Posts Written By kate

Try It: Periscope

Periscope = Social Media + connection

If you haven’t checked out Periscope… do it now!! But fair warning, you may never watch television again! I know, you don’t need another form of social media. But Periscope has a different power… it really connects people. It’s not just a pretty picture or a quick witted post, it’s LIVE streaming video! Yes, I said LIVE!! You know what live streaming video does for people? It keeps them real and it brings people you may “follow” on other social media platforms or blogs to life. And viewers get to interact by commenting to get a conversation going and show their love by giving, what else…hearts!

Periscope = Social Media + connection
Periscope = Social Media + connection

I found out about Periscope by way of Instagram, my preferred social media. I looked into it and found there was a daily scoping challenge with prompts, which what just what I needed – as I had no idea what one would scope about. #SeptemberScopers was started by Lauren, at Working Mom Magic, and Julie, at Girl On the Move. It seemed simple enough, so I went way out of my comfort zone and tried it.

I nervously did my first scope, made it through, watched it on the replay and immediately deleted it! I was not at all comfortable with how I looked or sounded (I mean is that really what my voice sounds like? It sure doesn’t sound like that in my head?!) I regrouped and started again… one nice thing about Periscope is that the replays are only available for 24 hours! So if you dislike it, but not enough to delete it, it will be gone in a day. To me, that’s comforting!! So I have been trying to keep up with the challenge and with more practice, it does get easier. Although I still get nervous right before I hit the Broadcast Now button!

What has made it a lot easier is the amazing community of women (and a few men) that scope daily using the hashtag. And because of that success, #OctoberScopers is happening!! As strange as it may sound, I feel like these women are my new friends. And in all honesty, I “see” them more frequently than my real life friends. Because I can tune into scopes while I’m folding laundry, cooking or working around the house while the baby naps… which not many real life friends are interested in (or should be). It has replaced my TV (with the exception of my Thursday night line up of Grey’s, Scandal and HTGAWM, of course) and has gifted me a weekly Girls Night In with #WednesdayWineChat, started by Joanna at Motherhood and Merlot. It seriously feels like hanging out with a group of fun girlfriends drinking wine, chatting and playing games – but from my couch, in my pajamas! Which for my introverted self is a dream come true!!

Daily prompts for #OctoberScopers
Daily prompts for #OctoberScopers

You should check Periscope out and find your tribe. There are so many knowledgeable and generous people on Periscope. And because you are live, the viewers are also more forgiving. So far I have found nothing but encouragement and support when scoping. Not to say I haven’t had a troll or two, but that’s what the blocking feature is for!

Try it, you might like it!!

xoxo,

kate

p.s. Find me on Periscope @kateandsmalls and follow #OctoberScopers and #WednesdayWineChat

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I Wish I Were A Runner

The journey begins

On my fitness journey I’ve discovered many things about myself, one of them is painfully obvious… I am not a runner. I run often, yet that does not a runner make. I always find it challenging and not enjoyable. I feel great when its over, but I’m completely miserable from beginning to end. I am not built for running. I have short legs, big boobs and apparently the lungs of an 80 year-old chain smoker. But it’s such and accessible form of exercise, I can do it anywhere and I can include the kids… its the perfect fit for my current situation, yet I loathe it.

I want, so badly, to be one of those girls in the cute outfit killing it on the treadmill,  or the fit mom effortlessly pushing the jogging stroller through the neighborhood or the uber-confident girl running on the beach in a bikini (seriously, how do you do that?!?). I want to feel that “runner’s high” that runner speak of. I’m not sure what kind of euphoric state I’m expecting, I’ve built it up so much in my mind, that I’m bound to be disappointed – but I still want to experience it. I want to cross the finish line at a race, any race, and feel that sense of accomplishment. I really want to be a runner!

I blame this Bugaboo ad for my unrealistic expectations!
I blame this Bugaboo ad for my unrealistic expectations! Seriously, I want the stroller and the body!

And in this day and age…there’s an app for that! I will admit this is not my first go around with the Couch to 5k (C25k) app. I tried it when I got my first smart phone. (I told you, I’ve always wanted to be a runner!) But just downloading the app didn’t make me a runner. I gave it a go, then it got hard and I quit. I’m an excellent quitter, I do it early and I do it often. Change is HARD!! And uncomfortable… but there is no progress without change. So I have started to use the C25k app again, and I have made it to Week 7 out of 8, I am running for 20 minutes non-stop!!! Which is nothing to most people, but to a want-to-be runner its pretty amazing. Its still a struggle, but I’m pushing through. This time I refuse to quit!!

And to make sure that I don’t quit this time… I signed up for a 5k!! A Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning! And yes, I was one of those people that mocked all those Turkey Trotters in years past… that day is a day dedicated to eating. But what a great tradition to start with my smalls, who will doing the 1 mile fun run! To not only tell them to make healthy choices, but to do it together. To lead by example and to show them that exercise is not something to loathe, it should be part of a healthy and balanced life style. Then we will come home and enjoy my favorite holiday… and not just because it’s about eating. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that is not centered around gifts or sweets, but being together with loved ones and being so thankful for each other and all the amazing things we are fortunate enough to experience in this life.

So for now, I will continue to run. I will push through with my headphones on, music blasting, cute outfit and jogging stroller in tow (I can totally look the part). Hoping that if I stick with it, it will become easier. That I will start to enjoy it. That I will cross that finish line. That I will become a runner!!

Every Sunday is now my 5k #SundayRunday
Every Sunday is now my 5k #SundayRunday

So for all the runners out there, how did you learn to love running? Any training tips?

xoxo,

kate

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Try it, you might like it!

I say this almost as much as I say "no"!

How many times have you said this to your kids? I have said this a countless number of times in my 8 plus years as a mom. I have encouraged them to try new foods, new sports, new classes and new experiences. Sometimes it is met with compliance, but more often with a hard and fast “NO!!”. Then the negotiating begins, sometimes that works. I have even resorted to bribery on occasion for my creatures of habit – come on, haven’t we all? What is it about the new and unknown that makes us shut down and refuse to consider that we may, in fact, like this new thing?

I know where they get it from… me. (Well not the food part! I love trying new foods.) I’m 100% a creature of habit. I like my routine and scheduled days. My first reaction to new things is usually no and to think of all the possible negative effects of said new thing. I wasn’t always like this. I think it stems from my attempt to control everything in my adult life. To have as many constants in place as possible, limiting the variables and preparing for all worst case scenarios. Because in my life, the worst has happened… the other shoe has dropped and that feeling of having no control is one of the worst feelings in the world.

My dad died very suddenly, without any warning of a massive cerebral hemorrhage three days after Christmas, almost 12 years ago. And my sister, who was 14 at the time, and I found him. Life changing doesn’t even begin to cover it. I found comfort in the the things I could control, the things I could do. The logistics became my comfort zone. More planning and paperwork, less feeling the devastating blow our family had just taken. This event changed the course of my life. It made me very aware of how short life really is. Before my father’s death I had no plans for having children and shortly after that was the farthest thing from my mind. He would never meet them, never know them and even worse… they would never know him.

Something changed a few years after his death, as the size of my extended family took a nosedive, I realized for the first time that I wanted my own big crazy family. Eight years ago my daughter, who was named in honor of my dad, literally brought life back to my little family. She brought so much joy and happiness to all of us. He would have adored her, and she him. But all of her milestones were bittersweet, as we could not share them with him. A few years later, the boy he had always dreamed of was born and as my son has grown he reminds me so much of my dad. He has his temper, the same mischievous look in his eye right before he does something he knows he shouldn’t, the exact same knees (if you knew my dad, you know what I’m talking about) and his love of fun. I have shared pictures and stories with them since they were born, even though its difficult. They ask tons of questions and talk about him often. We were getting on with life, happy with our little growing family and busy with life when the rug was pulled out from under me again.

Three short days after the 9 year anniversary of my father’s death, we received a phone call that no family should. My little sister, who was only 23, had committed suicide. She took a lethal dose of over-the-counter sleeping pills the day after the anniversary of my father’s death and it had taken the police 2 days to locate us in a different state. My sister and I had a complicated relationship, to say the least. She was 7 years younger, stubborn and struggling to manage her Bipolar Disorder. We were not speaking at the time of her death, I was going the tough love route with her… which may not have been what she needed. The amount of regret and what if’s will haunt me for the rest of my life. I always thought we would have time to mend our relationship. I imagined we would grow closer as she grew up and started to take responsibility for her actions. I’ve learned a lot about mental illness since her death and I regret not trying to learn more while she was alive and battling it everyday. I’ve heard so many stories from other survivors of suicide that mimic her struggle. The stigma that is attached to mental illness and suicide make it difficult for people to talk about. And that needs to change. I don’t blame my sister for taking her own life, it breaks my heart but I understand why she did it. In the year after her death, I felt paralyzed. I wanted to shut out the world and protect my family. I wanted to control everything around me and if I couldn’t control it, I would run from it. Not the best example for my children.

stigma-chalkboardSince my sister’s death, we added another sweet little girl to our family. She has brought such happiness to our whole family… not as a replacement, but a loving reminder that life goes on. I will never be an an aunt, nor will by kids ever have cousins from my side of the family, which is something I will always mourn. My dreams of what the future would hold have been rewritten.

It's time to change the way we think about mental illness.
It’s time to change the way we think about mental illness.

As I have slowly picked up the pieces and realized, once again, how short life is I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to lead by example and show my kids that life is meant to be lived. Getting out of your comfort zone, even though its scary, is the best part. And this blog is how I will document and hold myself accountable to trying new things. I can guarantee I will not like everything I try, but I just may surprise myself. As for the kids, they will continue to hear “try it, you might like it!” on a daily basis, because how how will you know unless you try?

I’d love to hear how you have stepped out of your comfort zone or an activity that you have always wanted to try. I’m always looking to add to my “Try it” list, so comment below and you may see your suggestion on the blog!!

xoxo,

kate

 

 

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Happy Birthday

the start of something new

Yesterday we celebrated the first birthday of our third, and very likely last, child. It was a bittersweet occasion, but I tried to soak in every moment… its what I’ve been doing this whole last year. I did my very best to find joy in all the moments or phases as the year passed in the blink of an eye. The exhaustion that comes with 4 am feedings for 11 months (I was spoiled by my other two kids, who both slept through the night by 8 weeks… don’t hate, I got mine!). That intoxicating smell of a new baby – seriously why haven’t they bottled that yet? The massive amounts of laundry a family of 5 can produce. The sweet smile that debuts just as you start to feel totally defeated, like they know you need a little something in return. Dragging out all the baby gear that we had been finished with for years. That first, and oh so infectious, laugh (my answer to James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio “What sound or noise do you love?” Absolutely a child’s laugh. The. Best.)! The first tooth… and all the fun that comes with teething. The amazement that comes as a little person learns to navigate their world by rolling, sitting up, crawling, cruising and walking! Not all of the moments were joyous, but they were all moments that I will treasure as she grows… for all of her firsts, may be my lasts.

 

If only I could stop time... just for a little while.
If only I could stop time… just for a little while.

So I hold her a little tighter and a little longer, because I know how fast the years go. And I quelch my baby fever by focusing on my new baby, this blog… Happy Birthday kate & smalls!!

xoxo,

Kate

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