Another Birthday

Dear Alicia,

My mind is blank. I feel somewhat numb.

Maybe it’s from the sugar crash after two bowls of chocolate ice cream, the final result of a rainy day stuck inside with two kids, hours of school work, and no exercise… for me or them.

Maybe it’s from getting stuck one too many times today in that claustrophobic space between the kitchen counter and the table – the space where the bar stool and the chair are always a couple inches too close to each other and I just want to throw them both out the window so I can gracefully walk through without tripping over one or the other.

Or maybe it’s from the 2,003 questions I answered today…

“No, I don’t know where your book is.” (You just had it 2 minutes ago.)

“No, I don’t know which red lego piece you mean.” (There’s only 4,000 red pieces in the lego suitcase.)

“No, you may not have another movie.” (especially after I forgot to cut off your earlier hour long movie after 30 minutes like I said I would)

“Yes, I will write ‘Tractors pull manure spreaders, sprayers, planters, plows, wagons, and balers in your homemade tractor coloring book when I finish chopping this onion… Yes, you can wait that long.”

Or maybe it’s because I’ve depleted all my words for the day explaining prepositions and compound verbs, officiating fights, reading books, and directing bed time routine.

I’m exhausted, but not tired. I’m lonely, but don’t want to talk to anyone. My thoughts drift to you… and October 23rd.

I don’t know what to write, but feel I must write something or I may explode. Words fail me, but my heart still aches even though it’s a different ache now.

I miss you. I love you. I wish things were different.




Happy Birthday, Beautiful.

Celebrating you today,





Recently, my blog has been pretty quiet. Maybe you were hoping I quit writing so you didn’t have to read another narcissistic entry about my boring life. Or maybe some dear heart actually wondered, “Why hasn’t Natalie blogged lately? It’s been a while.”

Well, I’m glad you asked because I’ve developed a new obsession that I need to talk about. No really… I talk about it constantly, quote statistics to Daniel, stay up way too late doing it only to then dream about it, have blisters from it, dig through people’s trash for it, and plan my day around it. Daniel rolled his eyes and lectured me about all the energy I’ve invested in it, until he finally put his fingers in his ears and said, “Stop. No. More.”.

You’ll never guess what it is. You’ll laugh… hysterically. I’m laughing too, believe me; but the weird thing is this obsession fills the part of my personality that loves watching small amounts of “nothing” slowly add up to “something”.

What is it?

I’m very excited somewhat embarrassed to tell you that my newest resume builder is “Official Alice’s-School Box Tops for Education Coordinator”. I know, I know. You’re overwhelmingly impressed. You need a moment to take it all in. This is BIG news.

Yes, I’ve spent more evenings than I care to share sitting and clipping, reading expiration dates and counting to 50… over and over and over.

box top


almost finished
Over 4,000 – Ready to GO!

And I enjoyed every. single. minute. Now that everything has been shipped, I’m already looking forward to the next submission just a few months away (sorry Daniel).

I know I’m weird, but I’ve always had a drive to work with small objects, one at a time, to slowly build something I can “own”. Is this some type of personality disorder? Whenever I mention the satisfaction I get from packing thousands of eggs, cross stitching 25,000 stitches in one project, or folding thousands!! of sheets of paper for a fund raiser in high school, most people think I’m certifiably crazy… or maybe they’re actually thinking I’m intensely boring. Is there anyone else out there who enjoys this type of mind-numbing endeavor? If so, we need to talk.

* * *

Speaking of boredom, I very commonly hear, “Running? I could never run. It’s soooo boorrring”. (Even my form of exercise is boring that’s how boring I am.) But here I am, running a slow but steady cadence to the tune of 300 training miles… one mile at a time, one run at a time, building up to half marathon race day scheduled 11 days from now, but who’s counting? (Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Small things adding up.)

The real reason I run is get rid of this 11 year old can of Gatorade that is taking up valuable cupboard space. We’re down to chiseling out the last 20%, but it’ll take at least another half marathon to finish it off… sigh. Wishing for fruit punch.

This summer, I tried not to be so boring. I tried to “spice up” my running by picking up the pace because I still feel guilty when I proclaim myself a “runner” while only managing a very laid-back average pace per mile that isn’t getting any faster. After weeks! of leg cramps, stomach issues, side stitches and overwhelming fatigue (all of which I have never experienced to the extent they were occurring) resulting in needing an entire week off, I decided I was finished torturing the thing that I enjoyed just so that I could do it faster.

I blamed a new pair of shoes for my running issues for a while (different brand than what I used for the last 3 years). Not sure how much truth is in my accusation, but I won’t be buying this brand again… they still don’t feel quite right.

So, yes… half marathon race day is coming, and I currently have no! excitement about the race. I’ll tell you what does excite me though… tapering! I’m an awesome taper-er… less mileage for one week and then even less mileage the next week. I’m ok with that. Other runners get nervous they’ll lose their conditioning. Me? I say, “Bring it… wish I got to do this three weeks ago.”

To answer your next question… Nope. No goal this year, similar to two years ago. I haven’t been trying to maintain a specific pace while training, so I don’t think it’s smart to have a specific pace in mind for race day either. Hoping to come in +/-5 minutes of my other two times, although I do admit that -5 would be much nicer than +5.

So yes, I will run hard, and in the end, I hope I will be proud of what all those one-at-a-time-miles contributed to. Because for whatever weird reason, it’s part of what makes me tick.


What about you? What makes you tick? I’d love to know (that I’m not the only crazy, boring person out there).


**I had ended this post with an “Official Box Tops for Education plug” right here, but decided it needed to come out right before I published this entry. I think I’m in deep.