Just keep on running.

How a non-athlete and a non-runner fell (3)To you remember the timed mile runs from middle school?  I can still recall the hatred I felt for those bad boys today.  I HATED running and I despised the fact that I was being forced to plod along the track by a PE teacher.  It is a wonder that I was able to actually able to fall in love with the sport during college.

This week I shared on the Shrinking Jeans site my journey from hating to loving running.  It has everything from the jogs I had as a child where I cried the entire way, those dreaded middle school one milers, and the fact that my crotch likes to hold shorts hostage.  Seriously, if I can lace up my running shoes and go, so can anyone else.

How I went from hating to loving running!


My favorite workout partner, Boone.

The Shrinking Jeans is hosting a virtual race on Halloween.  This means that you could brag to all of your friends about doing a race before chowing down on Halloween candy.  You enjoy all the perks of a race like the t-shirt and a finishing medal without all the bad like silly race rules or parking.  As someone who runs with my dog every time, it stinks when the race prohibits them.  I understand why, but I prefer having my dog with me.  He is my workout buddy.

Sign up to join me in the virtual race.  You can run one mile, 5k, or 10k, PLUS 15% of proceeds go towards Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

P.S.  No one cares if you walk none or all of it, do what works best for you.

Happy running this weekend!

Relax, it is finally fall.

It’s finally starting to feel like fall.  In Texas, fall is not cozy cable knit sweaters and drinking crisp apple cider that you see on Pinterest.  Fall in Texas is flip-flops, tank IMG_4710tops, and using the AC in your home.  Fall is when Texas becomes less hot.  As in it is no longer hotter than the gates of hell here.

Towards the end of August, everyone around here gets a little grumpy due to the heat.  In eleven years of being a real estate agent, this summer was my busiest one yet.  I slayed some business goals that I have had for a long time, but have become a little on edge and stressed.  Towards the end of the busy summer season, I get a little burnt out and ready for the natural slowdown in fall and winter.  There is still work to be done, but not quite at the frenzied pace of the summer.  I feel like I can finally take a breath.

CorpFootball has started so Oilman was literally singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” on the first day that the Aggies played.  Oilman went to Texas A&M and was in the Corp.  He is very passionate about his alma mater.

Even though it is still hot, I’m breaking out some fall staples.  My pumpkin spiced candles are lit.  My favorites are currently the ones at Kohl’s for the value and scent.  I’m slowly decorating for fall and Halloween.  By decorating I mean I have put up one picture and two fake pumpkins.  I was successful in my first attempt at pumpkin butter and it is a tasty treat.  Put a dab of it in your coffee for a real pumpkin kick (not the fake stuff you get at coffee shops).  Oilman was a huge fan of it on toast and promptly declared, “The weird stuff you made is the bomb”.

I’m going to relax, eat some weird stuff on toast, inhale my pumpkin scented candles, and listen to my husband hoot and holler over football games.  It all makes me very happy.

For the Love of Reading

I read a lot.  This started during childhood because I was not allowed to watch TV.  My parents felt like we should be For the love of reading...productive and TV watching did not fall under the category of productivity.  We had TV’s for movies, but didn’t have cable or access to non cable channels (we lived in the country).  I survived this time by getting into trouble with my brother and lots of reading.  Don’t worry, I have made up for lost TV watching time now with DVRs and Netflix.  The reading thing has stuck and it is something I truly enjoy.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

The last book I finished was Jen Hatmaker’s, For the Love.  Here is my review of the book for the Shrinking Jeans site.  This is the third book of hers that I’ve read and I’m a huge fan.  You may recognize Jen from her show on HGTV, “My Big Family Renovation”.  She also frequents the Today show with tips on parenting.

I just cracked open Glennon Melton’s new book and I find her refreshingly honest.  She writes over at Momastery.  For fun, I tried the sample of Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to buy it yet, but the beginning was intriguing.

Anyone reading anything great right now?

Think, then speak.

jjustBeingReal.com (1)I had one of those instances last week that just makes you want to shake your head.

It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with sharing the fact that we have infertility with others.  One of the first questions people ask upon an initial meeting is normally, “do you have any children?”  Conversely for men it is typically, “what do you do?”  The children question is an easy way for women to establish common ground with each other, I get it.  On this particular day, the woman I was chatting listened to me say that we have infertility and then responded to me with sharing how easily she gets pregnant.  She just TALKS about getting pregnant and then it happens.  She didn’t get pregnant once, she got pregnant four times, really easily.  All I needed to do was relax and then I too could be pregnant just like her.

Sometimes we need to think before opening up our mouths.  Going into great detail about the ease of your pregnancies to an infertile woman is very inconsiderate.  It would be like me talking to someone who is in the midst of a painful divorce and saying, “You are getting a divorce, let me tell you about how great my marriage is.”  Would it be a good idea to tell someone how healthy I am when they have just shared the news that they have cancer?  No, that is not a good idea at all.

It is conversations like these that spawn the million blog posts detailing what not to say to someone.  We see posts titled, “10 things to never say to a stay at home mom” or “What NOT to say to a woman with infertility”.  I have seen these on every subject.  There are lists for stay at home moms, oilfield wives, military wives, divorced parents, teachers, working moms, single moms, breast-feeding moms, moms who use formula, etc.  We have seen these posts, read them, and shared them.  They resonate with us and we can agree that we have been there.  We have all been in a conversation with someone who either didn’t think before speaking, or was under the impression that the words they were sharing were somehow helpful (when they were not).

Those posts serve a purpose in that they allow us to see how hurtful we can be without realizing it, or they open our eyes to a new perspective we may not have considered.  While the “what not to say” lists started out as eye-opening and informative, lately they have become a little annoying and over the top.  It can make us wonder what on earth we actually CAN say, because everything is offensive or upsetting to someone on this planet.

There are two things I think about when I encounter someone like Mrs. Fertile Myrtle:  how many times have I said something insensitive to someone else unintentionally and what is the right thing to say?

I cringe when I think back over things I have said to others.  I have talked without thinking.  I have shared my opinions on subjects that I didn’t understand.  Sometimes I later found that my opinions were wrong and hurtful.  I’m guilty of saying the wrong thing at times just like anyone else.  I can’t judge others too harshly without pointing the finger back at myself.

I don’t think the answer to avoiding uncomfortable conversations are more lists detailing what people can and cannot say to an infertile woman, or a stay-at-home mom, or a military wife, or a home-schooled family.  We need to talk less and listen more.  When I have no relativity to what someone else is experiencing I can choose to ask more questions before I dish out unwanted and unsolicited advice.

When we come across someone who is going through a life experience we have zero knowledge of, we simply say, “This isn’t something I have gone through or understand, why don’t you tell me more about it?”

Why don’t you tell me more about it?   Can it be that simple?  I would LOVE it if people would ask me that question when I mention our infertility.  People don’t even think to ask about any underlying medical conditions contributing to our inability to get pregnant before they start dishing out the old tried and true “just relax” advice.  Maybe, if we would stop for a second and ask questions we could learn what our fellow friends, family, and strangers are actually going through.  We could be more sensitive to the struggles of others.  We may even pick up how to talk to someone going through something similar that we meet later on in life.  We have the opportunity to educate ourselves and encourage those living different paths in life or we can make them feel like crap.

It really is quite simple, think then speak.  Ask questions before dishing out the advice.  No more lists or detailed 1000 word articles on what not to say to others.  Think, then speak.  That is all.

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha's VineyardThere is a band named Jackopierce that Oilman has always been a huge fan of.  They got their start in the late 80’s in Dallas, Texas.  It was one of the first bands that exposed Oilman to the amazing sound of the acoustic set.  He was hooked.  Throughout the years he has been to a lot of their shows and remains a huge fan.  Once a year, Jackopierce does a destination show on Martha’s Vineyard.  It is a small show with only 100 tickets sold and includes dinner.  Normally the show sells out really quickly, but for some reason several tickets became available last minute.  Plus, the show just happened to be during Oilman’s days off.

We booked the trip two weeks before the show.  That is how these two Texans ended up vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.  We knew we would fit in effortlessly (there is a hint of sarcasm there y’all).

As we landed in Boston, several locals warned us about the weather.  They stressed how hot and humid it was going to be.  Later on in the evening as I sat outside eating soup, wearing a cardigan, and NOT sweating, we decided that they needed to come to Texas to see what real heat was all about.  Texas had been over 100 degrees and high humidity for several weeks now, Cape Cod was about 75-80.  I cannot stress how amazing it was just to be cool and outside.  That being said, those up in Massachusetts can handle the cold like a boss.  They brave snow for weeks on end while we are having a cold winter at about 60 degrees.

Neither one of us had been to this part of the United States before.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  We didn’t have much time to explore it all, but we did the best we could.  Because we booked the trip so late and were visiting Martha’s Vineyard right in the middle of high season, we lucked out in finding one room the night of the show.  Everything else was full.  We stayed in Cape Cod for two nights and spent the last night on the Vineyard.

Jackopierce didn’t disappoint and we had an absolute blast.  It will go down on the list as one of my favorite live shows ever.

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Scooter tour at Martha’s Vineyard. The traffic was so bad we thought we were going to DIE. This is much better suited for Cozumel. Seriously.

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Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard

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Martha’s Vineyard

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Provincetown, Massachusetts. The water was freezing! Kudos to those who were swimming in it, you are stronger than I am.

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Cape Cod. Oddly enough, this was one of the only lighthouses I saw. I was fully expecting to see them everywhere.

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Naked Oyster restaurant, Hyannis, Massachusetts.

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Oilman makes wearing a bib look sexy.

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Waiting for Uber to ferry us to dinner. Our first time to use Uber and it is amaze! Highly recommend.

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Plymouth, Massachusetts

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Plymouth rock.

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We had to try New England Clam Chowder, several times.

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Plymouth, obviously.

Keep on Swimming

Living right ain’t easy and we all get stuck in a rut.  We may feel at times like we will never accomplish our dreams or goals.

If you feel a little defeated or discouraged, then take a look at my latest post for the Shrinking Jeans, “Think Small”.

I targeted the post towards weight loss and health/fitness, but it is certainly something I have felt when struggling through our infertility as well.  Sometimes we need a little pick me up and extra motivation.

Happy Monday everybody!

State of Current Affairs and Female Friendships

It has been a crazy past 6 weeks.  This is typically my busiest season for work and this year was even more so.  It has been a lot of weekends and nights in addition to a typical work day.  For the moment, things have calmed down and my brain is out of crisis mode.  I can actually form sentences together for this site right now.  So, I have that going for me.

A dear friend gave me a book and I finally cracked it open this afternoon.  It is a memoir about the beauty of female friendships.  I have found myself nodding and laughing along the way while reading, “Nobody’s Cuter than you” by Melanie Shankle.  Two things have stuck out to me while reading the book:  how important our friendships are and how difficult it can be to develop deep friendships in this day and age.

This paragraph really stuck out to me:

“Here’s the thing:  it seems that over the last couple of decades we’ve substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations.  We settle for “community” on Facebook and Twitter and through a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment.  We have a tendency to swim in the shallow pool of relationships, because we know that getting deep can equate to being vulnerable.  And more often than not, that’s a risk we’re not willing to take.  It’s so much easier to just text a few happy-face emojis.”

This is so true.  As we age and life becomes increasingly difficult we need these relationships.  We not only need people by our side, but we need to be able to share our struggles together.  Two weeks ago one of my best friend’s lost her mother very unexpectedly.  As we get older, life seems to get more difficult.  The struggles we endure seem to be more painful and harder to get over.  We need our people by our sides to help us when we stumble and when life has us down.  This doesn’t happen without time and effort.  Strong relationships aren’t formed without some sacrifice and vulnerability.  Real friendship means when your friend’s mother has died, you stand by their side.  You go over there and help even if that is something as simple as picking up a six-pack of beer, a burger, and changing a dirty diaper.  You are there when life is great and things are simple, but more importantly you are there when things are ugly and uncomfortable.  That is what real friendships looks like.

On a lighter note, this quote made me laugh.  I’m the girl in high school who brought report cards home with negative marks for “excessive talking”.  I’m so appreciative of the friends I have who are there for me and listen to me when I babble on incessantly.  Even my sweet and supportive husband let out a chuckle when I read it to him.

Have a great week and go hang out with a few awesome friends.  Summer is upon us and that is the time for beach excursions, camping trips, and long talks by a campfire.

“The truth is, we need our friends.  I