what I expected

22 days in alcohol free, which is

3 weekends and 12 basketball games.

so there is that, but what i am most shocked about is the expectations i had on this journey and how off i was! let me preface this with I always have the most ginormous expectations, with anything.  with people, with events, heck any darn day of the week, I have ridiculous expectations.
here are just a few that have me shocked thus far on this journey.

expectation #1:
relaxing, I mean what can be more relaxing then being sober and not having the stress of drinking and mom shame?  i had thought being sober would be the answer to that question!  being sober is NOT relaxing me, not one bit.  there was just something about getting that first drink in me after a game or anything that had me stressed out or had caused me anxiety.  right about when the first glass was empty and moving through my blood stream and the second one was on the way did I start to ‘unwind’.  how awful is that?  the first week in, the first basketball game into this journey was a close one, a frustrating one, an extremely frustrating one.  at the end I was annoyed, angry, and completely tense and stressed out.  I had anxiety not only my own but for my kid, which if you have kids, you know, is even worse.  I was worried about her, stressed about her, stressed for her, concern for her, every mom feeling when you know your kid is struggling with multiple issues was moving through me.  my head was not stopping, thoughts and conversations were running through my brain and I have said it before, inside my head is not a fun place to be, it just doesn’t stop.  the usual crew was going out after the game and I wanted to go.  I was and still am determined I am going to still do the things I did prior to 1/1, just not drinking and this was going to be my first one.  my goal is to be the most fun sober person you have been around!  I went, I ordered my water drink and I missed that release, that release off the glass of wine and the stress subsiding. although the time did come when the stress subsided, it is defiantly longer, like a day or 2, but drinking or not drinking that stress returns, and goes right back to where it was, so clearly the alcohol does not end the anxiety, just dulls it a bit, but i will say it is nice not having 2 sets of anxiety the next morning, meaning the stress being back and the anxiety of the day/night prior. 

expectation #2, well this is more of a miss:
I miss the funniness (is that a word?) and/or stories.  I am not certain how to describe this.  one of the main reasons I wanted to stop drinking is I didn’t want that to be my identity.  that being said, last weekend when I was out with a friend people were giving her shit because she was hammered the night before and everyone was laughing about it.  I got a pang of… im not going to call it sadness or jealousy, but a pang of ‘oh that is not me they are laughing about’.  which doesn’t even make freaking sense, that was one of the main reasons I wanted to make this shift and then here I am kind of sad I wont get to have a funny, snarky come back to a drunk story.  when that was me, and it often was,  I always felt shame, silly, like what is wrong with you that everyone can go out and hold their booze.  I was having all those feelings for her when the dialogue was happening.  but I was also having a ‘ohh I want a funny story, that is why they hang out with you and they are not going to anymore if you dont do something fun or silly’ feeling. it was almost like I was having ‘the grass isn’t greener on the other side’ feeling, but it is supposed to be greener because I am doing something that is better for me and my family.   this one has me super confused and I think will evolve over time.  goodness knows that I can still have the your stupid story the next day without booze, I will have it from saying something stupid, booze or no booze I will piss someone off I suppose.  anyway, stay tuned on that what I miss. 

expectation #3:
how about drink ordering, I thought I was going to be all sly with this one.  I didn’t want not drinking to be a ‘hing. I didn’t really even want anyone to know I wasnt drinking anymore, my goals was to just slide under the radar.  I had planned, I knew what I was going to order and it was going to look like a drink, so it would never be questioned.  it didn’t work out that way.  I feel like each and every time I ordered a drink prior to 1/1 no one was paying attention.  I always just spoke with my server and asked for what I wanted just her and I.  now it seems that is still the process, oh but now it gets dead silent while I am doing so!  everyone I am with stops talking and waits, then hears my drink request. they look at me and say, ‘oh, you are doing that cleanse thing.’ so that makes it just kind of ok.  that is the perception of how this started, because i am committed to the one/80 I am just not drinking.   I just never validated or explained anything more, so I am still on that cleanse thing as far as they are concerned.  So 22 days into my ‘cleanse’ and doing great.  but then I eat, like not the healthiest and they say ‘oh good cleanse’ again, I just do not validate or explain. 

expectation #4:

I had the ridiculous expectation that on january 2nd I would wake up feeling amazing!  as with anything,  I wanted instant results, just like I do with pretty much everything in my life.  I say I am eating clean, my expectation is the next day I will be down 10lbs and look and feel amazing, this expectation was no different than any other I have had.  I am done drinking alcohol, therefor I will feel amazing the next day, right?


I felt worse and honestly 22 days in and I am still not feeling great.  I am tired, forgetful, chubby and just blah.  I feel like I am in a state off fogginess.  
I am supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine right now.  I am doing something with only positive results,  why do I feel like shit?
expectation #5

sleep, i am going to sleep so well.  at night, I get my diffuser going with lavender and/or some type of peaceful, calming blend.  I have passed up the melatonin for a meditation app, I listen to my podcasts but still sleeping terribly.  
I have tried sleeping more,
I have tried sleeping less 
I cant fall asleep at night
I sleep very restless
I wake up during the night 
and then when the alarm does go off I feel awful and not rested so I sleep late.  I cant get myself out of bed early, which is what I want.  I want to take advantage of the quite hours in the morning and start my day with a quite sunrise, maybe reading something to inspire me for the day, get a morning workout in and I just cant do it.  I want to, like I really, really want to but the long and the short is I slept better before.  that is frustrating to me. 
expectation #6

how about skin, and health wise.  not that sleep isn’t health but not drinking, again, I thought I would just feel better.  I thought my skin would glow since I would be so hydrated from drinking water all night.  seriously, when I am out I am drinking over 100oz of water, I mean that has to be flushing some serious toxins out of me, right?  nope, not feeling that way.  surprisingly I don’t feel bloated the next day, but I don’t feel great either.  when I was drinking I would wake up the next day totally dehydrated, of course.  I would be woken up in the middle of the night with the death cotton mouth in search of my water bottle and chug every last drop.  that next day, I wouldn’t feel terrible, getting hung over didn’t happen to me often, really often times I felt great and was super happy because the scale would be down, a significant amount of pounds down. after a good night out or an awesome weekend I would be feeling great because I had lost a good amount of weight.  while I understand it was just my body dehydrated, it was something.  my stomach was less bloated, my pants fit better so in turn I felt better.  that feeling is gone and I am fully hydrated the next morning.  I expected that, but I was expecting to feel great too and have some glowing skin.  not happening, so again frustration. 

what i love:
I do love not feeling remorse the next day

I do love not having any type of feeling sick the next day

I do love not wanting grease when I wake up 

I do love my bar tab, although I am just playing more keno now, so there really isnt much of a win there. 🙂

I do love my water drink mix

I do love I can drive home

I do love coming home and going to bed feeling proud of myself

I do love coming home and talking to my kids

I do love that they may just seem proud of me or maybe I should say not annoyed with me when I get home.   
Prior to 1/1 when they would call or text asking when I would be home, I would start to have the shame and guilt set in, the I have to switch to ‘focus so you don’t sound confused, focus and articulate’.  heck, now I may be making zero sense to them and still disappoint, but at least I know and they know, I am doing it alcohol free.

Im not sure how this journey will go, I will say,

as with anything it hasn’t been as expected, but as I have learned, it is a journey of day by day. 

it may not have went as planned

i do this to myself every time.  i have this vision in my head, and i don’t get things done i want to do, because i do not have them exactly as i have planned in my head.  then i get annoyed, angry, frustrated, the usual.  my head is really not a forgiving place to be.

anyway, that is how it went down for watch the polar express on our holiday bucket list.
time was crucial, we were running out of time, we had wrapped up the basketball tournament and were on the last night before christmas eve.  we were grouping have a ‘hot chocolate bar’ and the ‘watch polar express’ together into one night of fun.

you see, when i added have a hot chocolate bar to the holiday bucket list, i pictured it to look like this:

 or this

mine wasn’t even worthy of a picture.  i laid on the couch and the kids popped some hot chocolate cups in the kurig and grabbed the redi whip out of the fridge and most likely squirted it in their mouth.  im am not certain of that why you ask?  oh that is because i was asleep on the couch as i had fallen asleep during the polar express.

this holiday season has kicked my butt, well leading up to it i should say.   between basketball games, work, more work holiday sale i am just done.  getting sick for 4 days didn’t help either, i just couldn’t muster up the energy.

but you know what?  we did spend an entire evening together at home.  we did snuggle in on the couch and i am certain that the 4 biggest blessing in my life believe.  the christmas spirit was there and that is a success with whipped cream on the top.

now, to finish up that holiday bucket list.

why run?

it is that time of year, cleveland marathon time, well in my case cleveland half marathon.

several years back, after the slowest jog over the finish line of the chicago marathon, i decided i was going to be a halfer girl for my remaining running years.  it is about time for me to run my annual 13.2 miles which also means i have started training to do so.  if you call running a few times a week and maybe throw a 6 miler in on the weekends training, but hey, that is training for me!
i have been a consistent runner for about the last 20 years, initially i started running because it burns lots of calories = weight loss.  that is not the case any more, not that i don’t still burn a lot of calories, but the weight loss doesn’t come with it and that really isn’t my goal or my why. 
I was recently asked…
 ‘why do you run?’
i run because it keeps me sane, or as sane as i can be. 🙂
i know this doesn’t just apply to me, nor am i the first to talk about it,as with every workout i do, but especially running there are several reason why.
it gives me time to just think
clears my mind
releases stress
makes me a better person
chases away the crabbiness
makes me a better mom, friend, co-worker etc.
make me productive, seriously… i get so much more done after a good run!
it also makes me eat, like a lot!
my children know this too…they can tell, they sense my irritation increase when the day is moving along and i have yet to break a sweat.  often times they are the ones pushing me out the door.
‘please mom, you just need to go workout, please go do something!’
they, being grace (14), wyatt (12), jesse (8) mae (5), are main motivators as to why i run. my hope is that over time they may want to join me and maybe, just maybe they themselves will be consistent runners one day.  as for now though, they are pushing me out the door.
generally i work out 6-7 days a week,  at the minimum i need 3 of those workouts to be a run.  i need that sweat
the banging of my knees
the mindless netflix show
or loud music
the chaffing
the blisters
the heart rate increase
the burn of sweat dripping in my eye
the mind game
the thought wandering
the negotiations i make with my self along the way
running, at times it can be the hardest thing to gear myself up for, those are usually the best runs, and other times i just pop right up and go.  but nothing tops that feeling of being done.  it doesnt matter if it is a quarter of a mile or 26.2, when i have that distance in my head that i am going to do, hitting cool down on the treadmill or the buzz of the watch telling me i have hit that distance is satisfaction.  a double strike through on my list of things to do.  one that cannot be compared to many others on the accomplishment rating.
it has taken me years to call myself a runner, but regardless of my pace or distance i am just that, a runner, and i am grateful to be.

the most unproductive week ever

that is what this week was, why you ask?
because I was run down by the flu monday afternoon and I have just peeled myself back up. literally.

but I will go into that in my five random, very random, oh hey friday post.

here is the drill
ready, enjoy, comment, link up.
don’t forget that comment part.


link on up with september farm and the farmers wife

1//  I don’t know what it was, the flu, a cold, some type of crazy something got into my system on monday afternoon that left me unresponsive all week. I could not even lift my head. this was my spot all week, I did not move far from it. on the plus side I spent 4 straight days watching hgtv therefor we will be busy painting cupboard, installing beams in the ceiling, new mantels and floors and than selling our house. 🙂

2// one thing I did realize on my death bed, can you tell I am not a good sick person? I need more water, so lets do a challenge… a water challenge. message me here, now, to sign up for a free water challenge this week. come on, we have to stay hydrated to fight the illness away and get great glowing skin, flush fats, you know all those great benefits of putting down gallons of water a day! it is easy to do and with the challenge, you will have me sending you daily reminders to do so. it is free, nothing to loose, well you know, you may loose a little something, but only good losses. so just add in the subject of the email… ‘add me to the water challenge, please!’

3//  because I was so unproductive during the week, I am going to be super productive this weekend. yep, washing every article of laundry in my house and then some, followed by bleaching the disease away for once and for all. we have been fighting this sickness for a few weeks and the fact I got this twice is annoying, so it is time to go. what is your best oil concoction, germ fighting tip? please share, I have to get this out of our lives. also the weather next week is going to be awful, again. so I need to get this out!

4// I shared this on the gram yesterday, but I had to share here, because this is what my smallest gal does every.single.day. it doesn’t matter how cold it is, she has to go out and play basketball. she gets her gear, water bottle, cavs backpack, ball and shooting shirt. she ‘warms up’ and listens to the coach make the plan while wearing the shooting shirt and then the game starts, aka shooting shirt comes off, and she is in it to win it, or until her arms are numb and it is dark out and she is told to come in. which follows up by a huge full on fit and she is not taking a shower.

5// this sweet girl, she stayed by my side this week and was so confused on why I was invading her space all week. she is used to being home alone all day and I was cramping in on her style laying on the couch all week. she would just sit there and stare at me saying ‘when do you plan on leaving?’ as with the rest of my family, she doesn’t do well with change.

ok, lets get ready for the weekend! but first, scroll back up and message me that you are in for the water challenge! come on!! we all need more water! 

road tripping

Im taking this blog on the road, not really, but I am typing this while on the turnpike heading to chitown to watch my oldest gal play in the windy city national qualifier. so for this volleyball road show the whole squad is in tow, so im sharing my top 5 volleyball tournament traveling tips.

link on up with september farm and the farmers wife but first, leave me a comment, especially if you are one of those volleyabll moms. I am one, we should start a support group, or a hastag, that is for another post though I suppose. either way leave me a comment so I know you stopped by.

1// ez pass – my friend kati says it best ‘it is just so easy’. And you know what, she is so right, it is just is so easy. ours is obviously from the great state of OH-IO but it can be used everywhere. if you are not familiar with these, well im not sure where you have been, but I still think your great. basically you load up your ez pass and then cruise right through those toll booths and not have to wait in the line to pay your toll.

2// snacks – this is checklist number 1. my girl plays hard and I have no clue as to why, but none of these events offer a good choice for snacks/breakfast/lunch/dinner – and if you are familiar with club volleyball, again part of my club, you know you are there for all three meals. – so it is my mom duty, which was written in my contract when she was born, to provide healthy snacks and meals for her. I usually try to make these energy balls:
No-Bake Energy Bites 1 cup (dry) oatmeal 1/2 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp. vanilla:
but we have the usual with us:

  • cuties
  • turkey sandwich
  • pretzels
  • apples
  • trail mix
  • goldfish
  • dried fruit
  • water – lots of water, those big middles need to hydrate

and also in addition to my little rant about how the good choices at these events are limited, how about the ones that do not allow you to bring in food, to force you to purchase the junk food junkie menu items, annoying! players/families invest quite a bit of money to play at every level so don’t make me smuggle my food in like a hoarder, I am not asking to roll in a cooler, but lets be reasonable and not frisk me at the door for bringing in my dried fruit. *end rant 🙂
3// chairs/old person chair/blankets – you really have to be prepared with this one. there are so many different tournament set ups you just never know what the seating is going to be all about it. I made the commitment into the old persons club a few years ago, made that purchase of the item my grandma always brought to the game, but boy has it been a life saver. if bleachers are the only option this is a life saver.
not only does it keep your butt off the freezing cold metal bleacher, but you can sit back and have some back support. I do know from experience that some not so friendly attendees do not always appreciate the chair, im pretty sure she was just crabby and jealous of my back support.
you can also use these pop up chairs, if there isnt bleachers or if there is and also floor space to set up camp. remember, you are in this to win this so you could be looking at a good 12-15 hours at this event, comfort is key.
which brings me to the blanket, this had multi uses. these events are usually in some type of convention center or converted warehouse, so installation and warmth is not included. I strongly suggest a blanket to throw over your legs, again I am old, old people get cold. also, club volleyball season is winter, winter in my parts = snow and cold. dress in layers.
the girls also use the blanket to set up ‘camp’. camp is where the team sits throughout the day during their ‘rest’ sessions or breaks. aunt laura got my 2 volleyball girls this one for christmas this year, super cute.
4//   electronic devices & chargers – you need them, especially if you are bringing the younger squad along. I know, I know, limit screen time… whatever. tell me that after you spend the day with three additional offspring reminding you of how bored they are and have eaten all the said healthy snacks and gone through $50 for the ‘snack bar’. do you remember the part about a 12-15 hour day? those people are done,
D-O-N-E done,
and the screen time is the only thing that will hush them at that point. we start the day out all, ‘oh you brought your books, great, get your reading in.’ and ‘thank you for coloring me the beautiful picture.’ or how about ‘I love the 53rd braclet you loomed me.’ in the end… just let them have the screen time.
now for myself, I can:

  • read on my ipad,
  • get lots of work done, remember I am a beachbody coach, I can work everywhere.
  • update this here blog
  • listen to personal development
  • Or just take a nap, dont judge, I have found myself a spot tucked away and have napped, I told you…it’s a long day and it starts early.

5// coloring book & pencils – ok this trick I learned this year and it has been a life saver thus far. Now this one may just pertain to me, sometimes I need something that calms me and this does the trick.

When things gets intense, matches are close, serves are going crazy, jumps are not up there to block and hits are going out or into the net, just focus on the coloring. Blending, fun patterns, coloring the same spot over and over, it happens. Just whispering positive affirmations in your head and trying to stay in the lines helps. I swear, im not crazy.
that’s it! ready to link up? are you a volleyball traveling family too?
road trip

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