Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My sidebar has new bling

I enjoy blogging. I started doing it to help quiet the activity in my brain, to figure out my feelings about being a wife and mother. I didn't expect to meet other bloggers, to have a daily dialogue with some of them, and to look forward to reading about what was going on in their lives. I've cracked up over some posts, and felt sad over others. The best thing has been people telling me I motivate them to work out, when they motivate me just as much.

So I was given a few blog awards these past few days, and here they are!

Alicia at One Chic Mommy gave me the Lovely Blog Award for a second time! Alicia is awesome, she's taking part of our Get Active Challenge, posts healthy recipes, and photos of her chic kids. Then Ronnie at But Such is Life gave it to me as well! Ronnie is also a great blogger, she's Getting Active, writes about her family and food, and makes you think about politics and religion.

Another blog friend is Momma Such, at Raising My Four Sons. She's blogs about the antics her crew gets into, I still can't get over her recent post about finding a mouse in the leg of her jeans....well she just gave me the Best Blog Award. To accept, you need to post who gave it to you, along with their blog link. Then pass it to 15 blogs you've recently discovered that you think are great. Well, here goes:

Sheila at Living Smart
Amanda at Lunchbox Limbo
Girl with flour in her hair at Peeling an Orange with a Screwdriver

Now this last one is from Amanda at Lunchbox Limbo...she comes up with the coolest ideas for kids lunches, you need to check out her photos, and her ideas on how to go organic. After accepting it, you pass it to six others,

Alicia at One Chic Mommy

Momma Such at Raising My Four Sons

Susan at Fobes Family Formula

Ronnie at But Such is Life

then answer these questions:
1. Where is your cell phone?
2.Your hair?
3. Your mother?
4. Your father?
...health nut
5. Your favorite food?
6. Your dream last night?
7. Your favorite drink?
...white wine
8. Your dream/goal?
...financial stability
9. What room are you in?
..living room
10. Your hobby?
11. Your fear?
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
13. Where were you last night?
14. Something you aren't?
15. Muffins?
16. Wish list item?
17. Where did you grow up?
...Long Island
18. Last thing you did?
...fed the kids
19. What are you wearing?
...tshirt, sweatpants, birkenstocks
20. Your TV?
21. Your pets?
22. Your friends?
23. Your life?
24. Your mood?
25. Missing someone?
26. Vehicle?
27. Something you're not wearing?
28. Your favorite store?
...Barnes and Noble
29. Your favorite color?
30. When was the last time you laughed?
31. Last time you cried?
...last night
32. Your best friend?
33. One place that I go over and over?
...Long Island
34. One person who emails me regularly?
35. Favorite place to eat?
...Les Halles

Delish Dish

I haven't been doing very many food posts lately, but now that fall is here, I'll make up for it. I loooove fall veggies, and can't wait to hit up the market this weekend for squash and pumpkins. After our weekend of food splurges, a nice veggie meal was the plan for last night....my Dad's Fried Rice. This is what I make (other than my grilled veggie salad) when I need a good dose of vegetables. I used grilled shrimp, but you can use any protein you like, chicken or tofu, even steak. I like to grill the protein ahead of time while the veggies are marinating. Here's the lowdown:

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup baby carrots, cut into matchsticks
medium onion, chopped
two or three cloves garlic, chopped
medium zucchini, cut in circles, then quarters
frozen peas, about a big handful
medium bunch brocoli, cut into small pieces
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
teriyaki marinade or sauce
soy sauce
olive oil
ground pepper
wok or big pan

I marinate the veggies in teriyaki or soy sauce for an hour or two. I cook the veggies that take longer first. So I put carrots, onion, broc and garlic in one tupperware, and the peas, zuc, and mushroom in another.

Heat the pan until hot, add olive oil to coat, heat until very hot but not smoking.
Throw in the carrot mix, cook until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add the rest of the veggies, cook until soft.
Add the rice, along with some soy, enough so it doesn't stick to the pan, along with pepper to taste.
Stir stir stir, and watch the heat under the pan, too hot and things will stick, too low and it won't cook quickly.
Add protein if you wish.
Once everything is heated through, add the egg, pour it all around the rice so it gets mixed through as it cooks, you don't want it in one spot. it will cook quickly.
Taste again, add more of whatever sauce you think you need, last night I also added a bit of Tiger sauce, to kick it up a bit.
Chow Down!

Monday, September 28, 2009


You know when you get all motivated and gung ho to do something, and then it goes south? Today I got on the treadmill for a run, and one mile into it, my left foot started acting up. My arch was aching, and I got that all too familiar pulling sensation all the way up to my big toe. So I stopped, re laced my running shoe and got going again. Then I feel a burning on my right shin, like a shin splint. And then, my left hamstring joined the party and started to ache as well. After a lousy 1.5 miles I gave up, got off, and started doing some stretches, then lunges, sit ups etc. Got back on, and barely made it another mile before I called it quits. I sat on the floor with an ice pack balanced on one shin, then sat on another pack, then shoved another one under my arch. Now that I think of it, that would have been a great photo.

Then I had an "A HA!" moment.....all these aches have to be from all of the walking I did over the weekend, in the wrong shoes. I wore my running shoes or Birkenstocks as much as I could, but I did my fair share of walking in my Frye Cowboy Boots. I love those things, but only wear them in the cooler months. This was the first time I wore them this fall, so that's got to be it.

This is really annoying me. Now that I finished my half marathon, I wanted to get back into running shorter distances every day, instead of a few times a week of long distances. Now I'm afraid to do anything for a few days so I don't make it worse, which is the worst when I'm raring to go. I dug out my lucky socks, which I wear for long runs, and for all my races. They are by Feetures, and I feel like they suck my arch in and give it more support. I'll see what happens after I wear them for a couple of days along with my Birkenstocks. Now that will be a cute look at the preschool drop off......

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lake Placid Lovin'

Oh what a great weekend. For real. Mike and I were so lucky to be able to get away by ourselves, thanks to our family. I was a little nervous about how the kids would be while we were gone, and part of me kept thinking that something was going to come up that would make us have to cancel. But as we were leaving, Eliza was so good about saying goodbye to us, that I was completely relaxed when we got in the car, because I knew they were in good hands.

We were able to get out of town pretty early, we made it to Lake Placid by one o'clock. I have never been, although Mike's parents live in the Adirondacks, so I'm fortunate to be able to spend time in such a beautiful place. This weekend we stayed at my uncle's condo, he's had it for 15 years, and I don't know why we haven't made the trip before. The weather was in the 50's, but sunny, and the leaves were pretty much at their peak for fall color. The condo is in a prime location, it sits a quarter mile from town, one side faces Lake Placid, the other faces Mirror Lake. We ran around like dorks when we got there, checking out the three bedrooms and bathrooms. But first things first was lunch.

First off, I noticed that the town has a very healthy and active atmosphere, because of it's Olympic history, and annual Iron man Triathlon, (and after going through the guest book at the condo, several people have rented it while participating in the race). Everyone was running or setting off for a hike, or pushing a baby stroller.

So after a quick lakeside lunch (grilled portabello sandwich for me, fried Grouper sand for Mike) we headed up to the Olympic Ski jumps. This wasn't the first time I thought of how we timed this visit so well, the colors of the leaves were unbelievable, and we were able to watch some athletes do their Olympic training. We took the ski lift up (the picture above doesn't do my new reddish hair justice), then an elevator up 25 stories to get a view of Mt. Marcy and the other High Peaks. We ventured out to a jump that was not in use, this gives you an idea of how high up we were:

I couldn't get over how old some of the skiers were, I swear that I saw a kid of 13 going up there. We saw one skier take off at a speed of 83 mph, they truly fly through the air for several seconds before landing. Amazing.

Here is Mike...as close as he's ever going to get to an Olympic Medal:

After that it was time to head home and shower before our big anniversary dinner at the Mirror Lake Inn. We had cocktails on our deck before heading over.

First we had drinks in the bar, a lovely dirty martini for me, and a lovely margarita on the rocks for Mike. None of that syrupy mix for his drink, they used fresh lime juice. There was an acoustic guitarist playing in the bar, he did covers of Elvis Costello and Velvet Underground, very cool. For dinner I started with a fennel and brie bisque, Mike had a four cheese and fig tart. The tart was very funky because it came with raspberry sorbet. I love eating with Mike, he always orders something different from me, and he shares. : ) I followed my soup with short ribs, which I love to order this time of year, it's so rich and seasonal with the carrots, potatoes and root veggies. Mike had duck, along with butternut squash ravioli. Did I say yum? Yum. We passed on dessert, but our server surprised us with a plate that read "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate along with chocolates, lady fingers and wild blueberries.

The rest of the weekend we spent outside. Saturday morning we hit up Simply Gourmet, for a grilled veggie, goat cheese and pesto buckwheat crepe for me.....pear, walnut and Gorgonzola crepe for Mike. We did the walk around Mirror Lake, shopped (how nice to shop sans stroller, and to actually browse and try things on). I felt like Lake Placid had a slightly European vibe, with the views and buildings. And we walked everywhere.

We had lakeside beers while we waited for our table at lunch, and enjoyed just being together. I couldn't get over the change in Mike. He has been incredibly stressed between his mother's illness, and his work situation. His company is going through a re-org, and he has not been himself for months. Yes, it was nice to have a break from the kids, from life, and to be in a new place. I could feel the tension leaving both of us an hour after arriving in Lake Placid. He started joking around, especially during one of our walks...."my toe hurts......my hair hurts....I think I'm hitting a wall..." But honestly the best thing about the weekend was, the fact that I had my Mikey back.

Monday, September 21, 2009

100th Post and a 10th Anniversary

On Friday it will be the end of Week Three of Getting Active......I'm just sayin'........

I stayed fairly busy this week, did mostly cross training - my bike ride, a few sessions of walking on inclines on the treadmill, and more toning exercises. I even did push ups! Hope you got some time in to be active this week.

Friday is also Mike and my 10th Wedding Anniversary. So in honor of my 100th post, I thought I'd share a bit about our wedding day.

Mike and I met in college, waiting on line at the movies to see Pretty Woman. He got dragged there by some girls in the dorm, I was with my friend G. She saw Mike, they went to high school together, so she introduced us.

We dated for about seven years before Mike proposed. My parents are divorced, so I had some issues/fears with marriage, and only planned on getting married once, so I really wanted to be sure it was right. Mike proposed in Central Park, on a Thursday afternoon in July, as people walked, roller bladed, and biked around us. We took a limo out to Long Island afterwards, picked up various family members and friends, and ended the night with everyone on the beach with champagne.

We got married a year later, on Long Island. It rained the morning of the wedding (which is apparently good luck), but by that afternoon, it was lovely out. The ceremony was at my church, the reception was at a venue right on the water. About 100 people attended, equal parts family and friends. We played reggae music during the cocktail hour, and I let Mike play a Beastie Boy's song after dinner. The first dance was to Stevie Wonder's "You are the Sunshine of My Life" during which my heeled sandal decided to come off my foot. 

Our wedding cake was dark chocolate with chocolate mousse.

After the reception a bunch of us walked down the boardwalk to a bar next to the hotel. Then the zipper on my wedding dress blew out, so my friend L duct taped it closed in the ladies room. Then we kept right on celebrating, it was a great night.

We headed to Cancun and Cozumel for our honeymoon, where we were hit by a hurricane towards the end of our stay. We didn't even mind.

I can't believe it's been ten years, but then I can.

We've got two great kids, and a house we love.

Mike has less hair, and we're both a few pounds heavier.

But I'm excited to see what the next ten years has in store for us....and the next ten....and the next ten....and....you get the idea....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Already looking forward to the weekend.

I'm counting down the days this week, Mike and I have our tenth wedding anniversary this upcoming Friday, and we're actually getting out of town for the weekend, and going to Lake Placid. Without kids. Yup, no kids. My sister's in law T & J very graciously agreed to watch the kids for us, for two whole nights. Although I said to Mike the other night, what are we going to talk about for that whole time? I'm kidding.

The next few days I'm going to be extra good food wise, and run every day this week, instead of every other day. I dragged Eliza to the mall today and managed to find a cute outfit to wear to our dinner at the Mirror Lake Inn. All on sale, huge bargain, no recession shopping guilt. I scored a pair of long white pants, a white & blue patterned, ruffled top, and a long brown cardigan. I look so hip (along with my new reddish hair, which I still need to post a photo of) I almost don't recognize myself!

Yesterday I planned on taking a long afternoon run in this beautiful fall weather. But first I had to clean, I can be a bit anal about cleaning the floors. We had our street's block party Saturday, and two minutes before it started I was vacuuming the kitchen floor. Oooh, have you ever had "Three Buck Chuck" chardonnay from Trader Joe's? My neighbor brought it to the party....surprisingly delish.

As I said, I planned a seven mile....until I hauled out the vacuum cleaner and immediately dropped it on my bare Big Toe. It hurt so bad my stomach lurched (I know the feeling well, after breaking so many bones). It's sore, but I don't think it's broken. A run wasn't going to happen after that, so I took an hour long bike ride instead. Which was nice to mix things up, cause I do need to get in some cross training.

Now on to the treadmill.....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

End of Week 2...and do I dare walk barefoot on the treadmill??

Okay Get Active ladies, how did week two treat you??????

I've been trying to be good about my Barnes and Noble splurges. I let my Member card expire, and I'm putting books on hold at the library. Which works out pretty well, unless three books become available at the same time so I have to speed read since someone else is waiting for them. I just finished Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, an Editor at Men's Health, and Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, the Natural Food Chef from Real Housewives of NYC. They both focused on health, but in very different ways.

Born to Run is about Ultra Racing, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, and how running shoes are terrible for you. The book is really motivating, and gets down to the core of what running is all about. It's good for you, and it's wonderful. The shoe argument goes back to the fact that our feet are made to support our body, put them in a restrictive shoe and it throws you off, causing injuries. I'm wondering if there is something to that. My plantar faciitis still flares up from time to time, I never go barefoot, and live in my Birkenstocks. But I'm telling you, after reading the chapter on the evolution of running shoes, I seriously feel like taking a slow, short stroll on the treadmill to strenghten my feet. And on Wednesday's run I didn't lace my shoes as tightly as I normally do, I wanted to give my feet some room to do their job. The book also reinforced how I feel about running. I feel connected to myself during my runs, I love listening to my head, my breathing, my running. I've thought about getting a Garmin, but I don't know if that will change my experience with a run. I don't want to get too technical, I just want to run.

Now my gal Bethenny had some interesting points too, I'll admit it, I'm a fan. Her book didn't focus on exercise at all, it was all about what you put in your mouth. It's about balance in your food choices, such as if you have pasta at lunch, you should have some protein at dinner. You shouldn't clean your plate. You can have everything you want to eat, just not all at once. You can't have a burger, and fries, and dessert in one meal. Pick one, like the burger, but have a salad with it. She doesn't believe in limiting fruits, even with their sugar content because they're good for you. And she doesn't think it's bad to have one or two small alcoholic beverages a day. Sounds good to me! Her book reminded me to pay attention when I'm eating. To take a minute and think of what I'm putting in my mouth. I'm really bad about taking bites of whatever food the kids have from their meals. I hate to throw out food, but I also hate a big butt.

So yeah, yeah, exercise is important, and so is eating well. In my week of speed reading (I also read a mindless chick lit - Momzillas) I really benefitted from the messages in both books, they were perfect reminders of what I need to do to keep taking care of myself.

Up for a Post Race Run? You Bet!

Just got back from a six mile run, my first since Sunday's Half Marathon. I wasn't sure when I was going to fit one in, D has been staying with us for the past couple of days while she has another round of chemo. Mike was working from home this afternoon, and since Luke is at school and Eliza is napping, he said if I was up for it I could go, so I did!

This is the best running weather, it's cool at night but warm in the day, and the leaves have already started changing. I put Depeche Mode's Violator on my ipod, I forgot what a great running cd that is, especially Halo and Policy of Truth. The run felt really good, I run much faster when it's for a shorter distance, I managed to do the six in under an hour. Although for all the bitching I do about treadmill running, there's something to be said for the comfort of it. I have a place for my water, gatorade, tissues, chapstick, and of course, remote control for the tv (can you say high maintenance). I still haven't gotten a fuel belt, so I really miss my water when I'm running outside. Speaking of fuel, I forgot to mention a great giveaway Heather at Run Faster Mommy is having, "Be Your Own Nutrition Experiment" a huge supply of various gels to test out on your runs.

I also forgot to mention that our Smoothie Challenge ended over the weekend. I'm going to keep it up, I love how the smoothie hydrates me first thing in the morning, I feel like I'm ahead of the game for the rest of the day, after sucking down all those fruits and greens. I made one for D this morning, I'm hoping she keeps it as part of her routine. We celebrated her birthday while she was here, so we managed to have some fun. She's wearing a bandanna to cover her hair loss, and once Eliza saw it, she dug out a pirate bandanna and had us put it on her head, so she could be just like Grandma. We got a laugh out of that one. We had pizza and cake and ice cream, and J brought over some Raspberry Truffle frozen yogurt. Low fat, but doesn't taste low fat. Trust me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rochester Half Marathon Race Report

It's done! I've completed my first Half Marathon, and it went GREAT!!
The race was in Rochester where Mike and I lived for five years, it's a great city that has a special place in my heart. The race started early, 7:45, and it's about an hour and a half from Syracuse, so I was up at 4:15. I went to bed by ten, and tossed and turned for a while. I was excited and a bit nervous, but wasn't too worried about lack of sleep. Anyone with kids knows what you can pull off when you're sleep deprived! I had to pick up my sister in law J, who was also running, so I made a quick breakfast of toast with peanut butter, coffee, water, and my favorite, PowerAde Zero! I went out to the Jeep to find that Mike had written 13.1 in soap on the back windows, and made signs that said "13.1 or bust!" Inside he left more signs saying things like "Run like you did something BAD!"

I was at J's house by 4:50, and the sky was beautiful, it was full of so many stars, you could see Orion, the Big Dipper and the Seven Sisters. We had a good ride, and made it to Frontier Field by 6:15, so we had plenty of time to pick up our bib, chip and goody bag, which was pretty good! Lots of samples of pain gels, gum, shampoo, lotions, rice, granola bars, hair ties. They were out of tshirts in our size, and they were almost apologetic as they offered us a Tech shirt in our size, which we gladly took!
We got our gear stashed, the sun came up, we started stretching and hit the porta potties. We met up with my friend S, who was upset because her racing partner blew her off, no phone call, just didn't show. We headed up to the start, there were about 1,800 runners for the half marathon. The weather was nice, it was cool, and in the high sixties, with a breeze. I had my ipod, but didn't turn it on, I wanted to wait until I really needed it. I also had a fun size bag of m&m's for energy, which I held like a security blanket. Then we were off!

The course started and ended in the city, very scenic, going through pretty neighborhoods. Around mile 1.5 we ran by my old street, and followed the route I used to walk, so I reminisced a bit. We had about a 10 minute pace, my goal was to find a comfortable groove, and stay with it the whole time. I wasn't about sprinting or finishing with a specific time, I just wanted to have fun and have a strong stride. Which I did, and I maintained it well, there were a few small hills, but they were no problem at all. I also focused on keeping my back straight, with my hands relaxed down by my hips, and my head up. My mother always says I miss half my life by looking at the ground as I walk. If you were as clumsy as I am you would watch the ground too!

By mile six things were still looking good. I thought "hey, I'm doing a half marathon!!" I focused on being in the moment and having fun while we raced, I didn't want to "endure it" and just get to the end. I alternated between water and gatorade at each water station. At mile seven they offered GU but I passed. That is where the course turned onto a bike trail along the Erie Canal, lots of trees and shade. All of a sudden it was mile eight, which took me by surprise, I still felt really good, so I was happy. We came up to the campus of the University of Rochester, and passed a few students who rolled out of bed, holding their coffee as they watched us pass. I didn't envy them, I thought maybe they envied us!!

Mile 9 brought us into a park, and it was quiet, a bit too quiet, so I turned on the ipod. I was greeted with "Peace Frog" by The Doors, which then lead into "Always" by Blink 182, my pace really solidified and it was just what I needed to stay in gear. I opened my m&m's and had a couple, along with some water. I still felt good!

Around Mile 10 I got into my head a bit. I started thinking of how lucky I was to be running, and how I could do this thing. I thought of Graham, and my Grandparents, and everyone I knew who was in Heaven. That gave me another mental push to keep on.

Mile 11 brought us back into the city, J pulled ahead a bit. As we crossed a bridge, I started to feel a little lightheaded. I was looking down at the lines in the road, and just felt a bit weird. I slowed down, and told myself there was no reason to be feeling like this, I was hydrated, with plenty of electrolytes, so I started to feel better. There is something to be said for this whole mind over matter thing.
Next thing I knew we passed the 12 mile marker. I was excited, but I just held my pace and kept pushing. I passed a poor guy who was laid out on the side, not looking too well. I could see at the turn to the finish they had a bunch of drummers playing music. I was going strong, and spotted my friends K&C on the sideline, I was sooo happy to see them I jumped up and down, throwing my arms in the air and did a little dance. I crossed the finish line as they said my name as a finisher, got my medal, and saw J. We walked down the chute and saw my other friend D, I hugged her and almost started crying I was so happy.

We made our way to the food, slammed a chocolate milk, and a small piece of pizza and met up with our friends. K was laughing, he said he couldn't believe I had so much energy at the end. My legs were tired, and my right ankle was a bit puffy. I've broken that ankle twice, so I wasn't worried because it didn't hurt. But it was a bit sore on the drive home, so I put the cruise control on in the car and I was all set.
Later that day we went back to J's house for a BBQ and champagne. It was a great ending to the day. My final time was 2:23:36, I did about an 11 minute mile. I'm happy with that, since it was my first. Now on to the next race!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Get Active, Week One, Complete!

I wanted to say thank you for all of the thoughtful comments on my post about 9/11. We're all connected as a result of today's anniversary. I'm going to avoid the television, and appreciate the day I have with my kids, and Mike.

So how did the first week go for all you Active Bloggers?!? I have my half marathon coming up on Sunday, so I had to take it easy this week. Sunday I did a five mile run. I don't know if it was because I had a good night sleep, or it was a holiday weekend, but I tore out of the house like a kid at school dismissal. Such a happy run, I felt like I couldn't keep up with my feet! The rest of the week I focused on long stretching sessions, along with a day of strength training. I got out my folder of magazine articles on exercising, and used the hand weights. I worked up a sweat so that was good!

We have one more participant, Mama Such at Raising My Four Sons. She's pretty active running after her four boys, but her goals are to take more walks, and use her Wii Fit.

And I must say thanks to Mama Such for giving me the Friend Award, which is given to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends, they're not interested in self-aggrandizement. When the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to other bloggers who must choose others to pass it on to and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. I pass this along to:

One Chic Mommy at The Balancing Act of One Chic Mommy

So let's hear how you did!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I don't need reminding, I'll never forget.

I've been hemming and hawing about writing this post, I really don't want to be a Debbie Downer. But I can't believe it's been eight years since 9/11. That's a long time, when it's still so fresh in my memory. It's not something I talk about much with people, especially Mike. The days that lead up to the Anniversary are sometimes harder than the day itself. So I think it would help me to blog about what that day was like, just to get it out of my mind a bit.

That Tuesday was absolutely gorgeous. Blue skies, no humidity, the temperature was in the 70's. I was in Queens on my way back from an early appointment, and listening to Howard Stern. He started talking about the first plane hitting the WTC, which seemed bad, but we had no idea how bad it was going to get. The second plane hit. My cell phone stopped working, my last call was to my dad, we spoke about the planes but he said not to worry because everything would be fine. I inched my way down the highway, and decided to stop home before getting the subway to work. When I turned on the TV I saw how bad it was. Mike called on the land line, his office was downtown, and he said things were getting scary. He saw the first plane hit as he came out of the subway, he called his Dad in the Adirondacks to find out what was going on. He sat on the fire escape of his building with his coworkers, no believing what he saw. People leaping out of the WTC to their deaths. I told him to come home, just start walking and come home.

Mike started walking with hundreds of other people, most of them started running as they passed the Empire State Building, because they thought that was the next target. My sister worked at Homeland Security at the time, her boss ran into her courtrooom and said we were under attack. The thing that stands out in her mind is all of the shoes in the streets, shoes people kicked off their feet as they ran, shoes from God knows where else.

Mike got to the 59th Street Bridge that leads into Queens when he called again, we were on the phone as the second tower fell. I told him they were all gone, I couldn't believe all those people were gone.

I couldn't take it anymore so I turned off the TV and went outside. Right outside my front door was a National Guardsman holding a machine gun. I walked to the bodega next door and bought a beer, even though it was 10:30 in the morning. We lived 10 blocks from the entrance to the Triborough Bridge, and I couldn't get over the silence. Cars and tractor trailers just sitting there, with the engines turned off, listening to their radios. Mike got home and the rest of the day we sat there, we managed to get a couple of phone calls from family, but the phones didn't really work. We finally got a call at 11:30 that night, from our friends K&C. It was their wedding anniversary.

The next day I got up and went to work. It didn't make sense, but in a way, it did. I wanted to show those f**kers that they didn't change my life even though they tried. Have you ever seen that Tom Cruise movie Vanilla Sky, there is a scene where Time Square is empty? That is exactly what it was like. It was so surreal, it was like a movie. That weekened Mike and I went out and bought some things that the recovery workers needed, gloves, spray paint, etc., and brought them down to Ground Zero. On the walk over, we kept noticing pieces of paper that were floating around, charred around the edges. They were memos, reports, things from different offices.

It was hard working at a newspaper during this time. It was hard reading a newspaper during this time. Reading every day the new list of people who were identified. Seeing all the Missing Person flyers everywhere. My boss' wife had her baby on 9/11. In the days that followed, he enjoyed his newborn son, while attending 30 funerals. I did a double take whenever I saw a plane in the sky. We were in The Gaf, our favorite bar on the West Side, the night of the Concert for NY. It was weird to be in a bar that was usually loud and fun, it was silent as we all watched the concert on tv and drank our beers. We drank a lot that month.

A few months later my brother and sister in law came down for a visit, and we brought them down to Ground Zero. My brother in law couldn't get over the cross that was found in the rubble, just two pieces of steel that became a cross, and where prayer services were held for the recovery workers. I truly think that cross is meant as a message. The one thing I get comfort from out of all of this, is the hope that when those poor souls perished, that God was there to bring them to heaven.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Here's the Line Up

First of all, I can't believe it's Labor Day, and that Luke starts kindergarten on Wednesday, and Eliza starts preschool. Second, after keeping the kids up past their bedtime last night, we all slept until TEN O'CLOCK. Niiiiiiice......

Get Active has started, and this is the list of participants. Everyone has really great goals, I'll post on Friday to check in on how you're all doing. Good luck!

Kelly at My Life As A Trimommy is doing yoga once a week.

Jennifer at Arcane Matters is doing a boot camp workout.

Brittany at Mommy Words is doing prenatal exercise.

One Chic Mommy is focusing on diet and exercise to drop some post baby pounds.

Elizabeth at But Such Is Life is focusing on exercise, by walking and using her elliptical trainer.

Tara at Colorado Runner needs to take one day off a week for recovery during her marathon training. She's also cutting down on her meat consumption.

Janie at Life Not Wasted or Lost is becoming more active to take control of her Type II Diabetes.

Kristin at Just Me The Mom at Alpine Klein Bunch is focusing on her flexibility.

I am going to do one or two days a week of strength exercises.

Here is one of my favorite photos from this summer. This was taken in the Dairy Building at the NY State Fair, we take the same pic every year with our 25 cent chocolate milks. I like looking back to see how the kids have grown each year. Plus the milk is delish.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Red Potato Salad and Red.....Hair?

I can't believe the whole summer has gone by without me making my red potato salad. It's a staple in my summer BBQ repertoire, but somehow it slipped through the cracks this year. I love a good potato salad. I don't really like deli potato salad, too much mayo and vinegar and not much else. I made up this red salad a looong time ago, and I love it, but my friend D makes a killer yellow potato salad. Along with the usual mayo, she adds mustard, hard boiled eggs and green olives. I've been known to eat it for breakfast it's so good.

I'm getting my hair cut and colored next week, and I have the urge to do something different. I love my cut, which is layered a bit with long bangs. Depending on the weather or product I put in, it can be straight, curly or wavy. Lots of fun....not. I'm not good with hair, I never look the same as the day I have it done. I get it colored to hide my greys, usually a shade lighter than my natural brown. I've been kicking around the idea of going more red than brown for a while now, two of my cousins went very red and they look cute. Kelly Clarkson's hair at her concert was red, which got me thinking of it again. I think I'm going to go for it, but subtly. Whatever that means.

Happy Labor Day!

Red Potato Salad

5 pounds red potato's
5 stalks celery
1 medium onion
about 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup light mayo
salt and pepper

cut potato's in half, keep skins on, and cook in boiling water. After they are done, drain the water and have potato's sit in the pot on a very low heat, for about five minutes, keep an eye on them, this will help get rid of any extra water.

Chop up celery and onion, cut potato's into bite size pieces. Mix together, then sprinkle vinegar over all, along with mayo. Keep turning until well mixed, you may have to add more vinegar to taste. Add salt and ground pepper to taste, chill overnight.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Get Active Starts Tomorrow

Friday is the start of my "Get Active" challenge. If you want to join me, you need to commit to doing some type of physical activity, at least once a week, for the next 8 weeks. I myself am committing to doing one day a week of strength exercises. I'm doing well with cardio and stretching, but I need to tone up. I don't go to the gym, so I'll be doing these from the comfort of my family room floor. So let me know if you're in!

The Smoothie Challenge is still going strong. I drank mine outside this morning, I'm savoring these beautiful days while we still have them. I had my Amazing Grass blended with a fresh nectarine, banana, frozen watermelon, and skim milk. I love getting so many servings of fruits and veggies in one shot, I feel like I'm ahead of the game before the day even starts!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blog Award, take two....

Well whaddaya know, I received another blog award, this time for Loyalty! It was given to me by Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier. Check out her blog, she does cool product reviews and giveaways, and writes about her life raising two little girls. Xenia has written some thoughtful, funny comments on my posts.

This award is for loyal followers and friends of your blog. I pass this along to these four women, who always show me some comment love....

Mama Such at Raising My Four Sons

Heather at Theta Mom

Tara at Colorado Runner

Yonca at Yonca is Cooking