Monthly Archives: March 2016


Wow. I have a lot to write about. We had an AMAZING vacation. But for starters, look what greeted us when we came home today.



Y’all, spring is here. My favorite time of year!

Now for one lesson learned from vacation. Early bird check in with Southwest is mandatory. It used to be an option, but we learned the hard way this morning that ya gotta do it. But last night after a long day (day 4 of theme park fun) I forgot to do the early bird check in. For folks not in the know, with Southwest you do not have a designated seat. Instead you are grouped into A B and C for seating. First come first served… except for the early birds. You can log on 24 hrs before your flight and get into those magical A or B groups. Today we were in group C, and literally the last 4 passengers on the plane. This meant we had to split up, which was doable with our kiddos and their ages, but poor Aidan got sandwiched in between 2 super fat strangers for an 1 and 40 mins. I am guessing this experience will prompt him to remind us to do early bird check in at our next vacation 🙂 Me? I sat next to a super chatty Indian woman who is also a psychiatrist. She showed me pictures of her grandchildren, we talked about medicine, psychiatry, ADHD, India, arranged marriages, health care…. I could keep going.

We are not good travelers for sure, but it is a necessary evil when you want to do fun things like Disney.

Good to be home and happy to have the weekend to recover from our travels.


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We are at the most magical place on earth this week. But because we are logging 8-9 miles a day of walking/riding rides/having TONS of fun, I just do not have the energy to update the blog each night. I will leave you with this teaser. A fun family pic from Magic Kingdom.

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It is the place that makes my husband so happy. A quick story…. I know, I know, now this is turning into an update. But a quick one. We made it back to Main Street around 2:20pm yesterday for the midday parade. Samantha spied with her little eye this favorite sign –


Woo hoo. Our happy place. We ran in for our afternoon fixes and back out for the parade. Rahul videotaped the entire parade… yes, the entire parade. With a big smile on his face.  At one point, another dad asked if I wanted a spot in front of him so that I could see better. I just pointed at Rahul and said he was the parade lover in our family. I was fine where I was with my coffee drink. He chuckled and said “we do what we do in a marriage.” That is so true folks.

So, off to bed for me (even before 9pm). Another busy day tomorrow. But updates for sure once we are back home. I also have an awesome new book I am listening to. Barefoot to Avalon. I cannot wait to review it here once I am done. A very addictive listen.


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our family rivalry… in pictures

Most people familiar with our family know that we are a house divided. Those not living in North Carolina might not know what this means.

Half of our family cheers for the UNC Tar Heels (clearly the smarter family members) and the other half cheers for the Duke Blue Devils.

Since we are deep into March Madness, oh and DOOK lost last night to the Oregon Ducks (yes folks, their mascot is a duck, and he looks like Donald… fierce, right?) I thought I would post some pictures of our family rivalry over the years.

It is all in fun folks, for real.











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I have been struggling with getting older. A good friend even asked me today why I have such a hang up about it. I think it is the idea that I cannot do all the things that I used to be able to do.

Need to back up. Around the age of 40, I started to need chiropractic care. I found a GREAT chiropractor, I heal quickly, but it still bugs me. Why?

The first thing I had to do was give up running, and that was HARD.


Running was a big part of my social life (no laughing). And it was sooo good for my brain. But I was also fortunate that I could add more strength training to my workout program, and interval sprints gave me quick bursts of that amazing running feeling.

Next, I had to limit my gardening. I remember going to the chiropractor last spring after some “extreme gardening.” I will admit that this spring I was a good patient. I switched from mulch to pine straw, limited my work to no more than one hour per day, utilizing the little people in my house to bend over repeatedly and crawl under bushes, etc.

Another lifestyle change – I no longer walk to the chicken coop on the stepping stones in regular shoes. One chiropractic visit was after slipping on one of these stones and hurting my back. The recommendation – wear boots and just step in the poop vs trying to avoid it and get hurt.

The final straw was this past weekend. The whole family ran the Duke Colorectal 5k that Rahul helped organize. We wanted to support Rahul and his work.Check out our 2 kiddos. They are getting so grown up….way too fast!

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 7.21.56 PMI ran with Samantha, and she stayed with me until 2.75 miles. Then she ran off solo. I chased after her curly ponytail the rest of the race.

Post race my right big toe was hurting a lot.

Need to back up. This summer I noticed the joint had gotten bigger and I would hear popping sounds when I did lunges, etc. But no pain, so I just switched shoes. After the race, my joint was bluish and super swollen.

Ugh. Now I cannot even run a 5k without needing to see the chiropractor!

After my latest chiropractic appointment I now have snazzy shoe inserts, which are supposed to lift my arch and get my feet and toes back in proper alignment. They are called Super Feet. Love the name 🙂

So back to my original question… why is aging so hard for me?  I don’t like being told I cannot do something. Maybe I have undiagnosed ODD.

I am challenging myself to change my way of thinking about aging. What are things that I CAN do that I could not do before the age of 40?

I can dead lift more weight than Smooch, probably Smooch plus both cats.

I can do many, many push ups. The real kind.

I can do a pull up.

I have a love/hate relationship with the jump rope and the Prowler.

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So, I am shifting my way of thinking and trying to not focus on what I cannot do, but instead the healthy strong person that I am. This person is also entering her mid 40s, and so asking for help is a part of this process.

Go middle aged me!



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bird watching and being mindful

My blue bird family has returned. Now, they visited from time to time during the winter, but they have been hanging out a lot this past week. Check out mama.


And check out their bird house. See those pine needles sticking out? That means a nest is in the making!


I have never been one to sit and relax. A waste of time, right? Heck, I don’t even read books. I listen to them while I do other things. My most recent read – Eleanor and Park (really good by the way, even though it is a YA book) was listened to while putting out 95 bales of pine straw in my front and back yard.

All to say, sitting and being mindful is hard. I learned last summer the importance of this activity after the unexpected death of my mother. Stopping what you are doing and just looking around you can be pretty powerful. So that is what I did this afternoon. Check out the budding trees of the woods of Wild Azalea Lane. And that blue sky (Tar Heel blue, of course).


Spring is my most favorite time of year!


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The longest/scariest day ever

Today started like most Mondays. Got the kids off to school carpool (a little harder than normal thanks to DST) then off to my work out.

I cannot say that I was entirely surprised when Samantha’s advisor called me at 10:30am to say that Samantha’s neck pain was making her want to come home.

Need to back up. Samantha started complaining of neck pain Sunday afternoon. Rahul and I both chalked it up to sleeping in the guest room Sat night and being on new pillows. But the pain seemed to get worse, and meds and hot packs were not helping. My hope was that school would be a good distraction…. my little lady tends to over think things, so this is usually a good strategy.

Back to the call. Once I saw Samantha, I knew we had a problem that distractions could not help. I called our pediatrician but there were no appts available. This ended up being a good thing because they sent us to UNC Urgent Care (a place that has the capability to do XRays). After almost 3 hrs at Urgent Care, which Samantha said was not that urgent….and I agree… we had information that only scared the crap out of me. Samantha’s C1 and C2 vertebrae were “off set.” The Dr kept asking if she had been in an accident, sports injury, and we kept saying nope, nope, nope. Because of the XRay results, we were told to go to the ER for a CT Scan. Jesus, can this get any more scary?

I rushed home, only to put the dog on the deck (she had been in crate since I left for my am workout) and leave a key under the mat for Aidan. Then, we were off to the ER.

Once Samantha got a neck brace, she perked up. She asked me to take this picture… for our memories…. her words.


But then, as we waited and waited and waited for that damn CT scan the mood changed. I had not showered or eaten… and for those that know me well, I usually eat every 3 hrs and we were into dinnertime and I had not eaten since breakfast (plus that workout). Rahul came home from work, ate dinner and then came to the hospital to switch off with me.

Samantha texted me saying daddy was not being nice, but guess what folks? When he came onto the scene that CT scan happened. Sigh. But, whatever works. Results showed no abnormalities, so hopefully they will be home soon.

I have cleared my schedule of everything tomorrow. Along with that snazzy neck brace, Samantha will be coming home with some nice pain killers. She asked me if she would be like Fireball after his tail amputee surgery. He would get all glassy eyed, let Samantha swaddle him, etc. I am guessing yes.

Samantha did figure out the cause of her neck pain after given many, many hours in the ER to contemplate. She was playing on the swing in Nana’s memorial area on Sunday. It is only for looks, but she swung back in the seat to try and see Banjo behind the fence. The swing frame fell, hitting her on the shoulder. This was not memorable to me since all that I remember is hearing Samantha screaming that she stepped on a snake (while not wearing shoes). So I saw the frame tipped over, but my focus was on the snake issue. And she never complained of any pain.

Note: it is almost 1opm. A full 7 hrs after we checked into the ER with a referral from Urgent Care which meant we got to bypass triage. My girl and her amazing dad are still not home. Ugh. This day…. lets just hope we do not have any other reason to visit the ER again.





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The Netflix oops!

Last Friday night we got out of control crazy and watched a Netflix movie. Saturday morning, I was cleaning up and patted the Netflix mailing sleeve and felt a DVD inside. Thinking the hubs was super on top of things, I slid it into the mailing envelope and sent it back to the magical world of Netflix on my way to take Aidan to TKD.

I knew something was wrong when I came back from my daily Starbucks visit later that afternoon. Aidan and daddy were waiting for me on the front porch.

Guess what was not in the mailing sleeve I sent back to Netflix? Our Friday night movie. Instead, Aidan’s favorite XBox game Forza Horizon 2.

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Rahul put the XBox game in mailing sleeve to keep it safe while we put our movie in to watch. Oops.

I immediately went online to see how to get back a personal DVD from Netflix. Imagine my surprise when there was not a choice to click “I accidentally sent my kid’s XBox game instead of our movie rental.” This meant I had to call Netflix. The call center guy laughed out loud when I explained what had happened and said “wow, I bet you are not very popular right now.” Sigh. He then shared there was a 50/50 chance we would get our DVD back. When DVDs are returned, they are scanned to see if they match the weight of the DVD rented. This is the only way to flag a return. Ugh. In my mind, an XBox game and movie would be a similar weight. I decided to keep this info to myself. No need to panic, right?

Then, this email. Whew.

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Really Netflix… Houston, we have a problem? But who cares. Our personal DVD was coming home.

And it arrived today!


I am not sure who was happier… race car obsessed Aidan or me.  So, all is well in the XBox world on Wild Azalea Lane. And Rahul…. DON’T put XBox games in the Netflix sleeves… ever again!


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