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Monday, July 21, 2014

Tread Gently: The Obligatory Pre-BlogHer '14 Post.

My first BlogHer, in 2012, was a tumultuous time in New York City. I cried throughout most of it, overwhelmed both positively and negatively by the experience. I was still reeling from discovering the first affair, hating being away from home because that's when the worst things happened, when I was plane rides away from my home and my children and everything I held to be sacred.

By the grace of women I now call my friends, I survived.

I returned to BlogHer the next summer primarily because I try to give everything a second chance ... but it was a lot easier to make that decision as the conference was in Chicago, my heart's home. I truly felt like I shined at the conference, as never before in my blogging career had I felt so confident, so pulled together, so on top of my game. I had found my tribe. In some ways, I found my family.

I wouldn't trade that experience for the world, even knowing that while I was away from home, missing my family and wanting them with me, to share this experience with me and see me in a way I wasn't sure they'd -- he'd -- ever seen me before, there was a new stranger in my bed, underneath the room where my children lay sleeping.

I am aware that this BlogHer, in San Jose, will be another crying year.

I have said this enough in person -- because that's the new safe way, new secret way now, to not leave any digital trace of your thoughts or your intentions for anyone to archive or redistribute -- but it is something I have kept from this space with tremendous and painful effort. So in a way, it doesn't feel like it bears repeating because those who are closest to me already know, but there will be many people I meet that don't know me or know me that well who may not understand why I may not be the person I was last year.

My marriage is ending.

The logistics haven't been fully worked out yet, but we are separating at the end of the summer.

I have all the words to say on this, but I can save those for another time. What I hope to do now, is to ask for your grace if you see me in San Jose. I will be trying my hardest to enjoy myself and this wonderful experience that I'm so lucky and grateful to have. I will relish those hot two seconds I'll be on stage as part of the #VOTY and #PhOTY honors. And I hope to be inspired and rejuvenated by being in the presence of you all.

But if you see me, and you hug me, know that I might sob a little. Because kindness and empathy are hard for me to accept sometimes, even when I desperately need them. And if I don't see you walk by me or hear you call my name, it's not because I'm ignoring you. Please try again. Your company will be welcome, as long as you aren't put off by the tears that may be forming in my eyes. I just may not hear you over myself.

I ask you to tread gently with me this year. I am broken and I know I won't always be like this but this hurt and this defeat are very fresh and very raw and I guess I'd rather have you know than not.

So. See you in San Jose.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dragons: Defenders Of Berk Part 2 {A Tabulous Review!}

Full disclosure: I was supposed to write this a couple of months ago. Life, man.

Anyway, we were very excited to receive a copy of Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2 right before the big How To Train Your Dragon 2 release.

Because, as you may recall, Kiedis is a HUGE HTTYD fan. And now Tova's pretty into it, too. She keeps saying she's Astrid. Except because speech delays both kids keep putting a B before her name and ... well, I'll just let you figure that one out.

So this DVD is fantastic at picking up mid-season where Part 1 left off and continuing the stories of Hiccup, Astrid, Toothless, and all the other residents of Berk as they deal with invaders, dragon drama, and learn lessons about friendship, responsibility, and standing up for what you believe in all while tying up some loose ends before segueing into the big HTTYD2 release.

Which, of course, we also saw. At the drive in because it's cheaper, but I've heard great things about it being in IMAX 3D, so if that's still a possibility for you to check out, I'd suggest it. We just didn't think the kids would be able to quite deal with that just yet.

The whole Dragons of Berk TV series has been excellent to have in our Dragon-loving home. I feel like it's on par with the movies (in a TV show kind of way) and I've really enjoyed the lessons the show demonstrates.

And there's something about my kids running around during a thunderstorm joyously yelling about a Skrill coming (instead of being freaked out by the thunder) or watching them pretend to ride dragons (on the arms of the couch) that reassures me that even if it's fantasy, it's one they're actively engaging their imaginations in and learning from.

So if you have a How To Train Your Dragon fan in your home, I'd highly suggest you nab these DVDs when you can. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Many thanks to DreamWorks for facilitating this family's need for all things Hiccup and Toothless and Astrid and Stormfly!

I received a copy of this DVD gratis but all opinions within this review are my own. Also this post contains some affiliate links.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Two Weeks Down, Ten More To Go.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of my family, friends, and you out there in blog land, I not only made my goal of $250 dollars for Dayton Children's Hospital and the Air Force (Half) Marathon, I doubled it.

Thank you. I cried like a freaking baby.

So now, now my goal is to train for this mostly superhuman feat in the span of twelve weeks.

For the Columbus Half Marathon, I had sixteen weeks. And actually, I'd been training for eight to twelve weeks before that, for my very first 5K, doing a couch-to-5K program. For the uninitiated, a 5K is 3.1 miles. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, making a full marathon 26.2 miles. So.

Now, now I'm in training overdrive and already, I am feeling the burn out.

It's been hard to just suddenly be all LET'S GO RUN STUPID DISTANCES, even though I was doing that this time of year last year. I work in the evenings, which is when I used to train, so I've had to get my night owl butt up out of bed early and moving early while the kids are at camp so I don't miss time with them since I work evenings. It's a cycle.

And the kids are old enough to express their want to join me in running or their displeasure at my absence, so that's hard. Plus, not everything has be quiet on this western front so that adds stress and anxiety (both of which I know running helps alleviate) but makes it harder to actually get out the damn door and take time for myself because there are ELEVENBILLIONDY things I could be doing with that time instead.

Like blogging. Or talking to my support network. Or balancing the checkbook. Or or or ...

So. I've joined a couple of Facebook groups of friends that are helping each other stay on track with their health goals -- not just physical, but mental as well -- and I'm hoping that will help boost me back up when all I want to do it crawl back into bed and just lie in the darkness for a while (which is easy to do since my bedroom's all black).

Now, someone just has to keep me on track for the week I'm in California, and then I'll be almost halfway there.

Thank you again to everyone who donated. And you can still donate right up until the race, if you feel so inclined. It all goes to helping the kids of the Miami Valley get state of the art care right here at home, kids just like Kiedis and Tova.

Now I need to finish my coffee and go run those miles I didn't yesterday.