Mom's Time Out woman performing yoga

her stories project featuring Rachel Blaufeld

~Ironic that I started my morning with a conversation surrounding a ladies-only spa getaway and was it even possible on the day of The Her Stories Project launch….or,

NOT. You decide. [click to continue…]

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My friend, Jenny Feldon, wrote a book, got published (published!!), and in honor of her release, I allowed her to poke a little bit of fun at me…..

 

Jenny’s book, Karma Gone Bad, is based on her moving to India (India!!) for her husband’s job.  To someone who likes to remain stateside, I could not even imagine.  Actually, neither could Jenny in the beginning.  Her initial response went something like this:

“India?” [she] repeated.  “India, like the country?”  

 

Jenny, being much braver than I could ever imagine, chucked her Jimmy Choo’s and packed up her dog (dog!!) and went to India.  I did not get to know Jenny until after she returned to the states, had a couple of babies, and started writing a blog (like me).  We originally met through our blogs, but quickly realized we had friends in common (the power of the internet hard at work).  We started to form a bond over the waves of the internetz, and finally made a plan to meet up at Blogher ’12 in NYC.  

 

This is where the poking fun at me starts.  The following is Jenny’s retelling of our initial meeting which happened to coincide with her GETTING A BOOK DEAL.   [click to continue…]

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Today welcomes my 39th year.  That’s right – THIRTY NINE.  Early this morning, I reminisced with an old friend about Benetton rugby shirts — remember those?  It was like my uniform back then in the prehistoric age…

… When I was in middle school, which is ironically the stage my kids are in right now.  Which brings me full circle to a conversation I had last night.  Basically, the gist was: middle school sucks and we wish our kids knew what we know now as adults.  This is more than likely true of every stage in life —high school, college, 20’s—it is easy to wish we had more wisdom back then, after the fact.

 

 Monday Morning Quarterback (to borrow an expression from my kids)

 

I continue to ponder this as I sit in my home office with no real exciting plans for today on my birthday, I actually find myself feeling very settled.  Almost at ease with the non-event of my birthday.  (Please do not share this with Henry because I can’t stop joking with him over our lack of a romantic lunch for two today.) [click to continue…]

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Unbalanced is the new Balanced?

All one has to do is google some combination of these words: mom, work, life, family, balance, and  one will see—it is most certainly is a topic well-discussed.

 

google search moms work life balance

 

Perhaps, over-discussed.

 

The fact remains:  There are no answers.  We look at the subject, shred it, take it apart, and put it back together, and it still looks and feels the same.  Feels LIKE _______ ( you know what).  Finding work-life-balance as a mom is just plain difficult.  Some days, I think impossible.  I have said it before.  This is nothing new to me.

 

We hype our slow cookers, the importance of scheduling, taking time for ourselves, and teaching our kids independence.  Some of us do it with the most supportive spouses/partners; other moms do it all alone.  Either way, it is tough.  Difficult to “do it all” no matter how one dissects it.  For the record, I hate the phrase, “do it all” because who really does it all?  I know I don’t.  My kids ate CEREAL for dinner last night.  Please do not tell anyone—I beg you.

 

I ended last week with a real doozy of a day.  By the time my head hit the pillow on Friday, I did not know whether I was a mom, wife, woman, or just plain broken down.  I was certainly disrupted in some way—that was for sure.

 

The day actually started out on the bright side.  With my usual early morning wake-up, I was seated at my laptop bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, pounding the keyboard with rough skeletons of a few of my ideas.  There was school drop off, a quick run, and then shower and onward.  Doesn’t sound too bad, yet – right?

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It is October 2nd, and I am living in a sea of baseball here in PittsburghThe Pittsburgh Pirates are in the playoffs for the first time since 1992. and I know that is a LONG time because that is the year I graduated from high school.  Gulp.  #Buctober is officially in full swing in Pittburgh…..My house is looney from it. Quite frankly, I don’t know how anyone is getting anything done.  Perhaps this is why the government shut down?

 

All joking aside, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month which not only means the Pirates better get their butts in some pink gear, but we must take this month seriously.  Breast Cancer is no laughing matter, and since I mentioned earlier when I graduated high school—one may put it all together and know I am pushing 39 and then real soon, 40 years-old.  This is the about the time when we as women start to get regular mammograms.  

 

Not a day goes by when I do not have a friend or fellow mom heading out for a mammogram, waiting on bated breath for the results of one, or even worse, called back for a recheck. Personally, I have found myself surrounded by breast cancer survivors over the last few years, and they are the BRAVEST women I know.  No doubt about it.  Like I said earlier, breast cancer is no laughing matter—it can affect the woman in the coffee shop next to you, your mom, friend, sister, neighbor….breast cancer knows no boundaries.

 

Simply read this to know there are NO boundaries:  “The odds are 1-in-8. One in Eight. This isn’t a lottery ticket you are holding, it’s 1-in-8. I’m not making up the numbers and I’m not skewing them to scare you, this comes directly from the National Cancer Institute: Based on current breast cancer incidence rates, experts estimate that about one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.” – markbrodinsky.com

 

So—as I jump on the #Buctober band wagon, I feel it is important to pay #BreastCancerAwareness month the attention it deserves.  Last year, I ran my first 10K while raising funds for early mammograms.   Many women continue not to be able to afford early detection, not to mention—overall, there needs to be greater awareness. 

 

This year, I have found a few unique ways to contribute to Breast Cancer Research and Awareness.  Each one is connected to a survivor, and that is my own personal theme for this October:  Paying it forward to those women who have survived and prevailed and now go on to support others.

 

To them, I say thank you.  It is not enough, but in reality there are no words to adequately describe how I feel.

 

To these women:  I dedicate my month of October.  My time.  Every step I run.  Every pose in yoga.  All my cheers for the Pirates.  Each moment I write.  I give them my all because they are here and living life and helping others—setting an example on being a survivor.    [click to continue…]

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A while back, Mashable ran a post titled ‘From Condoms to Beef: 5 Goody Boxes to Send Your Dude‘ written by a woman (obviously, she has big surprises in store for her dude this year).  As a married woman with 2 kids running around home, I think sending my dude a subscription club complete with condoms for all those nights out-of-town is the perfect gift, don’t you?  While, I am sure he would love the more mundane Birchbox for men or the Dollar Shave club, the Kobe beef and whiskey from Bespoke (for entertaining others?) seems like a bigger hit.

 

Anyway, I got to thinking about the upcoming holidays and the neck scarf/warmer that I received in a pajama-a-gram from the boys one year (which I was obviously wearing at the moment).  I love it, but the thrill is over.  Maybe just maybe this year, I will get a subscription box.  Practical, easy to order, and yet a surprise each month? Might just fit the bill?

 

This is what the men in my life may come across in searching for a monthly goody box for the woman in their life: [click to continue…]

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Look who made a Shift

Rachel Blaufeld running Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half -

I am back at my desk after running my 2nd half marathon yesterday at the Rock and Roll Half in Philadelphia.  It was a fantastic experience despite rocking a wicked head cold.  The day was made even better by having my whole family there to cheer me on (and steal my chocolate milk at the finish line).  As parents, we put a lot of pressure these days on our kids to make goals and strive to reach them.  Win or lose or whatever it may be, we mostly encourage our children to try their very best.  Becoming an endurance runner became a goal of mine around a year and a half ago.  Although it was a goal largely based on staying healthy for me, it also was a way of showing my kids that no matter how old we are, we all need goals.  

 

Especially when it comes to health.

 

Health never comes easy.  It is a series of decisions over the course of a lifetime.  Decisions over what to eat, how to exercise, when to drop bad habits, and staying educated on health trends.

 

I am reminded of when I met Tory Johnson back in 2011.  All the women in my family were big fans of Tory’s at the time, and they were all envious of my meeting HER.  I can tell this story a few years later because I know Tory now, but when I met Tory in person, I was kinda shocked.  There was no mistaking her bright personality, gorgeous smile, and her excitement over helping other women in business, but she did not seem so healthy.  We were at a conference in California and I was convinced that I WAS GOING to have some extra time with Tory when I ran into her in the hotel gym in the early morning hours.  Nope.  No Tory in the gym.  Plus, we had sandwiches and chips for lunch?!?!?!? 

 

Well, it wasn’t my place to say anything. [click to continue…]

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