The Year of You

learning to live without limits

Birthdays, Basketball and all Beef hotdogs — January 7, 2018

Birthdays, Basketball and all Beef hotdogs

I love pulling off a good birthday surprise, especially for my husband who has the unfortunate luck of being born a little over a week after Christmas. This smushed together holiday and birthday timing can lead to the “double gift” and “double celebration” for many people who have a birthday so close to Christmas. It’s because of this and the fact that I am married to a truly amazing man who I try to make his birthday extra special AND I make sure it is completely separate from all Christmas celebrations and/or gifts.

This year, I nearly pulled off a complete surprise which was really only spoiled because of my misjudgment to entrust a 3-year-old with a secret. Needless to say within an hour of telling my 3-year-old son what we would be doing to celebrate Jason’s birthday, he was informing Jason of this surprise and several of his gifts. Lesson learned. Luckily this was several weeks before his actual birthday and I never confirmed the truth of the spilled beans.

Fast forward to this weekend and Jason was following the boys on a scavenger hunt to find tickets to see the Chicago Bulls play the Pacers in Indianapolis on Jason’s actual birthday. (An ideal game would have been seeing the Bulls in Chicago but I’ll take what I can get.) The boys and Jason love the Bulls, the boys had never been to an NBA game, I had never been to an NBA game and we were all ready for a change of scenery for the weekend.

The boys traveled well to Indy and I had one more surprise up my sleeve. Jason has a love of Portillo’s that started when he attended college in the Chicago area. For anyone unfamiliar, Portillo’s is pretty darn good. So good, that we patiently waited in a line at least 50 people deep to order our lunch. The beautiful thing about Portillo’s is that it works like a well oiled machine. You are through the line and to your table eating cheese fries and hot dogs before you know it. After a quick search, I was so thrilled to find that there was a Portillo’s only 30 minutes from Indy, so birthday stop number 1 resulted in the family enjoying the best hot dogs and italian beef and in the case of Shane…french fries and pickles. The rest of the birthday events went perfectly right down to the ideal parking spot that was equal distant to the restaurant we were having dinner at and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.  Also noteworthy, Jason’s tweet of us at the game was retweeted by the Chicago Bulls (kind of cool, right?!?) Plus, the boys got to swim in the hotel pool earlier that afternoon which is always a huge win. The only downside of the day was a double loss for two of the family’s favorite teams. Both the Chiefs and the Bulls lost that day. You can’t win them all.

We are all safely home now, although everyone’s just a little sleepier (and crabbier) than normal and not quite ready to start the week. I’ll take the sleepy somewhat crabby aftermath of a good weekend any day if it meant a fun family birthday celebration for the man who deserves nothing but the best in life.

Happy birthday, Jason! And side note, as of today, I can now say that I have dated/been married to you for over half of your life.

The Great Bath Debacle of 2018 — January 5, 2018

The Great Bath Debacle of 2018

I am not a bath person. More bathes made my 18 in 18 list this year as a way to challenge myself to find easy ways to implement more self-care. I started the whole bath thing this week and let me tell you, taking a bath is not as easy as you would think. I have attempted three baths in 2018 and all three failed miserably. You are probably asking yourself how this is even possible…well it is possible…trust me.

I set out to take the first bath earlier this week as the bath products I ordered had just arrived. One of these products is an aromatherapy bath gel called SLEEP. Sounds perfect to wind down the day, right? That’s what I thought. I began to run the first bath of the year, and read the directions on the bottle of SLEEP …”pour a generous amount into running bath water” so I did just that. It really did smell amazing…so I added a little more. I turned off the water, got into the lava hot bath (which is just the way I like it) and decided to use the spa setting on the tub. I was attempting to read a magazine which let’s face it never works out well in water. As I was reading my magazine, I failed to realize that the spa setting caused the “generous amount” of bath gel to morph into a giant blob of bubble monstrosity. This bubble monstrosity was growing by the second and about an inch away from overflowing the bathtub. I quickly started draining the tub which didn’t tame the bubbles and then I decided to run the shower and KILL the bubbles…nope, didn’t work.  This first bath was over and I was left covered in bubbles with a now useless People magazine.

I will spare you all of the details of failure two, but I will sum it up with my decision to go from using a “generous amount” to a “tiny amount” of bath gel. It just smelled so good that I couldnt go without it. Well, generous or tiny.…it did not matter. The bubble monster prevailed again.

Failure number three was a completely different issue. I had learned my lesson on the bath gel, and I didn’t even think about putting anything in that tub except water. What I forgot (until I went to check the temperature of the water) was that I had just done a load of laundry and run the dishwasher……no hot water. Damn you chores! Bath failure #3!

I will get this right. I am determined, and here is what I have learned this week:

  1. Taking a bath is not so simple
  2. Spa tubs are not meant to have anything in them that will create bubbles
  3. Bubbles are not as fun as they were when you were a kid
  4. Baths before laundry and dishes
  5. The bubble monster will always prevail…always

Until next time, wish me luck! I will get this right.


Preparing for 2018 — January 1, 2018

Preparing for 2018

2018 is finally here, and we are all starting to wind down our first day of this new year. As many of us have set resolutions for this year, today was our first day to pursue these quests. Preparation is key to being successful in your goals whether they are big or small. I like to use the first day of the new year to help set myself up for success on my list of 18 objectives for the year.

The first thing I did was print an actual copy of my list of 18 objectives. I want to be able to refer to this list at any time and keep myself on track. If you have one big goal, you may consider printing the goal to an image and framing it. Because it is cold and I couldn’t bear the thought of heading to a printing store so instead I took a picture of my list and printed it as a 5×7 that will be delivered to my door in the next week. The $3 was worth the convenience to me.

The next step I took was to obtain all the relevant supplies. Two years ago when I set out to run a 5k every month of the year, I needed to procure running shoes and the athletic clothes to go along with it. This year, to support my goals, I purchased items like Thank You cards (to support goal 1), bath products (to support goal 16) and I downloaded the app SPACE to track my phone usage (to support goal 3). To see my full list of goals take a look at my earlier post Cheers to 2018.

Once you have the physical items you will need to be successful, make sure to set-up a plan for yourself. As I am pursing a list of objectives, which include more things that I want to incorporate into my life, my plan is pretty loose. Referencing back to my 5k goal, that goal required planning, planning to register for the 5k’s each month and planning to train.

The final step to setting yourself up for success is to build a support system. Share your goals with the people around you. Hopefully, these people will be supportive of your goals, but if nothing else you have made your goals public and that may help you to hold yourself accountable on your pursuit.

Happy New Year’s Day everyone! Let’s crush this year!