing!

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BRAVACHASER 6/21/2011 5:02PM

    Fantastic blog!!! Thanks for posting this because somedays I have a difficult time feeling beautiful and strong (not physically, but mentally and spiritually) Of course I always know that I'm not unique in my experiences, but it sure does help to read from people who are or have been in the same boat as me. Your writing is wonderful and I love the cathedral pictures too!

Comment edited on: 6/21/2011 5:04:00 PM

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ILOVEPEOPLE 6/21/2011 2:38PM

    I love this blog. You are so right; beautify can be found anywhere.

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THEADMIRAL 6/21/2011 2:15PM

    Great blog! And it might enrich your train of thought to remember that the stone masons who worked on the cathedrals carved the best that they could, even in the heights that couldn't be seen by any human eye, because their work reflected on the New Jerusalem. Medieval religious thinking considered cathedrals to be the stone representation of the Body of Christ, the perfect and beautiful Bride.
So to carry your thought in those terms, we do our best, not to be seen by others, but because what we do - and are - is the workmanship of the Almighty. What we build does not stand alone, but on the shoulders of the others who are on the same journey as we are.
You caught me being an art historian. Medieval studies were one of my favorites. emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 6/21/2011 2:03PM

    What a great blog! I love how the simplest things can be the start for something amazing.

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-ICANDOIT- 6/21/2011 11:39AM

Great blog- you got inside my head and made me think! THank you!

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AMBER281 6/21/2011 11:38AM


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    absolutely beautiful!

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