Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am so ready for my stretch off. I have been so busy! Two jobs, running races, riding my bike, and spending time with family and friends does not leave much time at all. Especially for writing on my blog:(
My recent short time off has been riding 50miles and trying to get a trip to the grocery store in. I was supposed to ride to work starting today but after walking up hourly from 11:45 on, I thought for a good mood today I better sleep more. I don't know what wakes me but I do feel panicky like I am late or like I lost my keys. Very unsettling so then it's hard to fall back asleep. It seems to come in spans where this happens, where I have trouble sleeping. I really have always been someone who can fall asleep easy and stay asleep, then get up early no matter how little I sleep. I think I lack the genetic makeup to really sleep in late, or maybe it was just my upbringing but I never really slept in. I do sleep better when I work out, but who doesn't. I do sleep better when I eat better, but who doesn't. And of course I sleep better when I don't have to be anywhere or do anything, but that won't happen until....um......next Tuesday not that I think about it:(
So I'll try again tonight and hopefully I will be able to execute my riding to work plan tomorrow.....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's much warmer this morning than it has been for my bike rides lately. I am excited to try out my new bike fit and new riding glasses today:) I love REI! I got the glasses for just 15.00 after a 20% off coupon and my dividend credit for shopping there this year for a lot of my other gear and snowboarding stuff.
We are riding 45miles to 50 miles this morning so I am up early to get ready physically, nutritionally, and mentally. Mentally again is the most important but hardest. This is about the time I am trying not to psych myself out and forcing myself from not getting back into bed by washing my sheets right now.
I always feel great when it's done but the getting there is the hardest battle. I do think about people who wish they could be doing what I am doing. I think about how lucky I am to have the physical ability to get on a bike at all. BUT still it is early and cold and overwhelming to think of the distance. That is one reason I invested in my new handing dandy bike computer:) I love knowing how much further I have to go. The same goes for running, I like to know where I am with my distance. It's all mental but I think I ride/run better when I know how much more I have to go.

So think of me pedaling for LLS this am! And I'll be thinking of the hot shower waiting for me when I get home. I have raised 1200.00 of my total 3600. Thanks to all my supporters out there!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Currently, my new nephew (adorably pictured above) is living in a foster care situation in Ghana, Africa. This makes him lucky, as unlucky as it sounds. He could be wandering the streets or in a worse situation in Africa. We are all blessed to have him as a new addition to the Roberts clan. And I can't wait to meet him;) which could be anytime in the upcoming months.
To adopt a child is such a loving selfless thing, and then to try to improve the situation for the others left behind is even more amazing.

My sister and brother in law have always been thoughtful, caring people. But recently they have taken it to an entirely different level.
They talk about it here and here. They are two firework catalysts starting a charity organization for Ghana, Africa practically from scratch. Ujimacare is the foundation which is accepting donations and building the soon to be only orphanage. They are also starting programs for sponsoring a child so they can go to school, where they also get two meals a day. You have to pay for school in Ghana, so most children can not attend.

My sister and brother in law are modest and humble, but they really are full of ambition and faith to make a change in the world. They aren't all talk, they are all DO. The orphanage is going to cost 10,000 dollars to build and is already in the process (which you can see and follow on the blog). My sister and her husband have taken positions on the board of Ujimcare and are helping a lot of goals materialize.

My sister is so creative this past weekend we all participated in a fundraising party or I should say baby shower for her new little man. You can read about it all here. Between the party and other fundraising they are almost half way toward their goal of 10,000 dollars!

I just feel full of love and thankful and proud to be part of my family today. And if you would like to help change the world and make it a lot better for orphans in Ghana, Africa....you can donate to through the Ujimacare website or through my sisters website.
Have a great day:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh geeze, not fun at all. I'm not even 24 hours post braces (only on the top teeth) and I feel like they have moved and shifted all over the place. They are sore and I have not been able to eat normally. I think yogurt will be on the menu this morning.
Mr. Big Dog has been sweetly trying to comfort me and make me laugh. He says you can't even see them. Isn't that sweet? He's a great white liar:) I can see them like a lit up billboard, but he says they are barely noticeable.
I know it is all temporary but maybe this is a message that I need to talk less anyways. Maybe I have been talking too much and now it's time to listen for a while.

So I am listening with yogurt and Ibuprofen:) Never a dull moment here:)

Monday, March 14, 2011

I know I take the phone for granted. I grew up with a phone in my house and now in my purse. You use it daily, all day long. But what if we didn't have phones. I mean how different would life be?
I took care of the sweetest little man this week at work. He has this smile that lights up the room and is just a kind man in general. He has been in my unit for almost a week because after his open heart surgery he has a stroke and has really been having a difficult time moving and speaking.

I took care of him for 3 days, 12 hours every day......this week. So I got to know him intimately and was there for his ups and downs of frustration that can come with the evil stroke symptoms. Frustration to not be able to do what you want when you want, frustration to have to depend on someone (especially someone you just met 10 hours ago...and it's a 30 year old nurse usually with too much coffee on board), and frustration that you are in this situation at all and your life has changed.

Sometimes you can't do or say anything to make it easier. Sometimes people get so upset they shut down. So on the third afternoon of caring for him, he was sick of me and sick of his situation to say the least. UNDERSTANDABLY. His wife of 52 years visited often as well as one of his 4 children. His other 3 had come and gone, living far away. The wife was worried since he was becoming more and more frustrated.

So things happen for a reason. And when his son called from LA for an update I thought about how he couldn't really talk on the phone with him due to his stoke. Communicating was difficult and very frustrating for him. Yes and No and a smile was about all he had been able to do.
But I thought.... he could listen:) So I prepped the son. I told him about his dad's frustrations for the day and how seemed depressed this afternoon to me. How he seemed to be lying in his bed frustrated and I was unable to really comfort him. I thought if he could just talk to him and tell him about his day or maybe a happy story that they shared it might lighten the mood. Of course he couldn't answer back but I would hold the phone for him to his ear.

So for 10mins I held this little gift, a phone to his ear. I watched as he teared up and giggled as his son talked and talked. I have no idea what they talked about but the phone was such a mental lifesaver for my sweet patient. It even helped his communication as he casually slipped a couple "uh-huhs" and "very well" into the conversation (since without stress or pressure of trying to communicate is does seem to come easier when you have a stroke).

At the end of the phone call my patient was much happier and seemed relieved. Like this stoke thing was going to be just a bump in the rode (which it will be recoverable), and he was rejuvenated to work hard at rehab again after speaking with his son on the phone.

I just love the phone more today then I think I ever have in my life. So call someone today and appreciate that you CAN;) Imagine if you couldn't.....

Well I have been doing a lot of biking as you all know, but as for running there has not been too much room for it. I had signed up for the 8k (5miles) Shamrock run in downtown Portland forever ago. It has been weighing on me that I have not been training as well as I could/should. I mean, I have to admit I did have a little bit of the thought of "if I can ride 40 miles on a bike, what's 5 miles running?" Boy oh boy was I wrong. THEY ARE NOTHING THE SAME! I ran last Tuesday two miles and thought I was going to die. Not my breathing but my legs. They were like concrete (which I have talked about before here). This just put me into further panic. OH MY! I am supposed to run 5 miles on Sunday after 3 days straight of working. And it's my first run with Mr. Big Dog (who is an awesome athlete/runner) and I didn't want him to think I was slow:( I mean I wanted to impress him just a little with my amateur running skills:) So I was a little stressed about the run to say the least.
So yesterday was the day. 8:05 with the the time change in the pouring rain, downtown Portland with 30,000 other people. Literally 30,000 people where there for the run. It was packed!
I am further amazed at the power of the mind. My mind especially lately. I mean it was tough tough tough, I was tired and cold. I was exhausted from my week of work, mixed with not training the way I have in the past for running. Off we went, and it was a struggle mentally. But I was not going to give up, I said I was going to do this run and I was going to finish if I died trying.
All said and done I thought it was probably my slowest run ever. But after the results were in I actually did 10 minute miles....5 of them! The 5 is what really proves it's mental. I mean I haven't run 5 miles since Hood to Coast last year. And here I just jumped out of bed and did it. So if you are a runner or have anything you are trying for physically. I am telling you it is all in your head. You may not do it as fast as you would like, but you can do it! Especially if you tell someone you are going to do it.....I think it puts that sometimes needed pressure on you to keep your word:)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yesterday I had one of those days. One of those days where everything you do goes wrong.
I had a dentist appointment yesterday morning after not visiting in too long, a little over a year I am embarrassed to say;(.
This is when the nothing seemed to go right started.....

"No cavities, your teeth look great!" My very witty dentist exclaimed.

"Great" I said relieved since I felt like I was at a huge job interview that I had showed up to late, all because of the embarrassment of not going in so long.

"But we need to talk braces! This one tooth is shifting all the others and your very nice smile is on the verge of huge disruption. " By the way this was all with a smile my dentist said this.

"I am about to turn 31! I don't want braces. I don't NEED braces really do I? I am the only kid in my family to never have them!"- this is me, almost whining and on the verge of tears and laughing at the same time.

"Well sweetie, you need them and I actually think they may help with your headaches." - smiling again dentist.

I have been suffering from migraines for sometime now and they are getting worse. They are debilitating and such a huge annoyance in my very busy life that when he said this statement, it was like the sky parted and the sun came back out on my little rained on parade.
Okay maybe I can DO braces......"how long?" was my next question.

So hopefully it will only be for 4-6 months but I still can't believe it. They will happen on Monday and I am not excited about it at all. Mr. Big Dog has tried to comfort me with many many " you are beautiful and you will be just as pretty with braces:)" But really its not so much the vanity as that I hope people don't think that it is a vanity thing. You know, that people don't think " gosh how old is she? Why would you get braces at 31?"

So I am going to try to embrace the braces! And if I lose a headache or two out of it! That would be fabulous!

The rest of my day was a domino affect. My bike fitting was scheduled wrong with the bike company, so that's on hold till Monday post braces. My fundraising letter that I mailed to tons of people had a huge error with the wrong web address on page 2:( So if you received one, please disregard that address.
Anyways, today is a new much better day even though I am now dreading Monday. Oh, well. Maybe my headaches will become a faint memory...or should I say nightmare.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I love my little cottage. I love how I decorated it all by myself (okay with the help of my mom).
I love that I can clean it in an afternoon and organize everything that becomes disrupted while I am at work during the week. I love how small it is, even though it really is tiny:) I love/hate how the police department is less than a mile away and I can hear sirens at all hours of the day or night:) I love that I know my mailman and my bankers. And of course my cute little old neighbors.

But even though it's small and cozy, and it's been my home for the past five years.... it feels empty tonight. I think a big part of the empty feeling it due just being by myself tonight. Which don't get me wrong, being by yourself can and is healthy and good in someways.

But in another way, I think it feels empty because it doesn't really feel like home sometimes.
I think home is where ever you make it. And home is really with the people you love and want to spend all your time with.

So in that aspect I actually have many homes around the Portland/Vancouver and even the coastal area here in Oregon. Some I spend a little time at here and there, and others I seem to migrate to for longer spans.....
And I know this empty feeling is not fear of being alone, or uneasiness from the solitude. I like having space and being alone sometimes....It is more about how I feel at home when certain people are under the same roof.

What is that old saying? Home is where your heart is..... I think that says it perfectly.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

To say I've been busy is a real understatement. I am balancing work and training and sleep. Really that is all that seems to be happening. I am finally off for my stretch from my big girl job and all I want to do is sleep. But I have my weekly ride with my Team In Training group this morning. Who said fundraising for leukemia would be soooo exhausting? But then I think about all the people who have leukemia who wish they could be exhausted from work and riding a bike....and I quickly shut up!
Today is 40miles, the weather is cold but not too rainy (yet). We'll see how it pans out.

Back to the topic of sleep. My body is now set for waking up at 0630 no matter what. No matter what! If I go to bed at 1am, it still wakes up at 0630. I can tell you the second I open my eyes it is 0630. And even if I want I really can't go back to sleep;( So this morning I am up with the dogs, thinking about 40miles and my professional bike fitting later this am! More on that later......and thinking how great it is to have the "problems" I have right now. Lack of sleep, not enough hours in the day or days in the week, and having too many people in my life I want to see this weekend.

Like Mr. Big dog keeps saying...."those are all great problems to have"
So think of me riding and I will post again later............when I make more time!

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