I’ll Be Starting School This Fall…

…but not in the capacity you may have expected.  I didn’t get into law school for this Fall.  Now, before you say: “I’m so sorry!” It’s ok.  I’ll be fine…it will happen, eventually.

I did, however, get into a Masters in Legal Studies program at U of A!  It is a 30 credit hour 1 year program, which will hopefully put me on a good path!  Whether that path leads me to a job or law school, that remains to be seen, but, I’m on my way!

Everything I have been through in my life has pushed me to continue to look forward.  It is not in my nature to sit and wallow in self pity, so why start now?  I have a great husband, kiddos, family, and friends.   For those things, I am filled with gratitude.  It is also my ultimate goal to find something that fulfills me professionally and intellectually.  I’m only 40…my life isn’t over.  I don’t think of myself as wanting it all, but I don’t think that seeking professional and intellectual fulfillment is selfish or an abandonment of my responsibilities as a wife and mother.

This new endeavor will require some adjustments to our daily lives and logistical planning, but Ryan is supportive and I know we can handle it.  It will all be worth it when I reach my ultimate goals!

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No Sugar…

I’m on a quest to reset.  So, I will not ingest added sugar, alcohol, or guzzle soda while standing in front Unknownof the refrigerator.  Wait, I don’t do that anyway.  Starting January 2nd, I am forsaking all forms of sugar through the evening of January 28th when we arrive in Sun Valley, Idaho to ski.  It helps that I’m also doing Barre 3 All In, which is a 4 week reset that started on Monday, January 9th.  Check it out!  There is still time!

And, there is a new cycling studio that opened here in Tucson.  The studio is called (r)evolve.  The classes are being described as a nightclub on a bike.  It is loud, dark, and sweaty.  I’m sure there are similar studios around the country so, do a little research if you want to get your sweat on.

One week in, I’m clearheaded, the bloat is gone and I’m sleeping better than ever.  I hate to admit that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day, I had been drinking almost every night.  Yikes!  It had become a habit, a ritual.  With social engagements and the general revelry that comes with the season, I was taking full advantage of the excuse to imbibe.  Now that the kiddos are back in school, I have a good block of time to focus on working out, going to the grocery store, meal prep, and of course read!   More on that in another post.

I know that when the day comes, I’ll be all in about having a cocktail, but there is plenty of evidence that suggests that a month off from alcohol can do wonders for your liver and your general well being.  Check out this article from Outside Magazine.

I’m also very well aware that I could benefit from forsaking sugar on a regular basis.  I am not normally a sugar fiend, although I enjoy desserts immensely.  I am going to limit my desserts for the most part so that I can truly enjoy them.

What are you giving up for January?  Or, more importantly, what are you doing to make yourself better in this new year?  Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

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The time is finally here…

I’m 40.  And with a history of breast cancer in my family, it is necessary that

by Joan Lunden

by Joan Lunden

I get: a mammogram.  October, as you may know, is breast cancer awareness month, and with my annual exam coming up in a couple of weeks the referral to get my first mammogram will surely be placed in my hand and scheduled.

I hate to say it is a right of passage for us ladies.  But, it is nothing to be afraid of right?

It is a preventive measure that could potentially save my life.  My grandmother died of breast cancer in 1990 so my family history suggests that I should be acutely aware of what I need to do.  In addition, I have known several people who have bravely battled breast cancer and are healthy and in remission.  Thanks to early detection and quick logical treatment it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.  But you have to go!

From descriptions I’ve heard, the process can be uncomfortable: imagine placing your lovely lady part in a vice grip and start cranking.  Ewwwww.

In the last couple of years there has been discussion if women really need to obtain a mammogram starting at age 40.  Well, if you go to the American Cancer Society website, you can assess your risk level and get some answers to questions you may have.

In addition, I just found an article that I found interesting about over diagnosis.

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Down, But Not Out

I don’t like to fail.

But, who does?

I didn’t get into law school for the Fall Term.  I hate admitting it but there it is.

Before you start saying: “Oh, Quin, I’m

It arrived in a thin envelope...

It arrived in a thin envelope…

so sorry!  They don’t know what they’re missing!”  I kind of expected a rejection letter.  My LSAT score was no where near the median score they accept.  Even though all of my other credentials are stellar, I cannot delude myself into thinking that I am so exceptional that the admissions committee would completely overlook an LSAT score that was well below their standards.

So, after a couple of days of self deprecation, I signed up for a different test prep course and will try again in September.  I have immense self doubt, but I hope that with additional focus and preparation it will pass.  I also saw a quotation that sums up my feelings right now:

“It is the curse of the competent not to be called upon.”

Robert Priest (Poet-Songwriter)

I know that I will be a great law student and one day a great lawyer.  Though I have never excelled at standardized tests, I cannot give up now.  The skills that are tested can be learned and perfected and that is what intend to do.

I’m beyond the sadness of rejection and will commit myself to excellence, for this is my path.   A long term goal is simply that.  I am prepared to work hard to achieve my goal.  Thank goodness I have the confidence of my wonderful husband.  He believes in me and was completely positive about my decision to try again!

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What if?

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He found the perfect pair!

What if? is a question that comes to mind frequently when you’re a parent.  There are so many questions you have as you’re raising these creatures from infancy into adulthood.  It all starts with: What if he doesn’t latch? What if he doesn’t poop? What if he doesn’t sleep? What if he’s on the spectrum? What if he doesn’t walk? What if he doesn’t talk? It then moves on to: What if he doesn’t eat vegetables? What if he doesn’t get potty trained?

The “what if?” question at hand for me right now stems from the fact that Andrew picked pink and silver sparkly sketchers with a big pink bow on them.  A family member asked me: What if he’s gay?

I took the boys to buy new shoes and while Chase went directly to the boys’ section, Andrew made a bee-line to the girls’ section.  He pulled down a pair of pink and silver light up shoes called “Twinkle Toes.”  I let him try them on.  What’s the harm right?  He’s 3.  Besides, real men wear pink!

While I was helping Chase with his shoes, Andrew was over the moon happy about his new shoes.  They were the only ones he tried on.  Two little girls and their mother passed the aisle we were in and they all started giggling.  Andrew held out his foot with pride.  I heard the younger little girl say: “But mom, he’s a boy!”

I sent a picture of both boys in their new shoes to Ryan and he said his first reaction was: “No!” but then he said he thought to himself: “I’m not wearing the shoes.  And, if anyone makes fun of him he can take care of himself!”  I’m not surprised that Ryan is ok with it.  And yes, Andrew has no problem defending himself if anyone makes fun of him.

During our California trip, there were several looks of horror and comments like: “Good luck with that!”  But most of the people who saw him were supportive.  They thought it was a good thing that he picked what he wanted and that we “allowed” that.  Of course we would.  I’m not wearing the shoes, Andrew is.  Plus, I’m not in the mood to fight about putting on shoes.  I was not about to buy Andrew a pair of shoes that I would have to force onto his feet each day.

But, what if he’s gay? Or, transgender? Or Pansexual? Or…Or…Or?

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Each time I paint my nails, Andrew wants to join in too.

Well, what if he is?  He’ll still be my son.  He’ll still be a human being in need of love and affirmation.  I will love him no matter what biology has made him.  Andrew is part of Ryan and me.  He is our sweet (most of the time) little child who likes sparkly shoes.  Oh, and he also likes to paint his nails.

Get over it.

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Meet Blotchy McYoga Pants

Blotchy McYoga Pants is the Quin that I’m not always proud of, don’t let out of the house very often, and who Ryan tries to avoid.  She can be funny, crass, and sometimes a little bitter.  Blotchy McYoga Pants comes around when I’m sick, tired, or otherwise compromised.  Her appearances are few and far between but really, she is the diplomatic way to say I am feeling bitchy.

Blotchy McYoga Pants doesn’t want to put makeup on in the morning, take a shower, make lunches for her kids or clean up the dog vomit.  She wants to sit on the couch (in her yoga pants) watch “Fixer Upper”, Botched, and anything on BRAVO while wearing Louboutins.  Blotchy McYoga Pants want someone to come over to put away the clothes, make the beds and floss her teeth.

But then, Quin comes back.

I then realize that even though there are frustrations in my life, I have a great husband, healthy kids, and a sweet old doggie who just wants to cuddle every once in awhile.

Siggy-Q

Standing on the Edge

Oh snap!  This just got real!

Oh snap! This just got real!

Standing on the Edge

 

As I sit on at a table outside of the James E. Rogers College of Law, I am excited and completely terrified.  I’m not a law student yet, but I plan to be in the Fall of 2016. 

Chase will be 6 and Andrew will turn 4 as I enter a 3 year journey.  But first, I have to get there.  I have to prepare for and take the LSAT. [Read more…]

Feeling Like a 16 Year Old, and Not in a Good Way

As a teen, I did not struggle too much with acne.  Of course I had a breakout here and there but it

Neem Clay Mask

Neem Clay Mask

was never a huge problem.  At that point in time my occasional breakout was treated with Clinique’s “toner” also known as rubbing alcohol and neosporin.  Back then a blemish would heal within a matter of days.  As I have gotten older however, the occasional breakout feels like it lasts forever.

Insert: Just Neem mask.  I know I have posted it before, but I thought I would sing the praises of this amazing product!  I use it once a week and I love what it does for my skin!  So when I noticed an angry red spot forming on my chin, I immediately started putting a little bit of the mask on the area.  It was amazing how quickly the redness went down and brought the dreaded whitehead to the surface.  When I was ready for the big moment of extraction, I tried to be as gentle as possible.  Then I immediately applied a small amount of the mask to the area.  In a matter of two days of using it twice a day the swelling had gone down and the zit was eliminated.

I know, I know, 1st world problem.

Siggy-Q

Daily Affirmations: A Test

So, there are days when I’m not Sally Sunshine.  There are days when I just don’t want to be bothered by any of this.  We all experience that right?

I am always amazed at how Ryan, my wonderful husband, never lets the small stuff faze him.  I get really frazzled sometimes when I feel like I haven’t accomplished enough in a day and the kids happen to be super needy.  That results in my being overly tired and CRANKY the next day.  I don’t being like that and after hearing a piece on CBS Sunday Morning, I thought I would give the advice of one of the guests (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer) gave about creating a positive space for yourself

His basic message is: “Think good thoughts, and good things will surely follow”

“Take the last five minutes of your day,” he said, “and put your attention on everything that you would like to attract into your life: ‘I am well. I am healed. I am in perfect health. I am abundant. I am happy.’ Say those things to yourself. Then you’ll marinate for eight hours, and you’ll awaken and you’ll begin to attract the things that are in your subconscious mind.”

Now, I have never delved into the self help arena.  I still giggle when I see now Senator Al Franken because he will

Stuart Smalley: My first experience with the self help genre.

Stuart Smalley: My first experience with the self help genre.

always be Stuart Smalley to me.  But, you know what?  I tried Dr. Dyer’s advice the other night.  I’m amazed that I was not a pissed off ball of negativity after the night I had too.  Andrew decided to wake up at 3:30 a.m. and never went back to sleep.  Finally at 5 am I put him back in his crib and went back to bed.  When I have a night like that, I am usually exhausted beyond words, a bit of a B#%$H and completely worthless.

I woke up at 7am to find that Ryan woke up at 5:15 am and heard Andrew in his room saying: “I pooped.”  Yikes!

As I was getting dressed, taking my pill (god forbid I bring another maniac into the world) and making the bed, I said to myself: “I’m going to be ok today, even though last night was rough.”  Huh?  Who said that?

While I was in Andrew’s room trying to lull him back to sleep, Chase had gotten up and started playing with his LEGOS and wanted to open his Advent Calendar. Double Yikes.  It didn’t faze Ryan though.  And funny enough, I felt really good, all day!  I didn’t have the foggy curtain of anger that I usually get when I don’t get enough sleep.

From now on, I am going to do this for myself and make the conscious effort to start the day with a positive outlook.  Next task: Meditation.

Siggy-Q

 

Will My Sons Be Statistics?

We all worry.  We all want our kids to be healthy and happy.  We want to give our kids everything they need (and want).  We want to be good parents.

Photo from Esquire.com from the article: "The Drugging of the American Boy."

Photo from Esquire.com from the article: “The Drugging of the American Boy.”

I read an article in Esquire a couple of months ago and it has been on my mind ever since.  The title of the article is: The Drugging of the American Boy.  The following line terrified me:

If you have a son, you have a one-in-seven chance that he has been diagnosed with ADHD

The article has weighed heavily on my mind because I have two boys.  I feel like I am hyper-aware of signs of autism, ADHD, and neurological and psychological anomalies that can occur.  The fact that Dr. Howard Glasser is right here in Tuson, AZ makes me feel so much better for some reason.  I guess if signs start appearing that either Chase or Andrew need some tools to use to navigate through their day, Dr. Glasser is right here.  However, the Nurtured Heart Approach can be learned and used from wherever you are.  There are many licensed therapists and social workers across the country who use this approach.

As a kid, I remember a family at church who had a daughter (11) and a boy (8).  The boy was wheelchair-bound, could not speak or see.  I remember thinking how hard it would be to take care of the boy.  I also felt sorry for the big sister.  So much of the family life was focused on the needs of the boy.  I wonder how she felt.  Did she get time with her parents?  Was she resentful of all of the attention placed on her brother?  I don’t know what happened to that family but I think about how difficult it must be to have a child with special needs.

How do we navigate the world when our kids are in serious need of help?  What do you do when your child’s sickness or condition is disruptive to the rest of the family?  How do you balance it?  How do you attend to your spouse and the needs of your other child or children?  It is hard enough to balance everything when there aren’t major problems.  What do you do when you face difficult challenges?

Siggy-Q

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