Snow Day For Sadie

6 + inches of snow in Boise is apparently a big deal.  No school for the boys.  I was happy about that because they got to enjoy Sadie’s first day every seeing snow.  She LOVED it.

Snowy Snow

Snow Day

Body Skiing

And for your viewing pleasure… there is supposed to be a video via Flickr here but may not show up on your screen.  Sorry if it doesn’t I can’t figure out the problem.

Christmas Sneak Peek

I take our Christmas photo every year.  Some years it comes easy and I get it done in a timely fashion, that was this year.

I knew what I wanted to do from the moment we moved into our house and I hit the foothills running.

See my favorite parts of running the foothills are that 1. they are literally 20 steps from my front door, 2. they are what make Boise so magnificent, and 3. on our foothills you turn one way and look out over the treasure valley or the city of Boise, the other way you look out onto the rolling foothills of the Boise mountains.  It is a juxtaposition of nature vs. metropolitan and both are absolutely breathtaking views.  On every run I take into the foothills there is a very large hill that I climb.  It is my favorite foothill, in fact I call it my foothill.  It happens to also be the foothill that I can see right out my dining room window.  The first time I ran (and at that time half walked) up this very high and steep hill, winded and racing heart I made a deal with myself.  I swore that, no matter what I was training for or how important the run was, I would stop at the top and look out over the city.  Then I would turn and look out over the foothills and remind myself of the gorgeous place I get to call my home.

THAT is what I knew our Christmas card must reflect this year.  Our new home.  This beauty that we get to look at, adventure into, and be a part of every day.

The weather is starting to turn, the colors of Boise are beautiful, and the time was right to hike onto a small foothill right outside our house and capture our Christmas card photos.  This is a test shot of Matt taking a pic of me.  This view is the city side.

Christmas Shoot

Celebrate the Small Steps

It’s a Pizza Party

We had a mini pizza party tonight.

No one else really knew it was a party except for me.

We were supposed to have burgers and fries while Daddy was on his bike ride, but I changed plans.  I made it pizza.  I had to give my little guy his favorite thing ever and silently celebrate him.

A few weeks ago we had our biannual nephrology appointment here in Boise.  For these appointments Perry has blood work to see a bunch of things that include how his kidneys are functioning, how his thyroid is functioning, and how his body is just generally functioning.  Everything came back looking very good.  Well, almost everything.  His iron (which had been low and he had been on iron for years) came back normal.  We no longer had to give him that horrendous dropper of nasty, metallic smelling, clothing staining mineral!

BUT he was still anemic.

What that left everyone wondering was why?  The most likely cause of anemia is iron deficiency.  If that isn’t the problem then why is his body not producing enough red blood cells.  His pediatrician was worried about some problem with his marrow.

Oh fuck.  Excuse my language if my boys are reading this in the future, but if there was ever a time to type those words it is in this situation.

Today I spent half my day in the hematology/oncology clinic at our Children’s Hospital.  I sat there with a surgical mask on my face.  Yes, you read that right.  I woke up with a cold and have personal experience with how important it is for cancer patients to not be exposed to even the smallest cold.  It’s no game.  It’s nothing to fuck with.  It can lead to pneumonia fairly easily.  We all know where pneumonia can lead for someone who can’t fight it.  So, I sat there with worry in my stomach and paper surrounding my mouth and nose as I met with this new doctor.

Another doctor to add to our list.

But for now it was a great visit.  His anemia is mild.  So mild that the doctor is not worried at all about it having any effect.  He feels it may be as a result of Perry’s hypothyroidism that was uncovered at 18 months when he went through his first bought of nephrotic syndrome.  This past summer before we left Chicago his endocrinologist there felt it was safe to attempt taking him off his meds.  His blood work isn’t proving to be perfect, so that could very well be our answer to why he’s anemic.  We continue to monitor and hope that everything improves or at least stays the same.

Tonight I remembered when I used to do Thankful Thursday.  Tonight I could not be any more thankful for having a pizza party with this little guy.

Feminine-ist

Strong Lace

A couple weeks ago Lauren Fleshman wrote a blog post for Runner’s World about feminism and femininity.  It was a wonderful take on what female athletes face in today’s world.  In it she describes her previous hesitation in considering herself a feminist.  For her she felt like a feminist “sounded like the kind of woman a man wouldn’t like.”  She also delves into her own fear and insecurities about her athletic body.  She was afraid of appearing masculine and wondered if she would inadvertently (or purposely) alter her training in order to avoid losing feminine aspects of her body.

These are topics most females deal with whether as athletes, mothers, students, doctors, lawyers, musicians or actresses.  Feminism is a severely misunderstood word.  For years, I felt like feminism meant putting women before men, ahead of them, treating them better in a way.  I didn’t see the world as being unfair to women.  I was told I could do anything.  I was really good at math and science.  I played sports.  I was never told, “you can’t”.  I didn’t understand why there was any “fight” for women’s rights, we had them.

I liken this naivety to the ignorance I encountered when Obama was about to be elected.  There was a woman I knew from message boards who did not vote for Obama.  She did not agree with Obama.  And she did not want to see Obama sworn into office.  On the day of his inauguration there was a heated debate on one of the message boards I frequented.  She had a very loud voice in the debate (albeit we were all typing responses, but she let us know her strong opinion).  What I couldn’t understand was how someone, anyone, could not see the massive social impact this event would have on the world.  I won’t get into my side of the debate (I wrote about it here), but her side was that she didn’t get what the big deal was.  She was raised to treat everyone the same.  She argued that it if we are treating everyone equal than we shouldn’t be celebrating someone being elected just because they are black.

Her argument was very similar to how I felt about feminism.  I wasn’t discriminated against because I was female.  I was raised to treat everyone the same regardless of sex. I was treated the same as my male counterparts.  All of these deep down made me wonder whether gender inequality was a real concern.  I, also, considered it ridiculous to try and celebrate women when what feminism was about was being treated equally.  That seemed to me to be special treatment.

Admittedly, I also kind of resented feminism.  I knew from very early on in life that I wanted to be, well, a plain old mama.  I wanted to stay at home, raise my babies, cook dinner every night, clean my own house, help at their school, devote my life to my family.  My mom worked.  While later in life she told me she chose to work and loved it, what I saw is someone who HAD to go to work.  For our family to live comfortably smack dab in the middle of middle-class, her working was mandatory.  Then I watched as 2 working parent families became the norm.   I would read quotes from Gloria Steinem like, “Housewives are dependent creatures who are still children… parasites.”  I felt like I was getting robbed of my dream because feminism wanted to see women in the work place and was putting down those that didn’t want to be.

Then I read an article about Gloria Steinem.  Steinem now, not in the 1970′s in the heat of fighting for her position in the workplace.  In the article, she described how the goal she saw for feminism was for women to choose.  Her fight was that with that choice would come equal treatment, equal pay, equal respect.  The goal was never to create this HUGE separation between working women and women that chose to stay at home.  I could have chosen to work.  I have my masters degree and years of work experience prior to becoming a full time mother.  But what I wanted and what I dreamed about was spending my days with my children.  For good or for bad, I wanted to be their role model, day in and day out.  It was a calculated choice, a strong desire, and one that has its pros and cons.

Feminism took a sharp turn for me after reading that.  I realized I was wrong.  I began to embrace the term more.  I have always been about empowering women.  Working in a domestic violence shelter you can’t help but realize that some women need to be told they are strong, capable, and powerful.  Some women weren’t raised like I was.  Some women were always told that they weren’t good enough.  Some women were treated by societal norms like they weren’t as good as men.  Now I could unite the idea of empowering women to the term of feminism.  I no longer had to be angry at feminism or afraid that a feminist would not see the importance of my job.  I could stand and say I am a feminist that believes women should get to choose whatever they want to do with their lives.

A feminist that not only is strong in her beliefs and opinions, but also in her body.  I hate that this comment by some guy made a professional runner question her appearance even for a second.  Lauren Fleshman embodies what healthy body image should look like.  She has put herself out there for women to have real life role models.  She revealed pictures of herself after pregnancy.  She encouraged other women to “keep it real”.  She may have just begun seeing herself as a feminist, but she has been acting like one for a long time.

Her call for a change in our view of femininity is the modern call on feminism.  Femininity should encompass all body types for women, it is a step towards women loving themselves and the skin they are in.  It is also just a call for mutual respect.  Not everyone likes the same things.  This guy that felt she looked masculine is probably a tit guy.  He likes curves and large breasts and an ass he can grab onto.  Great.  That’s not her.  But that doesn’t mean he should put her down.  Just as someone who enjoys their large curves shouldn’t be put down.  Or a woman that decides to get enhancement should be name called.  People want different things from their own bodies and people are attracted to different things physically.  I’m not gay.  I like men.  That doesn’t mean that I should put down people that are attracted to their same sex.  Calling her masculine is equal to saying a guy with long hair is feminine.  Haven’t we gotten past that point?  Didn’t that kind of nonsense leave with bell bottoms?

What this guy needed to realize is that women (and I would think all people…) don’t need their bodies scrutinized.  Some people like to be called busty and curvy, to others that is a slap in the face.  Some women would LOVE to hear someone say they are skinny.  Me?  That is quite the insult.  I relate skinny to my years with eating disorders and I never wish to be back there.  There are very few safe words to describe one’s body.  Even something like healthy.  Seems safe enough, but in the mind of someone with an eating disorder, “healthy” may present as substantial and solid, not what they are wanting to hear.  How is one to know whether someone has an eating disorder or will be offended?  You don’t. Just keep your judgements to yourself.  Worry about yourself and your own body.

And yes, femininity should include all types of bodies.  Just as women have accepted men are tall, short, big, lean, bulky, lanky….  Men (and women) need to accept that women are all different.  Coexist people.

Reality of Dreaming

Reach

Time ticks by, tick, tick, tick
I find myself wish for more
Wondering what I never discovered
Things I never knew about you
Dreams I didn’t hear, sorrows unknown
Wanting to see your face in person
Where all the lines and creases
Tell the stories I never heard
Show all the sadness and smiles
Etched like crevices deep in the dirt
Carved by rainwaters flowing down the trail
And the sun drying it out again
River of tears and kisses of sunshine
Create the same ruts and ridges along your brow

I will myself to dream you as a compensation prize
The only way to connect for just a few
Does my mind’s manifestation truly capture you?
It’s hard to tell it has been so long
The dreamweaver entwining past lines
Stitching a new you from past yous
Standing firm before me, I reach out
Wanting to be assured this dream is real
But quickly I recoil, frightened that you are real
A very real feeling you made me feel before

Scared of my reality
Scared of my past
Scared of what was
Scared of what’s to come
Scared of truths
Scared of untruths
Scared of you
Scared of me

The Salt of Life

Reading a blog post today about Kara Goucher made me think about my own ups and downs.  Anyone who knows me or has followed this blog knows that I have had my share of both.  At times the downs seemed to outweigh the ups, but it is all about perception.  If I focused on the downs they seemed to overwhelm and overtake everything.  But if I allowed them their moment and moved on, the highs of my life were so much greater than they had been before.

I liken the downs to salt. Salt is a natural part of life, as are tragedies, heart breaks, and failures.  If you add too much salt (linger in your downs too long) you ruin your dish.  It tastes terrible and sometimes is completely inedible.

But if you add just enough, it makes the sweet (the ups of life) even sweeter.

Salt