June 30, 2018

Day 30: How I Did On My Goals for June (and Setting My Goals for July!)

On May 31st, I wrote a post that included a bunch of goals for June--just things to focus on, to give myself something to think about other than the fact that my weight hadn't budged in weeks and I wasn't running much at all.

To recap, here is a list of the goals that I'd set for June:
  • 30 days of blogs (various topics)
  • Run 30+ minutes per day, 4+ times per week
  • Read 30+ minutes per day
  • Read one chapter of the Bible every day (by June 30, I should be done with Leviticus, chapter 2)
  • Keep spending to a bare minimum
  • Write and start doing a specific cleaning routine
  • Plan out groceries and dinners every Friday
  • Complete 5 more 40x40 bullet journal pages
  • Complete at least one more item from my 40x40 list
The first... 30 days of blogging. My goal was to write a blog post every day in June. While you already know that I didn't do that, I did manage to write 12 MORE posts in June than I did in May! So, I wrote 20 posts (including this one) in June. (It felt like more than that! I could have sworn I only missed two or three.) So, I'm considering this goal a success--I wanted to blog more frequently, and I did!

Run 30+ minutes, 4 days per week. Nope! I did run the first week, but then for the next two weeks I didn't run at all. When my Summer Challenge started on the 21st, though, I was fired up to run for that. And since then, I've actually been consistent (you know, for all nine days since it started, haha). I've planned out four runs per week to be able to check off all 51 items on the list by the fall equinox. 

Read 30+ minutes per day. I didn't log this, but I think I have read every single day. I actually finished a book a few days ago! Unfortunately, I didn't love the book, so it was very hard for me to continue to read it. I had started and quit a few books prior to it, so I was determined to just finish it! I was very happy to get through it, though, and then start on a new on that I am completely fascinated with. 

Prior reading (i.e. the book I wasn't crazy about): "Running: A Love Story"
Current reading (love it!): "Coreyography" (a cringe-worthy-but oh-so-clever title for a memoir by Corey Feldman)

Read one chapter of the Bible every day. I actually did make it up to Leviticus, Chapter 3 (which was the goal). However, I didn't read a little every day, as planned. Instead, I would read 8-10 chapters at a time to catch up. I thought the first half of Exodus was really fascinating (in a horrible way) but the second half was extremely boring (it listed SO many dimensions, fabrics, materials, and placements for building things). 

Keep extra spending to a bare minimum. I did pretty well with this one! I will have to look at our final tally tomorrow to see how much we can pay down our debt for this month--but I believe we're going to be able to pay around $600--which is $594 more than last month, hahaha! We definitely had extra expenses, but they weren't random "Oh, I want this!" type things. Every month, there are things we don't plan for, and this was no exception. However, I am happy with my own spending habits this month. 

Write and start doing a specific cleaning routine. Fail on this one. I really would like to get back to the routine I did last year--I loved cleaning! But lately, it feels like a chore again--so, I have been procrastinating things like laundry, dusting, and vacuuming. I'm going to try to make this a priority for July. 

Plan out groceries and dinners on Fridays. I did great with this one! I despise meal planning and writing out grocery lists (I used to love it--but that was when I didn't care about our debt and I wasn't trying to match up sales with coupons, etc. 

Complete five more 40x40 bullet journal pages. I can't remember which page I left off on in May! But I do have some new ones... I think only four. Regardless, it's four more than I had before! ;) 

Complete at least one more item from my 40x40 list. I did this! I went strawberry picking with my friend Emily and we made homemade jam with our berries. It was so fun! I'd like to go berry picking every year.

Overall, I'm very happy with how my June goals went! The only one I didn't make progress on is the cleaning routine; otherwise, I did much better than I would have if I hadn't made those goals.

That said, I'm going to set a few goals for July...
  • I want to write and maintain a cleaning schedule, even if it's minimum (just to get the habit down). 
  • Continue with the Bible reading.
  • Continue with reading another book for 30+ minutes per day. 
  • I know that I won't be writing a blog post every single day in July, but I'm going to aim for 4 days per week. I think that will be a good compromise.
  • Run four days a week.
  • Take you-know-who for a you-know-what every night. (That's code for "Take Joey for a walk every night.) I used to do this with the kids--the kids and I (and Jerry, if he wasn't working) would go for a late-night walk with Joey. We would bring flashlights and just enjoy the summer night. 
  • Keep spending to a minimum again (We are SO close to having all of our credit debt paid off, and I don't want to compromise that at all!)
June was a good month! I can't believe that in less than 3 minutes, it's going to be July already. 

June 28, 2018

8 Things That Happened When I Quit Running

The year 2017 was a big game changer for me. In January and February, I was at the peak of a 10-month episode of depression, and it was worse than any I'd experienced before (although I didn't write much about it, and I certainly downplayed the severity). I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and my psychiatrist prescribed me a mood stabilizer. The diagnosis, medication, and a big breakthrough in therapy made me feel like I was starting a whole new life.

I stopped worrying about what others thought of me, and I decided that I was going to do what made me happy. I wanted to become the happiest person I could be.

One of the biggest changes I made was that I stopped running.

I had dreaded each and every run for about a year, or maybe more, and I just didn't want to do it anymore. I was tired of it! I would spend my rest days dreading my next run day. When I was actually running, I was doing whatever I could to just get through it, and I hated every minute of it.

So, I quit. Indefinitely.

I had no idea if I'd ever run again, and I really didn't care. I had a bit of an identity crisis confusion, considering I'd been known as "Runs for Cookies" for six years. Who would I be, if not a runner? Would I still blog? Would I have to change the name of my blog? Would I gain weight?

I had a thousand questions with answers unknown, and I dove right in to discover them. From the moment I made that decision to quit running, I felt better. I didn't dread the following day, or the day after. I didn't ever have to run again, unless I wanted to, and it was okay!

Unexpectedly, I started to miss it sometime late in 2017--not the act of running itself, but just the way it made me feel afterward. My body had started to feel "soft", and even though I was back down to my goal weight of 133, I felt fat. There were some things that I hadn't expected to happen in my time off of running.

I am now back at it, although nothing like before. I'm not training for PRs, or any race at all; I'm not building up my distance; I'm not even "training"--I'm just running a few times a week to feel good about myself and exercise my body.

Anyways, all of that said... I've been thinking about the things that hadn't occurred to me when I first decided to quit running over a year ago. And if you find yourself in my (running) shoes, dreading each run and feeling burnt out, maybe it'll give you something to think about, too!

So, here goes: 8 Things That Happened When I Quit Running...

1) I discovered that I am a lazy person by nature. When I quit running, I had every intention to do other forms of exercise--daily walks, bike rides, and just live a very active lifestyle (minus the running). Instead, I turned into a version of my "fat self" (i.e. before I lost 125 pounds).

My activity came in the form of cleaning--I cleaned my house like a crazy person, because my depression had lifted and I finally had the time and energy to do so. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing--my house looked fantastic--but other than the cleaning, I still didn't want to "exercise".

2) I realized that I didn't need running in order to lose or maintain my weight. In fact, I lost quite a bit of weight once I quit running! I was about 160 pounds when I was diagnosed with bipolar, and when I decided to start doing what makes me happy (and NOT doing the things that didn't make me happy), I realized that excess food wasn't making me happy (more about this in an upcoming post). My weight naturally dropped down to a comfortable 130-135 pounds.

3) I learned that food isn't a "reward" for exercise. My blog title, Runs for Cookies, suggests that I earn my sweets by running (and that's exactly what I intended when I chose the title). However, when I quit running, I still loved sweets. And, in the aspiration of making myself happy, I wasn't about to quit eating something I love just because I quit running.

And you know what? I learned that two cookies taste just as good as a dozen. I also didn't need to feel the urge "to run it off" after indulging in those two cookies (or any indulgence, for that matter). I knew that I wasn't OVER-indulging, and that I was making my body (and my soul!) happy.

4) About eight months after I quit running, I started to miss it. Surprisingly, it had nothing to do with my weight. I was at my goal weight, but I felt fat. I wasn't pushing my muscles or my lungs and heart to a level where I felt like I was really working.

When I first quit running, I wouldn't have cared about this. I would have been thrilled to just be at my goal weight and not have to run to get there! But I found that I missed feeling sweaty and a little achy after running. I missed setting goals and making plans to reach those goals.

5) I found that I actually enjoyed the regression in my fitness level... to an extent. When I first went for a run after my hiatus, I couldn't believe how challenging it was. What felt like a 9:00/mile pace was actually approaching a 12:00/mile pace. My body had definitely lost its cardiovascular shape. BUT. This regression made me excited! I realized that it would be a challenge to run a sub-30 5K (where before, it was a typical easy run).

I realized that running "just" three miles was a really big deal--prior to my hiatus, three miles was practically a waste of my time! I felt like a beginner again, which made it exciting to me. Every little improvement was something to celebrate, versus before, when I was mad at myself for not being able to run a consistent sub-8:00 mile as I had for my 2016 10K.

6) I said "to an extent" in #5 because there are certainly drawbacks to the regression of fitness. Runs take more time than they used to, and they certainly feel more difficult. I can't keep up with friends who want a buddy to run with (unless they are slower than me, and, currently, I don't know anyone that fits the bill! haha). I do wonder if my days of shooting for PRs are gone (I don't worry about it, though--I am just genuinely curious). Other than that, the regression hasn't bothered me.

7) I don't care about the running numbers AT ALL anymore. One mile is the same as three miles; a 12:00/mile pace is the same as a 7:00/mile pace--it truly doesn't make any difference to me. When I run now, I don't care in the slightest sense of the word what my pace is! I'm not embarrassed to run slowly, or to be a 35:00-ish 5K'er instead of a 24:00-ish 5K'er like before. Last night, I ran just one mile, and I felt as good logging that mile as I would have if I'd logged 10.

8) Most importantly, running is not my identity. I thought of changing my blog title because, soon after I'd quit running, I felt like it was a dishonest title. But running was a huge part of my life (and I guess it still is, in a way) for such a long time, and I feel like it'll always be a part of who I am.

The difference is, I'm not JUST a runner (or, "hobby jogger" might be more appropriate now). There are so many other things that make up ME, and I wouldn't have discovered many of those if not for taking an indefinite hiatus from running.

Over the last several months, I've been discovering a nice middle ground for running. I make time for it, but it's not a very important part of my life anymore. I don't really have any desire to race (although, I did train with my husband for a half-marathon, and learned many things about myself as a runner along the way).

Maybe I will want to race again someday, but for now, I'm good with just running here and there as I see fit. I don't place "rules" on myself as far as distance or days of the week, or anything like that; I run just enough to feel like I'm doing my body some good without forcing it.

My body is not as "tight" as it was when I was running a consistent five days a week and training hard for a race. I'm not fast, and I don't run long distances; but, I no longer work my life around my training schedule. I just fit in a few runs when it's convenient for me, and if I miss one, I know that life goes on. I enjoy dessert without "earning" it, and it tastes just as good.

And my weight? It's followed the same pattern it always has. I hit a depressive episode of bipolar in December (thankfully, a "mild" depression, and nothing like it was before I was taking the correct medication), and I gained 15 pounds (I always gain weight when going through depression.) I was running throughout the entire springtime, and my weight held on to those 15 pounds, so the running wasn't a factor.

I am sure that as my mood improves, the extra pounds will come off, just as they have in the past. (Here is a post that shows the interesting up and down pattern of my weight and how it coincides with my bipolar disorder.)

Right now, I am having fun working on my Cookies Summer Challenge--a checklist of runs (or walks!) that are done for enjoyment and not "training". Last night, I ran at 12:53 AM (so, it was technically this morning) to run at the peak of the strawberry moon!

June 25, 2018

Day 25: Grown-up Nightmares

Well, if my blog doesn't look any different... that's because it's not. Haha!

I tried SO hard to make the switch to Wordpress, but after many cups of coffee, an equivalent volume of tears, and nearly tearing all of my hair out, I've decided that Blogger is just meant to be my permanent blogging home. And you know what? I'm good with that.

Having a self-hosted blog on Wordpress seems to be the "cool" thing to do in the blogging world. I wanted to be in that cool kids club, too! But in the 36 years of my life, I've never been one of the cool kids. I'm an outsider--and I think it suits me just fine. (Maybe I should call myself a "rebel" instead of "outsider" because it sounds a little more badass. Hahaha!)

It's not to say I didn't try, though. I watched a ridiculous number of YouTube videos and read through countless tutorials on how to make the switch to Wordpress. I filled half of a notebook with pages of notes. I was ready. I blocked all of my time yesterday out of my schedule so that I could focus and just get it done.

I barely got through the third of about two dozen steps before I just couldn't take it anymore. Tech support might as well have been speaking Japanese to me, because I couldn't understand a word of it. And I was surprised at how expensive it is! Blogger only costs me $15 per year--$10 for my domain, and $5 for extra photo storage.

So, I quit. And then I drowned my sorrows in ice cream and wine.

Anyway, enough of that. Now I remember why I swore I'd never try it again after the last attempt! ;)

Sometime around 3:30 this morning, I had a nightmare. I actually kind of enjoy nightmares--it's the same kind of thrill I get when I watch scary movies. The nightmare I had this morning was pretty funny when I woke up, though. I called Jerry at work at 4:00 AM so I could tell him about it before I forgot.

In my dream, Jerry had found a huge amount of marijuana (about 1 pound) in the parking lot at work on the way to his car. He couldn't believe it was just sitting there, and he stuffed it into his glovebox. He forgot about, and then we were driving somewhere the next day (he was driving, I was in the passenger seat of his car). I spotted a police car, and then I remembered the marijuana that was in his glovebox.

My heart just dropped into my stomach, and I was so terrified the cop would pull us over. Sure enough, his lights went on and he pulled us over. I was trying to think of any way at all to get out of having to get Jerry's proof of insurance and registration out of the glovebox. As soon as he came up to the window, he started to talk to Jerry; I interrupted by saying something like, "He didn't realize he was speeding, please don't give him a ticket!"

And then the cop said, "Don't take away his man-card by speaking for him, geez!" (So random, but so funny). Then I started with the tears, hoping that would make the cop feel sorry for us. I told him we were broke, and couldn't afford a speeding ticket. I said anything I could think of to keep him from asking for the proof of insurance and registration.

After a few minutes of sheer panic (meanwhile, Jerry seemed totally calm) he just gave us a warning and didn't ask to see the papers. When we drove away, Jerry thought it was funny how freaked out I was, so he started swerving the car a little in front of the cop on purpose and laughing at me. I was yelling at him that if I'd opened that glovebox, he would be on his way to PRISON--but he still just seemed to laugh it off.

That's when I woke up. My heart was racing, and then I realized it was just a dream. A nightmare! Not like a monster-in-the-closet nightmare, but a "grown-up" nightmare--a fear-of-getting-caught-with-drugs-and-going-to-prison, hahaha.

That dream was totally random, and I have no idea how one would interpret that, but it was funny enough that I called Jerry to tell him about it!

Anyway, I've done three runs from my Cookies Summer Challenge list. I ran on the 21st for the Solstice Run (I didn't run at the time of the solstice, like I planned, because I just couldn't get up that early!); then I ran the Night Owl Run, which is more my style (finishing a run after 9pm); and today, I set out for my RUNch (lunchtime run, which was to start between 12 and 2), but I found a penny about a quarter mile into it, so I counted that as my Penny Pincher Run instead.

Below is a photo of all of the change I've found while running over the last two years. Which is pretty impressive, considering I didn't run much at all last year!

I have to say, I enjoy setting out for runs with goals that have nothing to do with my speed (which is a speedy 11:45-ish per mile) or distance (a whopping 1-3 miles). On Thursday, there is a Strawberry Full Moon at 12:53 AM, so I'm going to run from about 12:45-1:15 AM. Since I've become a night owl, that will be much easier for me to do than the solstice, which was at 6:07 AM!

Jerry is off work tomorrow, and we're going to take the kids to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I love the Jurassic Park movies, so I'm super excited to see it!

June 23, 2018

Day 23: Here goes nothing!

Well, I've been reading tutorials and watching a trillion videos on YouTube about it, and I think I am finally ready to switch from Blogger to WordPress.

This. Is. Terrifying.

(This picture was actually from when Jerry and I were in Canada, and we discovered that Canada basically closes at 11PM. We wanted to go out for a drink, or at least get something to eat, but nothing was open!)

I have about 2,100 posts on Runs for Cookies, and I can't even guess how many photos uploaded to it. My biggest fear is that I'm going to lose everything.

I tried doing this switch once before, several years ago, but it just left me a sobbing mess and gave me nightmares for days.

Anyway, I'm just writing this to say that my blog may get a little wonky soon. It may disappear. I have no idea what is going to happen! If all goes well, I'll make a smooth transition to WordPress and you won't even notice (ha!).

I've made SOOO many changes to this blogger template that I'm afraid of what will happen when I try to make the switch. But that is precisely why I'd like to switch over. Because of all these changes I've made on Blogger, I think I've totally slowed down the blog's loading time, and I can't figure out how to undo a lot of the things I did. The html and css stuff is a big old mess. And I don't have the first clue how to clean it up!

I am hoping that by switching to WordPress, I can get a fresh start. I'd like to keep the basic look that I have on my blog now, but that may not be possible. I guess I'll see once I get to the other side ;)

Soooo.... I will try and write tomorrow if I can! Let's hope all goes smoothly. Or maybe I'll chicken out.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

June 21, 2018

Day 21: Getting to Know You Questions, Answered

I started this post as a oh-crap-I-only-have-an-hour-to-write-a-blog-post post, thinking it would just take me a few minutes to write. But it took much longer! Oh, well, it was fun to work on. This is just one of those random questionnaires with dumb questions that we answer just for the fun of it.

First thing you wash in the shower?
My face

Are you more of a coffee or alcohol drinker?

Do you plan outfits?
No--I just grab some jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt, and I'm good to go

Turn ons?
Guys that play the piano. Swoon! And chivalry is nice, too.

Turn offs?
Guys that are really into superficial things like cars, abs, social status, etc. Especially when they brag about it.

What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
Cabbage casserole--a recipe from my grandma. (You can find it on my blog here)

Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
I don't really "bite" it, but I don't just lick it either. I put a spoonful in my mouth and let it melt, while kind of chewing it softly.

Favorite movie ever?
Forrest Gump

Have you ever met a celebrity?
I think a "celebrity" is in the eye of the beholder. So, the people that I've met that I consider celebrities are: Dr. Oz, Ted Gibson from What Not to Wear, Bart Yasso from Runner's World, Justin Verlander (baseball player), The Hardy Boys (pro wrestlers that I met in the airport when I was in high school), Shalane Flanagan (elite runner), Kerry Sanders from NBC,  and maybe a couple of others. I'm not one to get all googly-eyed for celebrities.

Would you go sky diving?
That's a big, fat, hell-to-the-no.

Have you ever had a near death experience?
Yes, when I was little--I think I was four?--I choked on a piece of cheese for a very long time. I passed out after a couple of minutes, and my babysitter took me next door to get help. My cousin, Kim, ended up saving me.

Best/worst experience on drugs or alcohol?
One time, my friend and I ate pot cookies. We had three of them, but instead of just eating one each, we split the third and ate one and a half each. I had no experience with edibles, and I learned an hour later that one and a half cookies was too much! I started laughing so hard that I couldn't stop, but it wasn't a fun kind of laughter. It was purely physical laughter (my mind was not laughing), and on the inside, I was so frustrated that I couldn't get it to stop. Trying to have a conversation was pretty funny, though... I kept forgetting what I was going to say midway through the sentence, and the same thing happened with my friend. We couldn't follow what each other was trying to say at all. It was ridiculous! That was my first and last experience with edibles, hahaha.

Do you believe in ghosts, werewolves or vampires?
Nope, nope, and nope.

If you could spend one day in someone else's shoes, who would it be and why?
I think it would just be someone who doesn't have bipolar disorder or anxiety. Since I've had these my whole life, I am very curious what a "normal" brain is like. It would be like going on a nice vacation! 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through several phases, but a few of them were veterinarian, writer ("author"), and forensic pathologist.

If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
Alton Brown (I would love for him to cook!; and I'm sure the conversation wouldn't be shallow, either); Mark (because I really wish I'd gotten to know him on a deeper level before he became sick); and Tom Hanks (no real reason other than that I really like him). 

What sorts of things make you laugh?
Sarcasm; quick wit; seeing other people laugh, especially babies; sharing old stories with friends; stand up comedy (I'm going to see Bill Burr in 10 more days!)

Do you have any pet peeves?
Probably more than I should. But two of the biggest ones are: 1) When people add an 's' onto the name of a store. For example, "I'm going to Kroger's, do you want anything?" The name of the store is Kroger, so there is no reason to add an 's'. Same with Walmart. And Aldi. 2) When people call Chipotle "Chipolte"... inverting the letters l and t. It should be pronounced chip-oat-lay and not chip-olt-ay. I never correct people (because that's another pet peeve of mine--grammar police!) but I always cringe inside my mind.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
MacGuyver! I was a HUGE MacGuyver fan, and, unfortunately, none of my friends were. It came on at the same time as Alf, and everyone else watched that. Bummer, because MacGuyver was an awesome show! 

What are your favorite TV shows now?
I love Shameless, The Handmaid's Tale, The Good Doctor, This Is Us, 9-1-1, The Resident... and I'll stop there, because that's way too much TV.

What are your favorite movies?
Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, 

Tell me one thing that would surprise me about you.
I really like hip hop music. I look like a middle-aged straight-laced mom, but I love jamming to hip hop! Also, I LOVE scary movies--I like the good old-fashioned slasher films. 

What were you like as a kid?
I was very shy and sensitive. Never fit in with anyone--not girly enough to fit in with the girls, not tomboy enough to fit in with the guys. Total book nerd--I was always reading (I loved Sweet Valley Twins!). Talked on the phone ALL THE TIME when I was a preteen. Boy crazy in 6th grade, but was always seen as a friend--so I was friends with mostly guys. Even now, I get along better with guys than I do with girls. I'm very similar as an adult--I'm not sure where I fit in!

Do you have any pets? Tell me about them.
We used to have so many! Now we are down to three: two cats and one dog.

Joey is our dog. He's a black lab/chow chow mix that we adopted from the animal shelter when he was about a year and a half old. He is SUCH a great dog! Super well-behaved, and the kids adore him. Jerry and I are admittedly cat people and just not dog people, but we are very lucky to have gotten Joey.

Phoebe is our orange tabby cat. She is a female, which is very rare for orange tabbies. We got her when a friend of a friend was looking for a home for a stray cat that she had been taking care of. Phoebe was a bit of a mess--she was missing half of her tail (which I suspect was slammed in a door, because of the way the bones are crimped at the end); and she has a BB from a BB gun stuck under her skin, so she was obviously shot at one point.

She was extremely skittish for a LONG time. But now she is my most favorite pet I've ever owned. She has a special sense that I can't explain, but she knows when someone (usually me) is feeling sad and she comes running. She cuddles and rubs all over me when I'm sad. She's been so helpful when I've been going through bad depressive episodes.

Estelle is our tortie. And let me tell you, she is ALL tortitude (something tortoiseshell cat owners say when referring to the attitude of a tortie cat). She's extremely vocal, so she meows a lot. And she's as dramatic as they come. She likes to play the victim so she gets attention, and poor Joey is the scapegoat. But Estelle is hilarious--we love watching (and listening to) her, because she cracks us up with her antics. (And yes, she always looks pissed off--that's just the way she looks)

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Pizza! No question about it. I could never, ever get sick of pizza.

What is your favorite commercial you've ever seen and why?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this commercial for Siri with Cookie Monster. He and I are peas in a pod. 

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don't care what other people think of you! Do what YOU want to do, dress how YOU want to dress, say what YOU want to say, and don't pay one iota of attention to the people who try to make you feel bad for it. 

Who is your favorite music artist?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite book?
The Hunger Games. Or World Without End.

What is your favorite drink?
A margarita! On the rocks with a salted rim :)

What is your favorite restaurant?
Not sure if I have a very favorite, but the Mexican restaurant pictured above is definitely one of my favorites! It's El Camino Real in Toledo, and they have the BEST margaritas. The good is excellent, too!

If you had to describe yourself using only three words, what would they be?
Creative, Caring, Empathetic

If you knew today was the last day of your life, how would you spend it?
I would play board games with my family while eating pizza and ice cream

If you could bring back one toy from your childhood, what would it be?
Hmmm, probably the game Dream Phone. I'm sure I could come up with something better, but that's the first thing that popped into my head. I loved bored games when I was growing up!

Okay, I really need to get this posted. Even though it's 1:15 in the morning, I'm counting it as June 21st's post. Happy Summer, everyone!!

June 20, 2018

Day 20: Cookies' Summer Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

I posted a while ago about my Cookies Summer Challenge--a checklist of different sorts of runs OR walks that you can do throughout the summer to make exercise a little more interesting. Today is the last day of spring, and summer officially begins at 6:07 AM (Eastern Time) tomorrow morning!

The first run on the list is a Summer Solstice run--where you run (or walk) from spring into summer. So, tomorrow morning, I'll set my alarm very early and head out for a run. I'll start my run at around 6:00 and finish it some time after 6:07, so that I can say that I ran from spring into summer.

Thankfully, the change happens at a decent hour for me! I feel for the west coasters whose solstice is at 3:07 AM ;)  (This challenge is "unofficial", so you can interpret the runs however you'd like; make up your own rules! If you want to run later, there is nobody that is going to police you.)

Anyway, I'm going to share the list here again--it's a downloadable PDF. You can save it to your computer or print it out to keep track of everything. (The lists are essentially the same, but one is worded for running and one is worded for walking).

Here is the link for the list of RUNS
Here is the link for the list of WALKS

I also created a calendar that you can print out and fill in with your planned runs. It's blank except for the runs/walks that occur on a specific day (National Ice Cream Day, for example).

Fill-in calendar for RUNS
Fill-in calendar for WALKS

There is a closed Facebook group for anyone who would like to share (not lurk!) about their runs/walks with others who are doing the challenge. This is about support and encouragement (and bragging rights when you finish each one!).

If you want to share your runs/walks on social media, you can use the hashtag #CookiesSummerChallenge (and if you'd like to tag me, I'm @runsforcookies on Instagram and Twitter, and my Facebook page is Facebook.com/RunsforCookies).

I planned out my calendar last night, and with four days of running per week, it's going to take the whole summer to check everything off the list! I had been hoping to do most of my running on the treadmill this summer to avoid the heat, but this list should keep me busy enough that I won't notice the heat. I've been going to bed at around 3AM lately, so tomorrow should be a real treat getting up at 6AM, haha--but I am looking forward to working on this challenge!

I've decided to host a meet-up in Detroit for any locals, too--we can knock the group run off the list at the riverwalk, while ALSO knocking the beer run off the list by doing it on International Beer Day  :)  (We can celebrate with a beer after we're done with the run). Anyway, that is scheduled for Friday, August 3rd at 7:30 PM. (There is an event page in the Facebook group)

If you join the Facebook group, feel free to create your own event near you to meet up with other runners or walkers who are doing the challenge as well.

By the way, here is a post that I wrote a couple of years ago about running in the summer heat (it applies for walking, too). Hopefully some of those tips will help.

I look forward to seeing/reading about the challenges! Good luck to everyone participating :)

June 19, 2018

RECIPE: Broccoli Cheese Soup

I realize that tomorrow is the last day of spring, and it's about as far from "soup weather" as it can get; but Eli ordered broccoli cheese soup when we went out to dinner a few weeks ago, and I've been craving it ever since! So, I made this for dinner today.

I made this using a roux, which is super fast and easy. It's not quite as fast as opening a can of soup, but it doesn't take much more time or effort and it tastes absolutely delicious--totally worth it. (See notes at bottom of post)

Click here for a printer-friendly PDF

Broccoli Cheese Soup


1/3 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
4 cups finely chopped broccoli
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter over medium-high heat in a soup pot, and add the chopped onion. Cook until onion is soft, just a few minutes. Add the flour and stir it into a thick paste.

Stirring constantly, add the milk a little at a time. Stir until uniform after each addition of milk to avoid clumps of flour. After all the milk is stirred in, add the chicken broth and bring just to a boil. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the broccoli is soft, about 7-10 minutes (depending on how small you chop it).

When broccoli is soft, add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in the heavy cream, and heat through until soup is hot.


I like the broccoli to be chopped really, really fine (you could run it through a food processor for 10 seconds or so; I just run my knife through it over and over until it's as small as I like it). You can always leave larger pieces of broccoli--just allow for more cooking time to let it get soft.

I use whole milk and heavy cream in this recipe, because it makes the soup really creamy and rich. I haven't tried it with low fat milk, so I can't tell you if it will work as well. (I am always able to eat less and be satisfied with a smaller portion when I use full-fat, rich ingredients).

To get four cups of finely chopped broccoli, I used three small crowns (I removed most of the stems).

Hope you like it! :)

Broccoli Cheese Soup

June 17, 2018

Day 17: A Date Night with the Kids

I don't have much time to write a post, but I'll at least share some photos from last night. Jerry and I took the kids out for a fun evening to celebrate Father's Day a little early. First, we met up with Jerry's parents at our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. Then, Jerry and I took the kids to a park that we used to go to when we were dating. And after that, we went to an escape room.

Ever since I did the escape room in Kansas City, I am hooked. They are so much fun! I did another a few weeks ago, and then yesterday was my third. I was excited to take the kids to one, because I knew they would really like it. We had leftover money from last month's "family allowance" (money for us to use as a family each month for something fun), so I thought we could combine it with this month's family allowance and it would be perfect to go to dinner and an escape room.

After we ate dinner, we had some time to kill before our escape room reservation, so we walked a loop of the park, which was just down the road from the escape room building. It was nice walking around the park with the family; I can't even remember the last time we all went for a walk together before yesterday.

Jerry used the timer on his phone to take a picture of the four of us. We were all laughing by the time it finally took the picture--a countdown of 10 seconds feels like forever when you're posing for a photo!

The name of the escape room we went to was Escape the Post in Flat Rock. It's inside of the old state police post (hence the jail theme). They actually have six different escape rooms in that building, and the one we did yesterday was the jail cell. It's made for 2-4 people.

(The one I did a few weeks ago was the Sheriff's Office, and I liked that one a lot! It's for 4-6 people. We did not escape that one in time, but we made it to the last clue and had fun trying.)

The escape room was fun, but we finished it really quickly--we were out in 36 minutes! It wasn't easy, and we certainly wouldn't have gotten through it without using our three clues, but I wish it had been longer.

When we were done, we were told to pose in certain ways for photos--I'm not exactly sure what the purpose behind them was, but it was fun! Here, we were told to look bummed that we were stuck in jail.

And in the next photo, we were told to look mad at each other (I think because we were locked in a cell together?). Noah and I fought for the phone, while Jerry and Eli strangled each other. Typical Saturday night for the Foster family.

This next picture cracks me up. I have NO idea what Jerry was looking at! He's off in his own little world, I guess...

It was a fun way to celebrate Father's Day (a day early). If you haven't done an escape room, I highly recommend it--they are super fun and a great way to work as a team!


June 16, 2018

Day 16: Jerry's 9-Week Insanity Results

Nine weeks ago, I wrote about Jerry's and my plans for fitness after we had trained for the half-marathon. That was the day that the half-marathon didn't happen because of the torrential downpour we had. We'd trained together for 12 weeks to run the half, but never actually ran it.

My plan going forward from there was to run for fitness and fun, without any pressure. I wasn't interested in doing races, and I wanted to keep my distance down under 10K. I didn't want to get burnt out on running again. I wish I could say that I've being running regularly ever since then, but that would be a big fat lie.

Jerry's plan after the half-marathon was to work on his fitness by doing a full round of Insanity workouts (Amazon affiliate link). The program is nine weeks long, and the only way I can describe it is insane. Insanity is the perfect name for it (and not only because it's insanely expensive!).

Unlike his wife, Jerry finishes what he starts (most of the time, anyway). And I can't even describe how impressed by (and how proud I am of) his dedication to this exercise plan over the last couple of months! It's unreal, and super inspiring.

The Insanity program is part of Beachbody, but I want to stress that Jerry is NOT affiliated with them and he did NOT do any other part of their program. He didn't do their diet or supplements or shakes or whatever it is they push. He actually didn't follow a diet at all; the only thing he did was start the Insanity workout program.

(Insanity is a nine-week program of videos that are done at home, using just body weight--you don't need dumbbells or bands or anything like that. And having watched him do some of these videos, I can't describe them as anything other than insane. They are SO challenging. Running seems like a stroll in the park compared to the Insanity videos.)

The program is six days per week, with Sunday being the only rest day. The workouts start at about 45 minutes each, and then, halfway through the program, increase to about 65 minutes.

Jerry maintains his weight loss much better than I do--he started 253 pounds on January 1, 2010, then dropped to 175, and has stayed roughly in a 10-pound range for the last 8 years. However, early this year, his weight was creeping up. He was inching toward 200 pounds again, and that was a big wake up call to him. So, he wanted to get back in shape and bring his weight back down.

His weight on the day he started Insanity (April 15th) was 198 pounds. I took some "before" photos of him. And then his insane workouts started.

Jerry works a swing shift, which means sometimes he works nights and sometimes he works days. Sometimes he works weekends, sometimes he doesn't. He works anywhere from 3-7 days a week, depending on the overtime schedule. Needless to say, his schedule is erratic. Which makes following any sort of plan very challenging!

I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am at his dedication to these workouts. On days that he would normally get up at a super early 4:15 in the morning for work, he voluntarily started setting his alarm for 3:15 AM in order to get his Insanity workout in before getting ready to go to work.

And over the last nine weeks, he didn't miss a single workout. Not one!

He wasn't dropping much weight, which made him feel discouraged; but he said he was noticing that his body was changing. He said he felt less jiggling when he was doing the workouts, and he was starting to see some muscle definition. Until the last few weeks, he'd only dropped about six pounds, but you could really see a change in his body. (I see him every day, and even I could see a big difference.) Then, over the last few weeks, the weight started dropping off quickly.

Today was his final workout of the program! I was really excited to take an "after" photo to show him the comparison. He had started 198 pounds, and today, he was 176 pounds--so he lost 22 pounds total. And I am amazed at the change in his body (not just his farmer's tan, either)...

Insanity results

I've been bragging about him to everyone, because I'm just so impressed that he finished all nine weeks without missing a single workout--getting up at 3:15 AM, fitting in his exercise while working 12-hour swing shifts, making zero excuses when he just wanted to sleep in a little (or stay up late), listening to the guys at work rag on him for wanting to get in shape.

He says all of that was worth it. He feels much more confident in how he looks now, but he said he also feels much better mentally. The dedication it took to follow through with the nine week plan was huge, and completing it made him feel really good about himself.

When I asked what he's going to do now, he said he wants to continue the workouts, but on a lesser schedule. He thinks that four days a week would be good for maintaining fitness while still giving him a few days off.

I am feeling super inspired by him, and it makes me want to get in shape, too! (Not enough to want to try Insanity, but maybe just to follow a running schedule without making excuses. That would be an improvement.)

Anyway, if you can't tell, I'm super proud of my husband, and I just had to share his results :)

June 15, 2018

Day 15: Strawberry picking!

Well, I didn't end up writing yesterday after all. I was planning to write in the evening, but Jerry and I watched a movie together instead. I'll probably write more about my thoughts and (hopeful) plans on weight maintenance soon.

But first... I knocked a goal off of my 40 Goals by 40 Years Old list today!

My friend Emily (a blog reader that I met up with in person a couple of years ago and who has turned into a close friend) came over and we went strawberry picking. I had never gone berry picking before (at least not that I remember), and it's something I really wanted to do.

This is an odd thing to bring up, but strawberry picking is one of the things that my weight held me back from doing when my kids were little. Whenever I think of stay-at-home moms, one of the things that always pops into my head is taking the kids to go berry picking.

Around here, it's a very common thing to do in the summer. I always used to see other moms posting pictures at the berry farm with their kids, and the MOMS Club that I was in would organize an outing there each year. Going berry picking as a stay-at-home mom is pretty much a given.

Except for me. I hadn't gone before today, but in my mind, I pictured bending over in the hot sun for hours with my clothes sticking to me while I was sweaty and tired and trying to keep the kids on task. There were a lot of things that I hated about being obese, but one of the worst was sitting on the ground in the sun (the only thing that sounded worse to me was sitting on the beach!).

I always felt guilty for not taking the kids berry picking. And I certainly have had plenty of opportunities to take them over the last several years after having lost the weight, but I just couldn't get that image of it out of my head. So, that's why I included "Go fruit picking" on my 40x40 list. Basically, I wanted to get over that negative image in my head of what it would be like.

When Emily said she was going to be in town for the weekend, and wanted to get together Friday morning/afternoon, I wanted to think of something for us to do--I looked at my 40x40 list to see if there was something on there to inspire an idea, and I thought berry picking would be perfect. I looked up nearby farms, and I discovered that strawberry season is super short (less than three weeks)--but that the berries were ripe and ready for picking just a few days ago! The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Emily had never been berry picking either, and she was really excited to go. We decided to pick the strawberries and then come back to my house and make jam (something else neither of us had done before). I asked my kids if they wanted to go, but they actually weren't interested(!). I think that ship has sailed, and I wish I had just done this years ago.

I still hate sitting in the sun, even at a normal weight, but I was actually really looking forward to this. Thankfully, it wasn't a super hot day--it was 74 degrees, so it was pretty nice out! (I even wore a cardigan). We got to the berry farm at around 10:30, and were given a whole row of berries to ourselves.

Emily sat on one side and I sat on the other so we were facing each other and able to chat while we picked strawberries (and eat one here and there, of course!). As we picked each plant free of the ripe berries, we moved down the row. I couldn't believe how many strawberries were in each plant--it doesn't look like it at first, but once you start picking, there are strawberries everywhere!

I wanted to make sure to get enough to make jam, but also to make a strawberry rhubarb pie and just have berries to eat. Fresh strawberries are the BEST! We were each given a box that holds about 10 pounds of berries--and at $2.09 per pound, I decided to fill it!

We were satisfied with our pickings at around noon, so we headed out. On the way out, they weigh your strawberries. I had picked almost exactly 10 pounds--it cost about $21 for my box.

On the way back to my house, we stopped to get the stuff for jam making--mason jars, pectin, and sugar. We got to work hulling the strawberries, mashing them, sterilizing the jars, and prepping everything to make the jam.

When I read the recipe, I saw that it listed how much of each ingredient you need for each jar of jam; since we were making a large batch, I did the math and we needed 13-1/3 cups of mashed strawberries. It took a while, but we finally got all we needed.

And then when I looked at the recipe again, I discovered that it actually listed the ingredients per TWO jars, not for each jar... so we'd accidentally prepped twice as many strawberries as we needed, bahahaha! If I'd had more jars, I would have just made twice as many (I put the extra prepped berries in the fridge, and I'll go get more jars tomorrow).

I was surprised at how much easier jam-making was than I expected! I followed the recipe that was included with the container of pectin, and it wasn't hard at all. The most difficult part was moving the jars (both empty and full) to and from the boiling water without a good pair of tongs (I'm going to buy better ones before making more jam tomorrow). Emily and I were holding several utensils each to move the jars without getting burned, haha.

BUT, we managed to get everything done without incident, and we were so excited when we heard the jar lids popping as they sealed. The recipe says to let them sit for 24 hours before checking to make sure they are sealed, but right now, the lids seem to have sealed just fine. I'll be thrilled if it actually worked and we were successful at our first jam-making session.

We had a little leftover jam after pouring it into the jars, so we each ate a spoonful and it was delicious! Tomorrow, I want to make a loaf of homemade bread to eat with it. (I'm bummed that I forgot to get a picture of Emily and me with our jam.)

While we were processing the jam, we decided to make good use of some of our strawberries by making strawberry margaritas! Some tequila, triple sec, lime juice, sugar, and fresh strawberries in a blender, and then poured over ice. It was amazing :)

I still have a lot of berries left over (I didn't know how much I'd need, so I picked way too many). Tomorrow, I'll probably have strawberries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And probably the next day, too ;)

I loved strawberry picking, and I am going to make this a yearly thing for sure! It was so fun, and not nearly as uncomfortable as I had pictured it to be all these years. Thankfully, it wasn't very hot or humid.

OH, and later on, I saw that Becky had posted photos of Luke at a strawberry farm. It turns out that she and Luke were at the SAME farm at the SAME time as us--and I didn't even see them! It was her first time berry picking as well. Quite the coincidence that we were both there at the same time. What a fun day!

June 13, 2018

Day 13: How I Jinxed My Weight Maintenance

Yesterday, I was tweaking some things here and there on my blog (mainly, I need to catch up on adding posts to my weight loss and running pages) and I came across the post I wrote on November 1, 2017 called "How I'm (Finally) Maintaining My Goal Weight".

I had gotten back down to my goal of 133 in the beginning of June, and had been maintaining it pretty effortlessly for months--without counting calories and without running! I was just doing what made me happy and what felt good for me at the time.

I love the above photo of me, which is interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) Despite not wearing make-up, not having done my hair, and wearing an unflattering baggy sweatshirt, I actually like the way I look; and 2) I felt genuinely very happy. This photo just reminds me of pure happiness.

It was taken in September 2017, and I was sitting around a bonfire with Jerry and the kids in the backyard. The air was warm but the breeze was cool enough for a sweatshirt. It smelled like freshly cut grass and bonfire. The fire was crackling and my family was laughing. I was watching some bats fly above our heads, eating bugs--I love to see bats at night. I can even remember just how sweet and juicy that plum tasted!

I felt so comfortable in my body and genuinely happy for the first time in what felt like forever. My new bipolar medication had lifted the depressive episode I'd been battling for 10 months, and the happiness I felt at that moment with my body, my weight, and my whole life in general was practically spilling out of me.

I felt like it was going to stay that way forever! And I hoped it would.

It's actually pretty funny, knowing what I know now, when I read this quote from that post I wrote in November:
"I've been reluctant to write about this, because you all know my history with weight loss/gain/maintenance. Remember that Oprah show where she walked onto stage pulling a wagon that held the amount of fat she'd lost? She was at her thinnest, and she did a big "reveal" that day at her goal weight. And then she gained it all back in the critical public eye.
It's been seven years since reaching my goal weight, and while I haven't gained back all (or even half) of the weight I lost, I still struggle with large weight fluctuations (nearly 30 pounds). So I guess I've been concerned that as soon as I write about what I've been doing to maintain my goal weight, all will be undone and you'll watch me gain it all back. Let's hope that's not the case!"
I had been so reluctant to write the post because I knew that as soon as I did, something would happen to totally discredit me. At the time, I had been maintaining my weight for about five months, and I felt pretty confident that I had finally gotten to a place where I was comfortable in maintenance (confident enough to publish the post, anyway).

Two months later, I was up 10 pounds! Did I jinx it?

Haha, I don't really believe in "jinxing" something... but it is quite the coincidence. I really do believe that my weight fluctuates based on my moods, though. When I am hypomanic, I lose weight pretty easily; and when I'm depressed, I gain weight just by looking at food. Since starting my bipolar meds, my moods aren't as "high" or "low" as they used to be, but they still fluctuate more than the average person.

I've been feeling mildly depressed for probably six months (?) now, and my weight has been holding for a while in the high 140's. In the past, when I was going through depression (which was much deeper than what I'm experiencing now on my meds), I would wind up close to 160 pounds. So, I find it interesting that deep depression = 160; mild depression = 150; stability = 135; and hypomania = 130 (or less). (These are rough numbers; it doesn't always match this exactly).

So, I feel like the key to maintaining my weight is to stabilize my mood--which is what my "mood stabilizer" is for. I really don't want to try a different medication, because this one has made a world of difference for me. And each time I've tried to increase the dose (per my psychiatrist), I've gotten acne--within a week or two! As soon as I lower the dose back down, the acne goes away. It's so frustrating!

I've never given it a long enough chance to see if the acne eventually goes away on its own, even at the higher dosage, so I'm thinking about doing that. I'll just have to deal with the acne for a couple of months and hope that once my body gets used to the higher dose of meds, it'll go away. It's vain, I know, but it's a hard decision--a stable mood with acne, or mood shifts and no acne?

I see my psychiatrist soon, so I'll ask him about it then. He had mentioned before that I could try a different medication, but I would hate to do that when this one has been working pretty well for me (with minimal side effects). It's certainly not perfect, but the odds of finding a medication that completely stabilizes my mood while not causing any side effects is pretty much nil.

Anyways, reading the post that I wrote about maintaining my goal weight was kind of eye opening for me, in a good way. I had forgotten about the good habits I'd gotten into. I really liked that I was able to eat anything that I wanted, and I never worried about eating too much because I was totally happy eating small portions. That mindset didn't happen right away; rather, it was a good habit that I'd developed over months of working on trusting my body.

I recently wrote a post called "My Plan to Get Back to My Goal Weight"--and it was just that. A plan. A very reasonable plan that had worked for me really well in the past. Right now, though, it's just not happening. I am just having such a hard time sticking to anything!

I've been trying. I'll follow a simple running plan for a couple of weeks, but then I just stop. I have tried getting back to counting calories, but I'd gotten so used to NOT counting last year that I am just fighting it. And right now, I'm trying to figure out what it is that I really want! (I'm really good at changing my mind a trillion times, as I'm sure you know if you've been reading my blog for any period of time, haha)

I think that, more than anything, I just want to feel in control. I don't like feeling on edge, worrying about whether I am going to keep gaining weight, and I don't like the constant "I'm going to get back on track" that goes on in my head. I want to just get it over with and feel in control again! ("Get It Over With!" remains one of my most popular posts to date, so if you haven't read it, you may want to check it out for a boost of motivation. I just now reread it, and it lit a little fire inside of me--I am going to do this! haha)

This post is getting long, so I think I'll wrap it up; but I may write more about this tomorrow. I'd like to think about what exactly it is that is derailing my efforts and come up with a way to counteract that. I'd really like to see some progress soon!

June 11, 2018

Day 11: The Worst-Kept Secret

You guys. I am finally able to tell you about a huge secret that I’ve been dying to reveal for months now! It’s not my secret to share, so I’ve been waiting for the go-ahead. But it has been killing me, especially because even they admitted it was a terribly kept secret. Most of the people in my life already knew, but I still couldn't be public about it (basically, I just really wanted to share it HERE).

(Yes, I am deliberately dragging this post out a bit because I don't want the secret revealed on the front page of my blog. It kind of ruins the excitement and makes it less dramatic that way!)

When I wrote my post last week about spending a couple of days with Luke, I felt like it would have been a really great time to share this secret. But I still didn't have the go-ahead. It was like torture.

As you know, I have three siblings—my sister, Jeanie; my brother, Brian; then there is me in the birth line-up; and finally, my younger brother, Nathan. Jerry has a sister who has been married for four years.

My own kids are 12 and 13 years old, so you would think that they would have several cousins by now... but when Luke was born in March 2017, he was their first. (Two-fold, actually... their first cousin in relation, but also their first and only cousin in the family).

Anyway, come August, Luke is going to be a BIG BROTHER!! (Is he not the cutest kid you've ever seen? My heart melts every time I see him!)

Yes, Friends, Becky is pregnant :)  Like I said, it would have been so easy to share it last week--remember I said that I offered to keep Luke for a couple of days so that Becky could get some rest? Well, having a 15-month old is exhausting in and of itself, but Becky is also 7 months pregnant. (I learned this news in December, I think--can you believe I had to keep this from you all for this long?!)

Brian made a fun video to announce the news publicly on Facebook (even though they had already shared the news with family and friends in-person), but he hadn't edited the video yet. And that's all that we were waiting on before sharing the secret. Brian and Becky have been crazy-busy getting their property ready to build a house this fall, and Brian works a lot--so, the public announcement was taking much longer than anticipated.

But wait! There is more...

I'm going to have a NIECE!! Brian and Becky revealed the sex (way back in March) so I've been keeping that a secret, too. (Actually, I was VERY good at keeping that secret... Becky told me about a week before she told everyone else, and I didn't even say a word to Jerry about it. The restraint that took from me was astronomical.)

Her due date is August 31, but Luke was born a couple of weeks early, so I'm guessing this baby will be also. Right around Jerry's and my 15th wedding anniversary!

As you can imagine, my whole family is super excited to welcome a little girl to the family. I adore having my boys, but it will be so much fun to have a niece to do girl things with!

June 10, 2018

Day 10: Nostalgic for the 80s and 90s (in photos)

Having been born in 1982 (or, as my kids like to remind me, "the 1900's"), I had the pleasure of growing up in the 80s and 90s. While we clearly have come a LONG way in terms of technology since then, there are so many things that I miss about the days when I was a kid. 

Side note: You know what I miss the most? Privacy. (Yes, I realize the irony of making this statement on the internet! haha) Remember when you could make stupid mistakes and there weren't people there to take pictures and videos with their phones and have them uploaded to social media before you could even bat an eye? Yeah. I miss that. Social media certainly has its place, but I am so thankful that I did most of my growing before the internet!

Here are a few other odd and surprising things that I miss about "the good old days":
  • Taking pictures with 35 mm film and feeling excited to get them developed
  • Having phone numbers memorized
  • Calling a friend, and when there was no answer, you always assumed she wasn't home instead of wondering if she just didn't want to talk to you
  • Watching my parents try to navigate our road trips to Florida with an atlas and a flashlight
  • Trying to remember the name of that one person on that one TV show you used to watch, and then enlisting the help of your friends' minds instead of their smart phones to figure it out
  • Circling all the things I wanted to buy in the Sears catalogue, and then totally forgetting about them in the 8-10 weeks it takes to order and ship
Since there is an app for pretty much everything now, we don't need film, address books, atlases, or catalogues. Life is certainly much more convenient! But here are some fun nostalgic pictures to remind me of my 80s/90s upbringing...

I'd love to hear some things that remind you of being a kid--what are some of your favorite things from your generation?