Seasons Change

I write daily blog posts in my head. I am often sorry I missed the boat on becoming a professional blogger. I don’t think pursuing that now would be all that sustainable or financially lucrative for me.

Fall is nearing its end. It’s my favorite season. Yet for much of it this year we enjoyed unseasonably warm weather. I’m not complaining, but now we seem to be entering winter weather a bit prematurely.

Since my last post my life looks like this:

  • Wake up at 3:30/3:40AM, go to the gym to be home by 5:15 when Orlando has to leave for work. I have been participating in a Step Bet challenge so I use this morning gym time to get my steps in on the elliptical while reading my school assignments. It’s been a super productive hour or so.
  • Get ready for the day, pack Carlos’ lunch, make Carlos’ breakfast, prep patient visits or other work tasks.
  • 7:35 stop at Cumberland Farms for much needed giant coffee. I’m not a coffee snob and for 99 cents you can’t beat it. It stays super hot in my stainless steel travel mug for a good two hours.
  • Bring Carlos to school for 8AM.
  • Usually I see one to two patients starting at 9AM.
  • Home by 11/11:30AM. Eat something. Do some laundry.
  • Noon – 3PM paperwork
  • Some days I will take a break for a 30 minute – 1 hour run
  • 3:15PM pick up Carlos
  • The afternoon varies depending on Carlos’ activities. I typically do not plan on any work productivity between 3-6PM. I make work phone calls, cook dinner, and do some things around the house. It’s not a time I can use to do any focused work.
  • Most nights between 6-7PM, I head to the Mount Holyoke College library to tackle school work.
  • I have been committed to getting to bed by 11PM most nights. Some nights I actually make it earlier.

Then I repeat it all the next day. On October 1st, I began a new role at work as a Clinical Liaison for my team. So far I’m not so sure it was a great decision. Although my caseload is being lowered a bit, it has not had an impact on the amount of work in the present because the patients I have given up were not due to be seen for a month or two. I have the same amount of patients to see right now with the added responsibilities of this new position. I will be training new RNs on our team eventually, and I have already started leading WebEx trainings for new nurses across the state.

Work has been stressful for another reason. Last December my boss was let go. A nurse on my team took her place. She’s wonderful, supportive, approachable, and really reasonable. Our team is made up of two sections of Massachusetts. I work on the Western Mass portion of the team which is small in comparison to the Worcester portion. In the spring a nurse from my area became our supervisor. There was never a clear understanding of her role yet it became quickly evident that she was essentially managing the Western Mass staff. She’s the complete opposite of our manager. She is cold, unapproachable, task oriented, inflexible, and demanding. It has placed an unbelievable amount of stress amongst our group. One of my colleagues has taken the brunt of her wrath. The worst part is that her behavior is totally unnecessary and it is going to drive some great staff out of the job which will mean nothing to her, but will increase the work demands for those of us remaining.

I decided to return to grad school at the end of August. I had two more core courses to complete before I can begin the actual program specific classes. I was dreading these two courses – Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice. My fears were quickly realized. Each course is 8 weeks. I did get an A in Nursing Research, but I work my tail off to earn that grade. Not only was the course demanding and pushed me so far outside of my comfort zone, but the professor was absolutely no nonsense. I turned in a paper 37 minutes late and lost 20% on the grade. It was my own fault. I owned it and I didn’t offer any excuses. She was completely unforgiving and made a comment on my next paper to “watch those late assignments” as though I turned them all in late. It was just the one!

These courses I am taking are all online and follow a very similar structure. The course begins on a Monday. We have a discussion post due on Wednesday night by 11:55PM Eastern time. Between Thursday to Saturday we are expected to respond to two of our peers for a minimum participation grade, but if we are Type A overachievers and want the full participation grade then 4-5 responses are needed. The discussion post and responses are not a short blurb. Research is required and we must include references. For both the research class there were two extensive papers due midterm and at the end. We also had an actual midterm and final exam, timed online. The evidence-based practice class I am taking now also requires two larger projects, one of which is due tomorrow night by 11:55PM. I am nowhere near done, completely lost, writing myself in circles, and frustrated. Will it get done? Yes. Will it get done well? I’m not so sure on this one. It is like nothing I’ve ever done and I honestly don’t know if I am on the right track with it. This course ends on 12/15 and I am counting the days.

I ran the Zooma Half Marathon in Falmouth at the Cape in early October. I was there as a Zooma ambassador. I met some wonderful women and ran a lovely race with new friend Heidi. We chatted and chatted until I could see that she was picking up steam around mile 11 so we parted ways. My legs weren’t quite as perky at that point, but I was pleased with the race I ran nonetheless. I have no other races planned. I am not training for anything. I just run when I feel like it and for as long and as fast as I want. I am beginning to think about possible spring marathons.

Carlos, his best friend Tyler, and I did our annual Halloween spooky attraction. This time it was the Rails to the Dark Side haunted trolley and haunted trolley museum. The night was awesome!

Carlos and I are on a flight from Florida right now. He had Thursday and Friday off this week. I had a ton of time off to use before the end of the year. We also had Jet Blue vouchers to use before they expire. We planned a quick trip down south to visit my dad and sister. I used the opportunity to get some work done on my paper due tomorrow and to catch up on paperwork. Working in the sun by the pool made it much more bearable. The weather was gorgeous.

Time to land!!

Rewind

I watched this compelling public service announcement entitled Rewind the Future issued by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2013 which essentially speaks to the fact that obesity is not a condition that arises overnight.

There was quite a debate in the comments as to whether the video depicted fat shaming or served to educate the public. This morning I read Mike’s thought provoking post “One More Pet Peeve – Fat Shaming and Thin Privilege.” The comments below the post were equally compelling and brought up many of my own conflicted feelings on the subject.

I’ve been overweight for the better part of the last 30 years. From the early age of 10, I remember overhearing my grandfather saying on what a pretty face I had, if only… You can fill in the blank. In school I was ashamed of how I looked. I felt different and awkward around my peers because of my larger size. In retrospect I was not as large as I felt. I’m still not, but it’s amazing how powerful those words in our head can be. I know what it’s like to be fat shamed by others and myself. It’s never ok to shame, bully or tease someone.

As a healthcare professional I do think patients need to be receptive to hearing the truth without assuming they are being shamed by their doctor. People also need to stop seeking the quick fix when it comes to medical conditions that can be reversed by behavioral changes. Often medications and/or surgical interventions are necessary, but they don’t eliminate the need for subsequent lifestyle alterations.  The truth is losing weight is hard work. It is tedious to have to journal your food  intake and weigh your food. It stinks say no to foods you love and feel a little hungry once in a while. Weight loss tries the patience because it can take a long time. Some days you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. On the flip side losing weight feels amazing and can inspire others around you to do the same.

Oddly enough I just started reading a continuing education module for my nursing license called The Obesity Epidemic and the Nurse’s Role. In the introduction it mentions, “worldwide, the number of overweight individuals is equal to the number who are suffering from starvation.” (Buchwald, 2007) The World Health Organization has deemed obesity a global epidemic and reports that by 2015 there will be 2.3 billion overweight people and 700 million obese people worldwide.

This is concerning on many levels. Obesity is associated with other medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Obesity is expensive to treat. Obesity can impair treatment and rehabilitation of other medical issues.

As a nurse my job is to educate and support patients. I am kind, caring and compassionate. It is not my place to judge and I don’t. I’ve been there. I’m still there to some degree.

As an individual there came a time when I had to take a long hard look at my weight problem and admit to myself how I got to that point. Then I had to face the facts and the hard truth about how I was going to lose that weight. I’m still working on it. I do wish sometimes I could rewind and stop the clock at the very moment food became more than sustenance for me.

What do you think about the video? Any thoughts on this topic?

 

Love Your Body Challenge Day 4: Purpose

In day 4 of the Love Your Body Challenge the goal is to determine your purpose. This is a hot topic in my life right now. It’s something I’ve been pondering for months now. I want the easy way out though. I want someone to come to me and say “Aimee your purpose is ______ and this is how you are going to make it happen.” Since this hasn’t occurred it’s up to me to figure it out. I’m hoping this activity gets me a little closer to realizing my purpose in this world.

Day 4 Mantra: “My existence is a miracle.  I am not here by accident.  My life has purpose and meaning, and that purpose and meaning is_______.”

My Mantra: My life has purpose and meaning, and that meaning is to be the best me I can be.

Of course I feel that one of the most important reasons I’m here is to be the best mother possible to Carlos. I am not perfect, but I do work hard every day to be the best mom I can be.

However, when I read this I instantly thought of my career or work purpose. When I was in high school I was adamant about becoming a cosmetologist. Even though my mom wanted me to go to college she didn’t dissuade me from pursuing my dreams. I was very interested in make up application, facials, cosmetic products, herbal remedies and ingredients in cosmetics. In my junior year of high school my mom took me to a cosmetology school in Boston for a tour and an informational session. I thought I was so serious about pursing this path until my friends all started applying to college and then as many teens are known to do I followed my friends. I applied to traditional colleges and declared I was going to major in Biology with the intention to go on to one day become a Dermatologist. Although I knew a dermatologist was a doctor I don’t think I fully understood that I, myself, would have to go to medical school.

I went to a small private Catholic college in Newport, Rhode Island for my first semester. One of my first orders of business was to denounce my aforementioned goals and study political science. I cannot even remember where that idea came from. I lasted only a semester at Salve Regina University. Not only did I not fit in to the socio-economic profile of the student body, I was not exactly a practicing Catholic. I stupidly transferred to another small private college for literally 4 days (long story for another day!) before ending up living at home and attending a local community college. While at community college I decided that I would study history. I went on to UMass Amherst where I graduated with degrees in History and Spanish with a concentration on Latin American studies. Whenever anyone asked what I wanted to do after college I replied, “join the Peace Corps.” Oh how young and idealistic I sounded!!

I honestly never even gave a career a second thought. I have worked consistently since I was 14 years old. Yet I never truly thought of myself as having a specific career. I wanted to travel and see the world. So I did what a lot of young people with little money and a philanthropic heart do…I joined the Peace Corps. I remember sitting in the office of the Peace Corps recruiter in Boston for my 3 hour long interview. He asked me if I had a preference in countries. Obviously I wanted to go to Latin America. However, he explained that since I had no specific skills I was most qualified to teach English and there were no English programs in Latin America. The only requirement to teach English in the Peace Corps is that you speak English! He sat back for a moment as if he was deep in thought and then he asked me very seriously if I knew how to bee keep. Um no?! He lamented that it was too bad I didn’t because Bolivia had a bee keeping program that was in need of volunteers. In the early days of my English teaching experience in Mozambique, where I eventually ended up serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, when I was frustrated and overwhelmed by dealing with the bureaucracy of the educational system I used to think, really how hard could it be to bee keep.

I was high school English as a Foreign Language teacher in the Peace Corps. This means I taught people to speak English rather than English literature. When I returned home to the U.S. I was daunted by the requirements to teach in the public schools and the lack of jobs for ESL teachers at that time was discouraging. While living in Mozambique I had become very interested in public health, the study of disease and educating people on how to prevent and treat illness.

I contemplated going to graduate school for a degree in public health. I had fleeting thoughts of becoming a nurse, but working in a hospital, dealing with bodily fluids and cleaning people was frightening. Plus I never thought of myself as someone who would work in healthcare. However, upon returning to the U.S. as a newlywed with an immigrant husband and very little money (Peace Corps is truly a volunteer agency!) post 9-11 as the economy was taking a swift turn for the worse, I quickly saw the benefits of becoming a nurse. At that time nursing jobs were plentiful and supported a decent living. After losing my job as a program director for a Department of Welfare supported teen parent education program to state budget cuts, I enrolled in a nursing pre-requisite class at a local community college. I went to nursing school at night and worked as a waitress, a nurse’s aid and even as a dispute resolution coordinator for my mother at the Better Business Bureau.

I got my Associate’s Degree in Nursing. The 2 year RN program (though it’s more like a 3 year program because of all the prerequisite courses you have to take) made more sense at the time because it was the least expensive, quickest option. I was growing anxious to buy a home and start a family at that time. Of course now I’m wondering if I should have just gone for the Bachelor’s Degree.

As a new nurse I decided to work on a general Medical-Surgical unit. I gained valuable experience working on the Med-Surg unit. It is fast paced and unpredictable. You see a little bit of everything from GI bleeds to COPD, appendectomies to chest tubes. It is on Med-Surg that you learn how to prioritize, organize and delegate. From Med-Surg I transferred to the cardiac unit. It was a new challenge and truth be told, one I never felt all that comfortable with. You must be able to think on your toes and act quickly, no second guessing yourself. Critical care is no place for a person who lacks confidence. I worked on the Intermediate Care (Cardiac) Unit for over a year, but eventually found my way to a more suitable position on the Psychiatric unit at the same hospital.

The longer I work within a westernized healthcare system the more I dislike what I do. I don’t regret my decision to become a nurse. I am so grateful for the lifestyle it affords me and my family. I love offering caring and compassion to others. Despite my fears about bedside nursing, I actually consider myself to be quite adept at basic patient care and find it enjoyable to help others in need.

I have come to a professional crossroads. For several years now my attention has turned towards diet, nutrition, spirituality and physical fitness as a means to change myself and become a healthier person in all aspects of mind, body and soul. As I’ve shifted my diet from almost entirely packaged and processed to a mostly plant based diet, I devour information about nutrition. When I took up running I also began to explore the idea of fitness for mental health as well as for improved vitality and physical health. I have only recently tapped into the healing powers of yoga and meditation in my life. I love the idea of spreading wellness holistically to those that are ill rather than simply medicating the symptoms.

Having been overweight since I was a child and having struggled for as long as I can remember with weight loss I would also love to inspire other’s to embark on their own weight loss journeys through sustainable dietary and lifestyle changes. I want to teach others how to eat healthy on a budget, develop a lasting fitness routine within the constraints of a busy lifestyle, prepare home cooked meals with little or no experience in the kitchen and introduce them to the idea of alternative therapies that might work in conjunction with western medicine to more effectively manage disease.

I get really excited whenever anyone wants to discuss nutrition with me. I get almost giddy if someone wants to talk running and fitness. I am all ears when I learn that someone uses alternative therapies along with western medicine. I truly want to be there for others struggling with weight loss because I’ve been there too. I want to inspire, encourage and motivate them to move forward.

I don’t know exactly what my purpose is, but I know that I’m not doing exactly what I’m meant to do. I’m not sure how to get to the place where I will finally be able to pursue my dreams. I know that I need to work on my own self-confidence. I also feel that I need to realize an end to my own weight loss journey before I can help others. Something has been holding me back, but I hope to be able to soon let go of my fears and move closer to finding my purpose.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Free flow

Gosh I’m feeling all unbalanced today. Hormones? Change of season? Stuff swirling around my mind? Busy pace of life lately?

I allowed one bratty entitled patient last night to burrow under my skin.

Feeling really self conscious at the gym today especially since I keep losing my balance doing single leg barbell dead lifts for the first time.

Not sure if I’m doing the work I’m meant to be doing.

I just want to run in the cool crisp air and hear the crunch of the leaves under my feet. Tomorrow I will run.

I’m positive one of my arms is longer than the other.

I swear the girl at the front desk of my gym dislikes me because I’ve been going for years and she is always snotty to me no matter how polite and friendly I am to her.

I keep feeling like I want to cry. Ok it’s hormones!

Christmas is already stressing me out. I just want to hide for the holidays.

All sorts of negative body image thoughts on my mind. Wondering why my legs are still so big.

The leaves are so beautiful today. I love the fall. It’s my favorite season and probably the only reason I live in New England.

I love my fall wreath this year.

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I vow not to watch the biggest loser this season. The show upsets me anyway but especially this season because that American Idol contestant Ruben Studdard is on the show. I believe he has the financial resources and the support to lose weight on his own. I don’t believe the show is the best role model for weight-loss but it still helps people to lose weight. Someone else could really benefit from being a contestant on the show.

I seem to be the only person in my family who can put the laundry away.

My husband called me on his lunch break and made me feel little bit better.

Tonight is my last night of a 7 night stretch at work. It was self-induced. However, I’m glad it’s almost over.

I’ve been journaling my food on paper recently. Today I went back to MyFitnessPal. Want to see what I eat? Come find me there at mozaim.

I’m struggling with afternoon snacking. Those calories add up so quickly. I think I will always have to work against emotional eating. Today I will fight the urge.

4:52 pm- At last it is time for bed before work. Aside from a small apple I didn’t have anything else to eat this afternoon.

This post was written entirely by the talk to text feature on my phone. I spoke a sentence here and there throughout the day as things popped into my mind.

Brain drain

I wrote an awesome post yesterday with my race plans and more. It disappeared. I’ll rewrite again soon.

I have worked the last 5 nights in a row and I have 2 more to go. This is self imposed torture because I picked up Sunday night as an extra shift. The weekend was great at work, but all hell broke loose last night and when the shit hits the fan on a psych unit it hits hard.

Most of the nurses I have worked with suck at team work and many of them are martyrs.

People in “charge” have a very hard time accepting help even if it means lightening their work load to free them up to do more important tasks.

I’m soul searching today.

I am still uncertain of what I want to be when I grow up. I am certain that it’s not what I’m currently doing.

I refuse to eat my feelings today. I want to because that’s what I’ve always done and still continue to do so at times, but I will not do it today! I’d like to not do it ever again.

I ran the most wonderfully refreshing 9.5 miles yesterday morning after work. I took off from the parking lot of the hospital and ran around the town I work in. It was not a pretty route at all, but the sun was shining and the  temperature was so perfect for a run. I smiled a lot and I made incredibly impressive time considering the stops and starts for traffic.

Carlos and I played tennis yesterday afternoon. We suck at it, but we are getting a little better each time. We laugh at ourselves, run around after the tennis balls, get fresh air and spend time together. It makes us happy.

The other day Carlos and I ran a mile together. He only took a few breaks and didn’t complain. I was impressed. We are running a couple of races together this summer and we are super psyched about them.

Carlos is losing teeth like crazy. He has lost 4 bottom teeth and finally lost his first top tooth. He looks like a jack-o-lantern. He is my pumpkin after all.

My baby boy is graduating from Kindergarten in a few weeks. I’m wondering where the last six and a half years went.  I feel like I savor my time with him, but just thinking about how quickly time has flown by makes me want to freeze each and every moment.

One of my dearest friends is courageously fighting breast cancer. She starts chemo this week. Please keep her in your prayers. She’s in mine.

Since my post didn’t go up as planned yesterday I want to send out a belated thank you to all those who serve or have served our country in the armed forces. Also to the families of our soldiers my heartfelt thanks goes out to you as well for the sacrifices you make each and every day.

I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel blessed.

What makes you smile these days? 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Getting to Know Each Other

I can’t believe the weekend is over. Where did it go? I kicked off the weekend with a really great yoga class on Friday morning. I also managed to sneak in a 10 mile run outdoors on Saturday morning. It felt so great to run outside even if it was in the 20s. I kept thinking this is perfect running weather followed by who the heck am I? Carlos had asked that morning if we could go to the rock climbing gym so we jumped in the car after my run for an hour of climbing before his basketball game.

On Sunday, Carlos had ice skating lessons. The program he is in is phenomenal. The coaches are so kind, patient and encouraging. The group is huge yet week after week you can really see the progress the kids are making. This is echoed in the weekly emails we get from the head coach. He is so positive and clearly thrilled with how well the kids are doing. They are using sticks and pucks were introduced this week. As of yet Carlos has no plans to play hockey which is fine with us, but he loves to skate and looks forward to the lessons each week.

After skating we attended Open House at his school. It was so cute. He was proud to show us his work and his classroom. He adores his teacher and the feeling is obviously mutual. Needless to say I was feeling lots of pride and joy as well as a touch of sadness at how quickly my little boy is growing. Cue the Kleenex!

Nothing like a Monday morning to snap us back to reality. If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so everyone can see your FMM questions. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite color? I honestly don’t have a favorite color which drives my son nuts. My son declared his favorite color to be yellow when he was about 2 and hasn’t changed his mind since. I tend to be most comfortable around earth tones, nothing too bright or colorful.

2. Share one or more of your talents.  I got nothin’!

3. If you were spending the day getting to know someone new, where would you want to go?  Whenever I am meeting up with a new “mom” friend I love to grab a coffee or tea at Barnes & Noble or something outdoors with the kids like the playground.

4. What is your favorite meal?  If you had asked me this question 15-20 years ago I would have said pasta (and lots of it) with my aunt’s meat sauce. Today I adore ethnic food particularly Indian, Thai and Mexican, but those meals are best when I eat them at authentic restaurants. At home my favorite meal lately is a big kale salad with roasted butternut squash, loads of veggies and chick peas. I’m addicted to kale!

5.  Do you prefer to text or talk?  Texting is my preference because I really dislike the quality of my iPhone as an actual phone and since it’s my only phone I would rather just text than deal with the dropped calls or poor reception.

6. Share something about yourself that might surprise someone that you’re getting to know.  I had really big hair in the late 80’s and I saw some of the big name “hair” bands of the time like Ratt, Poison, Motley Crew and White Snake amongst others. Aqua net…oh yes I did!

7. Do you color your hair? Yes, thanks to my grandmother. I inherited the go grey in your 20s gene from my grandmother. I went gray around my right temple in my mid-20s. I hated it. My grandmother was so proud of the fact that she was totally gray by her late 20s. No thank you very much! I color my hair ever 5-7 weeks. I love my stylist. She’s adorable and always makes me feel very youthful.

8. Do you wear glasses or contacts?  I wear glasses for driving.

9. What is your favorite breakfast food?  I really love oatmeal though I’ve switched to more veggie based breakfasts like egg white omelets lately.

10. Would your friends say that you’re sarcastic?  Absolutely! I always have been and I don’t mean any harm by it. However, I am often misunderstood, but mostly by my family all of whom have known me my entire life and should get my sarcasm by now.

11. Do you prefer salty or sweet?  Sweet.

12. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?  I’m not partial to any particular attribute. I suppose I first notice personality. I almost always developed an attraction to a man after meeting and getting to know him.

13. What is the last movie you watched?  The last movie I saw in the cinema was The Hunger Games. I went to the midnight showing on opening night. Yes I’m aware that was almost a year ago. I’m approximately 83 years old on my nights off and cannot stay awake long enough to watch a sitcom. I have been watching lots of food/nutrition documentaries on Netflix. These often take me days because I don’t have time to just sit and watch a movie in its entirety.

14.  Are you religious?  I believe in God and I’ve always thought of myself as privately spiritual, but I do not attend church regularly despite the fact that my son goes to Catholic school. I love learning about all kinds of religions and I will gladly attend a service of another religion.

15. Are you a neat freak, a slob, or somewhere in between? I’m extremely tidy. OK everyone who knows me would say I’m a neat freak. I can live somewhere in between for a few hours, but then I have to tidy up.

16. Share something from your bucket list that you hope to do someday. I have so many things I hope to do and many revolve around traveling to as many places in the world as I am able to safely. I am adamant about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with Carlos on my 50th birthday.

17. Are you a risk taker, or do you prefer to play it safe?  I am a risk taker to some degree. I love doing new things, but my desire to do things like parachute out of a plane no longer holds any appeal since becoming a mother.

18. Have you ever worn braces?  Yes. I was the first person in my grade to have braces. I got them in 4th grade and off in 6th. However, I now need to consider Invisalign for my bottom teeth which have shifted tremendously.

19. Would you rather spend an evening at a theater or at a club?  I like them both, but I would choose a salsa club over the theater any day.

20. If you could have three wishes, what would one of them be? I hate to end on a somber note. I am sending my thoughts, prayers and wishes to Mozambique in hopes that the flooding will soon subside and the waters would magically disappear so everyone could return to life as it was (I will post about this later in the week). We are feeling very helpless here and know all too well from experience what they are going through. My in-laws and friends are safe and most are out of the town, but thousands of people will soon face the task of rebuilding their town once again.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions. Don’t forget to visit Kenlie’s blog and link up in the comments!

The Long Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! For me it’s really just like any other weekend. In fact I’m working all weekend and then some, 7 nights in a row to be exact. The actual holiday is always up for grabs on my unit and I certainly don’t mind the extra pay. Working nights seems pretty strange to most people. I happen to love it. For whatever reason I’m a bundle of energy throughout the day (most days) and I don’t let work stand in my way of enjoying the day with my family.

This weekend has been just Carlos and me since my husband had to work yesterday to make up for the holiday. He is a mason and the school his company is building at the moment seems to be on a serious deadline so he’s been doing a little Saturday overtime here and there. He also does some side work so he’s working today too. We are used to busy working summers which is why we tend to vacation in the winter when my husband is often laid off.

Anyway Carlos and I enjoyed a very tranquil hike yesterday. At the end we made some new friends who were fishing nearby and they graciously let Carlos have a try. He absolutely loved it. Below are a few photos from the day.

The Navigator
Hiking the trails at Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA
Up we go
View from the tower
Catch of the day
A new friend

The weather here in Western Massachusetts is summer like. I left work this morning and had a fabulous run. My shin is feeling great. I have taken it very slow and was finally ready for a longish run.

Still trying to get my 10K under an hour. Almost there!

This afternoon we are going to a birthday party for one of Carlos’ friends. It’s at a local gymnastics center. Thank goodness my little guy has so much energy.

Hope the weekend is fun, safe and relaxing. I am saying my prayers that all of our military serving both in the U.S. and around the globe are also safe. Many thanks to the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces and also a heartfelt thank you to their families who sacrifice so much so their loved one can protect this nation. Thank you very much.