I really love my town.  Currently, the weather is acting like a tonic on my soul.  The sun is shining and I'm wearing a tank top.  IT'S JANUARY!

However, there is one thing that I don't love.  We have beautiful bike trails along the beach and the river, and sadly, there is a lot of trash.  It's upsetting.  USE A TRASHCAN! 

Can we not litter?  Can we take a bucket out and collect trash once a month to keep our community clean?  Please?  I would like this place to look better than the way I found it.  Can we make a pact to do that?

Let's make our lives pretty again.

Thank you.


Stream of Consciousness

Let me tell you some truth right now.  Writing is the radness.

My BF and I started doing this dope exercise in the morning where you write three pages longhand of whatever spills out of your head.  My ADDness loves this because my brain is filled with chatter perpetually.  I live in world of shiny things...everything catches my eye!  So, when the time to focus is NOW, I usually can't because of all the shiny, chattery things.

My newfound skill of stream of consciousness writing seems to be the answer.  Right about, oh, now, when Marcus is sleeping and Alexandria is perpetually asking for snacks and I really want to make some phonecalls or whatever, the brain chatter starts.  I begin panicking about everything that I need to get done that isn't getting done that probably won't get done.  So I do something I know I can do in the midst of the chaos and it's not what I needed to do.  The thing I needed to do is still left undone, and guess what?  It's more of the same tomorrow.  However, whenever I write down the thing that distracts me (like a trigger for a migraine), that seems to end it.  I've been able to refocus on what I need to do, and I approach the task with a clear head.

What that was right there, was stream of consciousness, but edited.  It might have included "I'm really hungry but I'm not sure what to eat.  Alexandria seems like she needs attention, but we've spent the entire morning together, and I just need some quiet.  Marcus is not sleeping.  He's squeaking.  He is, for some reason, not interested in napping these days.  I don't know why.  He napped last week, and that was heaven.  I still need lunch, but nothing sounds appealing.  I keep getting heartburn.  I feel like I'm pregnant but I'm so not pregnant.  Ever."

Writing seems to clear my head, like an eraser over a chalkboard.  The morning pages are like Harry Potter and the Pensieve.  It sort of gets pulled out of my brain.  Dorks will get it.  My peeps.  Anyway, that's part of the explosion of intensity that's happening.

If you're interested in the exercise, it's from a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, and it's amazing.  More to come, for sure.


Somebody Lit A Fire

Well, the year has started out with a bang.  Seriously.  Here's what I've thrown myself into so far.
  • I'm in week 3 of The Artist's Way, and I've begun working through the epicness of last year, and years prior to that.  Suddenly, I find myself capable of completing big projects.
  • I made a commitment to teach Sunday school at church.  I really love sermons, but service comes in so many ways, and I'm looking forward to learning through this experience.
  • I started my own health blog (http://www.fitnesswithnatalie.blogspot.com/).  I contribute once a week.  I'm happy to be creating a way to approach health and wellness reasonably.  I also like taking on subjects that I need to learn about.
  • I began writing for http://www.rosterbound.com/, a company that matches high school athletes with college recruiters.  I write for "In The Know" and so far (2 articles in), I love the challenge.  I contribute weekly.
  • To get all this done, I wake up at 5:15 am.  I write from 5:15-7:30, when the kids wake up.  After that, I don't write (with the exception of right now, but even as I write, Alexandria is painting and talking to me).
  • I started a Stroller Fitness class 4 days a week, from 9:30-10:20.  I love the idea of helping mothers get back in shape after having babies.  It's so important for women to nurture themselves in the midst of devoting their lives to someone else.  Providing the opportunity for women to take care of themselves brings me great satisfaction.
  • I start training for an Olympic distance triathlon next week.
So that's what's going on.  Most of my workday occurs between 5:15 and 10:30.  It's a demanding schedule, but I'm more creatively satisfied than I have been in years.  I go to bed early, and wake up early.  I feel like a machine right now, but in a really good way.

I swam laps last weekend, and it's the one sport in triathlon that I don't love.  However, this time, every time I turned, I looked forward and said, "I am fierce."

I feel pretty badass these days.  Look out.


Ah, 2010

Every month, Esquire magazine picks a celebrity for their "What I've Learned" article.  The Chosen One passes along the tidbits and advice they've acquired through their own life experience.  Dave and I read it every time.  We've learned that Dr. Ruth Westheimer was trained as a sniper in the Israeli army, and she used those skills to win booty for her grandson at a carnival.  See?  It's fun.

Anyway, this year, Dave and I decided to do our own "What I've Learned" (because Esquire will never ask us).  We chose to limit the experieces to 2010 only.  Here's my list.
  • I wear my heart on my sleeve, and sometimes it's not a good thing.  Sometimes I let my emotions make decisions that my head would be vehemently opposed to.
  • I wear my heart on my sleeve, and sometimes it's an asset.  When I'm passionate about something, I try to get as many people as I can to adopt the same passion.  Usually, it's for good.
  • I'm okay with raunchy humor.
  • I like to sing in front of an audience, and I'm confident that I sing well.
  • Every morning I wake up, it's a gift.
  • I cannot comprehend a love greater than what I wake up to every morning.
  • I am not afraid of long road trips with my kids.
  • I'm a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for being.
  • Everybody needs a good therapist.
  • I'm on the computer too much.
  • Bathtime is my least favorite time with my kids.
  • I like hot summers.
  • When dressed properly, I love snow.
  • I will say "vagina" if it'll get a laugh.
  • You can't dream big and stay modest at the same time.
  • I am a successful person.  I have a strong, loving marriage and great relationships with my kids.  I love my family.  I have amazing friends.  Voila!  Success!
  • I don't let the weather determine my mood.  It's cold and rainy.  Get on with it.
  • I hate listening to rich people complain about anything other than health problems.
So, that's it.  There's probably more, but for now, that'll do.  Happy New Year, everybody.