New Habits: Early Bird

I have never been an early riser.  I come from a long line of women who sleep in, nap frequently, and like to watch late night TV.  I am not a morning person.  It's in my genes.  I won't apologize.

Here is proof that mornings and I don't jive.  Please don't judge.

{taken at a beach vacay with the family and I am hiding under 2 hoodies, my crooked glasses, and my hand.  I told you I am not good for mornings.}

But recently, I have decided that in order to have the time that I desperately need {ie. alone time with my husband, maybe some blog stalking, and perhaps getting to work in a timely manner, something has to give.  In an experiment of nature vs. nurture, I have begun the ginormous and ugly task of attempting to become an early bird. 

I know that you may think I am exaggerating but waking up too early actually makes me feel physically ill.  I get an upset stomach, my head hurts, and I am NOT my normal, charming self.  In order to conquer something so obviously foreign, I had to have a plan.  Enter: Zen Habits

If you don't already know about this blog, take a gander.  It's a low-fuss, unpretentious, blog that covers a multitude of habits that anyone will find helpful.  {The entry that inspired my plan of attack is here} So far, so good.  Honestly, I had a few mornings that I overslept but it's been 2 weeks now and for the first time I actually woke up on my own at 6am this morning!  {It sure doesn't hurt that it was gloriously sunny outside} 

It. Felt. So. Good.  I think that for now, 6am feels right.  If I want to push it a bit, I'm thinking it might be fun to try to 5:30am and maybe travel the neighborhood for an early morning work out but I'm not pushing things. New habit #1 conquered.  For now.  


New Habits: Making Things Happen at The Thorn's

It's a weird thing that happens to me when the sun starts making its appearance.  My spirit shifts, my mind opens, and my heart beats just a little bit faster {interestingly, the same is true when I go on a date with my handsome hub but that's another story...}.  Okay, so back to being inspired by the sun:

Typically reserved for the New Year, my "new beginning" feeling often makes it's appearance just when my work life begins to spin out of control {aka. Wedding Season}.  My weeks literally fly by and I live weeks in the future, writing wedding statements and recipes for weddings next week and next month.  It's very hard to stay in the present.  It's even harder to get any traction on my own stuff.  And thus, just as I'm beginning to feel open to new ideas, my body says "WHHAAAA!" - - but not this year.

I am beginning a series of new habits including becoming an early {earlier}riser, a diet shift, and in general, committing to making something happen, however small.  Six months ago, I read a statement from Lara Casey {if you don't know this girl, you should!}that spoke to me:


This is so true and it spoke to me in a profound way and I've held onto it waiting to hear more.  I've been praying and trusting and what I know is that I'm ready to take the baby steps.  I'm preparing my body, heart, and mind to stretch further than I'm comfortable.  I will be absorbing wisdom and encouragement from everywhere!  I'll be starting a new series of postings called, simply, New Habits which I hope to get done once a week {another of my new habits}.

Wish me luck!


Walk Score

95 - Walkers Paradise!  This is the score/accolade that our little abode was awarded.  And I'm not gonna lie... this little tidbit of information tickled my inner over-achiever pink. What's a "walk score" you ask??  Simply put, it's a way to measure how easily it is to live in an area with no car. It's a complex algorithm {wanna know the secret? Click here!} that compiles tons of data and awards each home a score based on it's walkability.  Yes, "walkability" is a word now.

Here's how the scores a broken down:

Walk ScoreDescription
90–100Walker's Paradise — Daily errands do not require a car.
70–89Very Walkable — Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50–69Somewhat Walkable — Some amenities within walking distance.
25–49Car-Dependent — A few amenities within walking distance.
0–24Car-Dependent — Almost all errands require a car.

Why in the world do I {or you}care?  The better question is why don't you care?!  Why would you want to have to jump in the car every time you have to run to the grocery store?  These days we strap P into her stroller and literally run the 6 blocks to Safeway.  We load the stroller down with our little necessities and can make our way home in about the time it would take to pile that giant car seat into the car, drive down the road, find a parking place, and proceed to unload the car seat.  Ew.  I'm annoyed just thinking about it.

And it's not just that.  Walking your neighborhood is a warm-fuzzy way to feel connected to your neighborhood and the businesses that keep it beautiful and popular.  Just last weekend we were on our regular morning walk when we passed one of the fab restaurants {Zeppos} a few blocks from our house. Out of the crowd of outdoor seating I heard "Is that Renee's granddaughter?".  We stopped and chatted with a neighbor of my mom's {yes, my mom lives nearby and, yes, I was wearing P in the ergo}and I left feeling like a definite part of our community. And in a city of 38,000 it felt pretty good to not be just another number on a census.

Of course, running into your mom's neighbor is not always going to happen.  But, when it did it was a pretty good feeling.  That day, on our walk back, I stopped and picked up a series of littered yogurt containers near a bus stop.  I carried them until I found a trashcan.  As I tossed the plastic into the can I realized that I'm proud to be part of a neighborhood that takes pride in it's walkability and my strange trash picking was my tiny way to give back.

Yes, I still drive a gas guzzling SUV.  No, I don't take public transportation.  But, when we can, I want to model a walkable lifestyle for P.  I want her to know that going to get frozen yogurt requires her to put on her tennies and take a stroll!   Getting to the river to feed the ducks takes 20 minutes because we walk there.  Dinner out means maybe forgoing my fancy shoes because halfway down the block they are going to hurt like hell.

So, YAY for our near perfect walk score.  What's your walk score?


Working Mom Malady

For the last few weeks I've been scheming away at my next move.  See, I am a big "Plan B" person {as a matter of fact, I plan through letter F most of the time} and it's very rare for me to not be daydreaming about what to do next.  No, this time it's not about what do do next to our house {I'm leaving that to the hub}.  This time it's bigger and mostly related to my insanity inducing need to be a working - GOOD - mom.

Oxymoron you say?  I think not.  I love my job.  I have a flexible schedule, a boss that inspires me, and an awesome posse that I love to see every morning.  It makes me feel connected, successful, and fulfilled.  My job is part creativity, part analytical - it suits me to a T.  

My big HOWEVER is that, lately, when I wake up our sleepy P and I pull her from her giant, snuggy, pink blanket... she reaches up and hugs me.  My heart melts.  I have to hold my breath to not take in her yummy baby smell which gets fainter every day.  I can't squeeze her and rock her while she wakes up for fear that I just won't go in to work.  I will just stay in my jammies all day and maybe walk to the park. In my daydream of stay-at-home-mommyhood, we would lounge our way through a sunny day and my house would be spotless and the laundry smelling fresh.  I would have clean, shiny hair and be fully dressed by 10am.  

This is not my reality.  I know myself and my brain would surely turn to mush within a week.  Laundry would still pile up and I'd stay in my jams to watch the Nate Berkus show.  Soon, the hub would call to say that he's on his way home for dinner and I would sheepishly admit that I haven't been to the grocery store all week. I would feel helpless and boring.  

I am a worker bee.  

Sooooo... every weekday morning, I wait until the very last moment to wake the bug.  I quickly change her diaper, dress her {she's starting to pick out her own clothes}, and head out the door to a job that I love.

I am in need of balance.  I'm not sure what the cure for this common malady is. I am opening my heart to new ideas.  Until then, I am praying for guidance, clarity, and courage.

{working mommy - image by Alan Weiner}

  {at home mommy}

Happy Sunday!