Thursday Ten: Marrow Is SO Pretty Edition

1. Several months ago, I signed up for the National Marrow Donor Program. This week, I received a preliminary call telling me I might be a match. The next steps are to fill out a questionnaire about my health (done) and then they’ll decide if they need to do further blood screening to see if I’m similar enough with the recipient to be a donor. And so, I’m waiting to see right now – even though the thought of having a needle poked into my bones doesn’t sound so fun, I’ll be thrilled if I can give some of my marrow (which I’m sure is VERY ATTRACTIVE) to someone who needs it. Joining the registry is EASY, and if you feel so inclined – please take the time to sign up. The first steps include a super easy cheek swab – you can do it.

2. It’s apparently National Dog Day. My dog is howling outside my window as I type this. We shelled out the bucks to fence in our yard so that he has a secure place to run around. He doesn’t run around though. He basically hovers under the deck. That’s alright though. His splint is off and his puny little chicken leg is on the mend. He’s still VERY high energy – so that fresh outside air will do him some good.

3. My friends from P & G sent me a bottle of their NEW Downy to try and I’m gearing up to try Clean Sheet Week. My favorite part of laundry is having clean sheets – but that clean sheet feeling is gone too soon. Bums me out. So, I’ve got a bottle of April Fresh Downy that was given to me so that I could try this out. I’ll change my sheets and start my test in the next couple of days. I’ll keep you posted.

4. New music this week… I’ve been listening to Chris Blake – who I’ve stumbled over on Twitter. His new EP, “Girl” is available on iTunes – and I bought it this week (He doesn’t love me enough to send me free music, which is okay – because it’s totally worth the dinero to just buy it). I also love the YouTube vid he posted below – though the song in this vid is not from the new EP (but it IS on iTunes, so… y’know… clickety click). I love some of the regrets listed – especially the person who should have gotten their ingrown toenail fixed. Yeah.

5. Last night, my friend and I went to a nearish middle school to photograph her daughter’s cheer squad for their team pictures. It’s been (ahem) a few years since we donned the polyester skirts (GO FIGHT WIN!), and it was a bit of a slap in the (wrinkly) face that it’s been 16 years (ugh) since we were in high school. What a huge difference in teens today from teens back in OUR day (get off my lawn). I still think my mom should count her blessings I was a teen in the age of grunge: big flannel shirts and baggy jeans. Certainly not a fashion trend that did me any favors – but it probably eased many a mother’s mind.

6. Yesterday, The Princess made sugar cookies while the Mother’s Helper was here. Don’t tell her I told you this but… they are like giant white hockey pucks. Hubs told me later that she was pretty disappointed with herself that she doesn’t make cookies “as good as mommy’s”. He told her it would take practice – and that I probably didn’t start out being able to make phenomenal cookies (Which is kind of untrue – my cookies? They’ve always been good. It’s just a curse. I make good cookies).

7. Netflix has an iPhone app? BRING IT ON. Our Wii has been acting very weird lately (as in, it just won’t turn on. At all. No power, no nuffin’). We thought the sucker was a goner. Nope – just a very cranky power cord, AC adapter thingamabobber. Til we get that replaced though, it’s nice to know that I can livestream Season One Prison Break on my phone (oh Wentworth Miller, I have missed you).

8. Started doing the Shred with a large group of virtual friends this week. This is Day 4. I think (they’re all starting to run together). I still love the Shred, though. Can’t deny – the stuff works. And it’s funny – because when working with personal trainers, I respond more to the Bob Harper type (encouraging, nice, tell me about your feelings) – not the drill sergeant type. But she’s not that way in the DVD, and my abs already look nicer, so YAY JILLIAN. I’ll ignore your overuse of the word “buddy” if you keep making my muscles look nice.

9. Speaking of muscles – the 100 Pushup Program is still in effect. I have NOT given up yet. I did a test the other day and can do 50 pushups without stopping. I eked out those last few reps, just to hit 50 – and then sat in the middle of the room in complete awe. I really have no idea how I’m going to get to 100 though. That just seems like a lot. But, I’m DETERMINED to do it.

10. Gearing up to get these kids back in school – just when I thought I had ALL the school supplies I needed…. I get another list. The Princess’s teacher has requested specific colored two-pocket folders. I guess the dude is going to be the persnickety type. Back to the store I go.

Thursday Ten: OMG, Ke$ha Is Stuck In My Head Edition

1. I don’t really like Ke$ha. She gets a lot of popular radio play and I get a little squidgy when my daughter sings along about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, but, I have to admit, “Your Love Is My Drug” is catchy. I mean, I guess I had no choice but to catch it – it’s getting A LOT of airplay. In ONE hour on a radio station in northern Michigan last weekend, we heard it THREE TIMES. In one hour.

2. With my limited time to get things done in the summer, I have taken to doing the Jillian Michaels Shred again. I tend to not enjoy it while I’m doing it, but I do like a condensed workout. Admittedly, I’ve taken to scowling at the television during lunges though. I know it must totally break Jill’s heart.

3. Father’s Day weekend is approaching – do you have cool plans? I asked the girls what to get for Hubby, and Pumpkin said, “DEFINITELY a new golf club.” Fantastic, right? I know hooey about golf and golf clubs – don’t know what clubs he has, what clubs he needs and uh, aren’t they all the same anyway?

4. I hope y’all know I’m kidding in the above statement. Golf has been my saving grace with my photography hobby. What easier way to justify needing new lenses than to explain that different lenses do different things. Kind of like golf clubs. Whoa. Look at that bag full of clubs in the garage. Hmmmm.

5. The Princess has started gymnastics team practices – and while I think three hours of practice twice a week is a little hard core, she seems to be enjoying herself. She also seems to be progressing more quickly than I would have thought. Just a week ago, she struggled with a front walkover – and now she has it (nearly) down. I’m pretty surprised with how rapidly she’s picking these things up – but it’s exciting as well. The excitement she feels when she masters a new skill is pretty easy to read on her face – and that’s awesome.

6. It’s just past lunch time and I’ve already gotten dinner started. Whoa, right? I’m actually utilizing my crock pot for the best (homemade) pork tacos ever. And yeah, my house smells AMAZING.

7. I’m due to start a conference call shortly for an explanation on a project – a conference call that will likely leave me more confused than not. I am not 100% how to bridge the gap – when you have one person who needs to explain a project outloud to truly feel like they’ve explained it, and one who needs to read the detail to truly understand it. Writing down project details isn’t my coworker’s strong suit, but reading details is mine. Sigh. Somehow, it all works – once we muddle through the frustration.

8. I went to Costco on an empty stomach yesterday – and was thoroughly disappointed to find that there were hardly any samples out. Costco, you’ve failed me! They did have a PopChips sample. I ate mine. And then I ate the samples my daughters grabbed (stop looking at me like that. They’re GOOD). Then I bought a bag of Pop Chips that is big enough to be used as a hot air balloon once I eat all the chips.

9. I treated myself to a new camera strap this week. I had seen the link to High Key Camera via someone’s Twitter stream awhile back and had bookmarked the page.  In need of a lil retail therapy earlier in the week, I picked a funky green colored strap. Amazing and speedy service – and adds a little personality to my camera. Adorable.

10. My feet are almost completely healed post-Avon Walk. I definitely bounced back quicker this time. Thank goodness. There’s definitely an advantage to having known what to expect this go ’round. Who wants to join us next year?

Thursday Ten: OH NO! It’s Almost Summer Edition

1. The school year is winding to a close. Tuesday was Pumpkin’s preschool graduation, today is her last day. Today was an awards ceremony at The Princess’s school – her last day is in a week and a half. And then… summer. Oy. Y’all remember, it takes me a few weeks to find my routine and my groove in the summer. Except moderate amounts of griping about the chaos in coming weeks. It’ll be (mostly) painless (for you).

2. Tomorrow The Princess turns 8. I’ve been trying to get away with calling her birthday my “mommiversary” in hopes that there are presents and cake for ME, as well. So far, it doesn’t appear to be catching on.

3. Editing and processing photos is a time-consuming thing. How much so, I hadn’t realized. I am told that processes and routines help – if you are a photographer or photo-junkie, what do YOU do with your pictures to process? And also: PhotoShop or Lightroom?

4. The American Idol finale last night. WHOA. That was two hours of crap for two minutes of reward. I wish they wouldn’t stretch it out like that. It’s miserable. But, I’m happy with the winner… so there’s that.

5. In guitar class, we started a different song – Anna Nalick’s “Breathe”. One of my favorites.

6. In addition to “Breathe”, we went back to “Shallow Days” and Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman, blah blah blah”. It’s funny – the weeks I don’t get much time to practice, I often manage to pull off a good lesson. It’s funny that way – I tend to overthink and get frustrated when I’m not accomplishing something, so sometimes it’s good to walk away from what I’m learning for a moment. Somehow, I usually manage to make progress. Sorta.

7. After February, I decided to not color my hair anymore. It was never about extreme color changes – when you have hair as dark as mine, you can’t really go extreme without a kajillion step process to lighten first… and frankly, I don’t have the patience for that. I was doing semi-permanent colors occasionally, just to cover the gray — but stopped when I decided that I really like my natural hair color better than I liked any of the colors I was finding on a shelf. Fortunately, the gray hairs seemed to slow right around then, so it wasn’t even a huge deal. BUT. I found two of those suckers this morning and they have GOT TO GO. Vanity sucks.

8. My afternoon involves making cupcakes for The Princess’s second grade class. If I learned anything last year it’s that I need to keep the air conditioning cranked until I get the cupcakes out of the house so the frosting doesn’t melt off.

9. Any one have any big Memorial Day weekend plans? Looks like we’re celebrating a birthday ALL WEEKEND. (Seriously, like three days of cake).

10. With the end of the school year coming, my days are getting more and more chaotic with activities at the kids’ schools and all the other nitpicky things like field trips, field days, and la la la. Because of this, I’ve had to juggle life around to get everything done – which means that this morning I woke up before six a.m. Why? To do the Jillian Michaels’ SHRED. Before 6 a.m. Oy.

Jillian Michaels Hates Me and Wants Me To Not Lift My Arms


The first time I heard about the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred was on Twitter. There was a decent number of people tweeting about it and how much the work out kicked their butt and they even had a hashtag (because everything worth doing is worth assigning a hashtag, right?): #shredheads.

I thought to myself, Man. I don’t know. I work out every day – I don’t really know how something could be THAT difficult.

I was mildly intrigued, but was able to bypass the Shredhead phenomenon and was content with my workout routine as it existed. Recently, I added running to the mix on a more consistent basis than ever, and realized that my current workout? Well, it’s the SAME FREAKIN’ THING I’ve been doing for y’know… seven years?

So I asked my family for Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred  for my birthday. I also made it clear that I would not interpret the actual gift of a workout DVD for my birthday as anything other than giving me what I requested (aka I was not allowed to then accuse them of thinking I have a little too much junk in the trunk).

This morning I did it for the first time – and immediately? My upper body was SO SORE (hello deltoids – I guess I was neglecting you). And now, my lower half is a little hurty too (glutes – heeeeeeeey). And I don’t want or need to lose the twenty pounds she advertises, but if I could stay toned enough to keep my cookie consumption at the level where I would like it to be, well, y’know… that’d be awesome.

If you’ve done the Shred, how’d it work for you? Did you get results? Does it ever stop hurting – because right now, it hurts to lift my (reusable!) water bottle up to take a sip and I feel a little bit like I’ve been hit by a car.

P.S. I’d like to apologize for thinking that maybe people were overstating the affect this has on one’s body, because clearly I was very wrong and am now paying for that. Sorry, y’all.

P.S. 2 Why yes, that was an affiliate link up there.