On FB today The Dating Divas challenged readers to describe their spouse in one word.  I laughed and almost typed in an easy truth, like honest, steadfast, patient, or sexy.  *wink*  But then I paused to really consider the challenge.  Each word I considered (and I made a long list) marked just one aspect of the Kevin I know, the Kevin I love, the Kevin that is mine that no one else truly knows.  I didn't think one word could encapsulate the man I adore.

He is honest and loyal, and his family comes first.  He will protect and fight for those he loves.  He considers our reality, and ensures that we recognize it.  He creates dreams with me and ~ even if he thinks I'm crazy in the making ~ he works with me to make those dreams our life (despite whatever he's assured me was our reality!).  He makes me laugh without trying.  He is the yin to my yang.  Together, we find balance, and joy is realized!

And then I found a word that said all that.  The perfect match.  Just like us.  In one word, Kevin is TRUE.

Definition of TRUE

a : steadfastloyalb : honestjustc archaic : truthful
(1) : being in accordance with the actual state of affairs<true description> (2) : conformable to an essential reality(3) : fully realized or fulfilled true>b : idealessentialc : being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed true dimension of the problem>d : consistent <true to character>
a : properly so called <true love> true faith> true stomach of ruminant mammals>(1) : possessing the basic characters of and belonging to the same natural group as true but not a typical mammal> (2) : typical true cats>
: legitimaterightful true and lawful king>
a : that is fitted or formed or that functions accuratelyb : conformable to a standard or pattern : accurate
: determined with reference to the earth's axis rather than the magnetic poles <true north>
: logically necessary
: narrowstrict truest sense>
: corrected for error
*#9 cracks me up!  He may drive me loco at times (afterall, my word for him wasn't "perfect"), but there's no error.  I love him exactly the way he is!  ; )
**I also love #7 ~ logically necessary.  We are a brilliant team, and our family success thus far is a result of team effort (and our external supports ~ we have amazing family and friends!).  Because of the support we give each other, we are allowed opportunity to shine in the areas we excel in most and the opportunity to step back with confidence when the other is a bat.


My Little Snow Bunny

It's been flurrying off and on for the last 24 hours, and Kate has spent much of that time perched on the back of the bench, peering out the front window, willing the snow to stick.  She's so sweet.  "Look, it's snowing again!"  "It's sticking this time!"  "Aw, it melted."  "Look, it's snowing again!"  "Go faster, Snow!  I want to go sled, Snow!!"

*Never mind that it's freezing outside and three of my four kids are tromping around in the underwear this morning.  :-)


Lost! Pulled? What's the Difference?!

Collin has been waiting and waiting and WAITING to lose his first tooth.  As his (seven and a) Half Birthday approached (Feb 15), he was beyond dismay that he was the "only kid I know" that hadn't lost a tooth yet.  He used to come up to me, show me his teeth, and try desparately to wiggle one:  "Look it's loose!"  No luck.  Then, finally one day, he announced that he had a real loose tooth!  He opened his mouth to show me and ~ sure enough ~ it was loose.  But that was not what caught my eye.  Two of his adult teeth (bottom center) were already coming in ... behind his baby teeth!  They weren't going to push out the baby teeth!  It's remarkable the one tooth was even loose.  

By last Friday, nearly a week after making the discover and with the one tooth looser but not out yet, the second not even loose, and the adult teeth nearly fully in, I presented an ultimatum.  Start pulling those teeth or we're heading to the dentist to have them pulled.  Collin HAD to make room for those adult teeth.  So Dr. Kevin grabbed the needle-nose pliers (while I ran from the room to cringe and grab my camera) and went to work on the loose tooth:
Thankfully, one good, quick tug and it was out!
 Collin loved how little the tooth turned out to be,  and Owen loved the little jar that the tooth went into for safe-keeping until the Tooth Fairy arrived to collect it!
Check it out!  One baby tooth out!  See that adult tooth back there already in?!  :-)
Collin and his cousins had a sleepover Friday night, the night he lost his tooth.  So he perched his tooth on the window sill in its jar, next to his glasses.
Then ~ unbeknownst to Collin, me, or the Tooth Fairy, Owen and Marley snagged the tooth and put it under Collin's pillow "because that's where you're supposed to put it."  Luckily, the Tooth Fairy still awarded Collin with a gold dollar coin and certificate AND, as a bonus, Collin got to keep the tooth (since the Fairy couldn't find it!):
Still need to pull that second bottom tooth as the other adult tooth is almost completely up as well.  But it's not even loosening!  Any ideas?!  Do we go to the dentist or be patient?  Will a bill now reduce our orthodotia bill later?

At any rate, Congratulations, Collin, for your patience and bravery and for the loss of your first tooth!


Removing That Which Knocks You Off-Kilter

How do you maintain Balance?  One of the tasks I assigned myself this year to facilitate my goal of achieving greater, more consistent Balance is to recognize the triggers that knock me off kilter.  Then, with that knowledge, determine whether I have any power or control to reduce the impact of or eliminate the trigger.  Then, before exercising any power or control, to question:  if I can cause a change, is that change for good?  Whose good?    

For so many reasons, I find myself digging deep today.  I'm off-balance.  I identified a trigger, and I ultimately took action.  I made some tough decisions and said hard words, and, even though I stand behind each one, there are emotional and relational consequences that I need to accept, potentially respond to, and move through as I steady and regain Balance.  

Although I caution that these did NOT cause me to act, here's some of the mantras in which I've found peace and affirmation:

I'm a lover, not a fighter.  But I'll fight for what I love.

If you don't like something, change it.

Keep your head, heals, and standards high.

Because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean did that they don't love you with all they have.

The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.

When you have to start compromising yourself or your morals for the people around you, it's probably time to change the people around you.

Maybe it's not always about trying to fix something broken.  Maybe it's about starting over and creating something better.

Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.  - Oprah Winfrey

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Be who you are because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.  -- Dr. Seuss

And here's some of the mantras that I'm smiling to as I steady:

Don't look back.  You aren't going that way.

Things will get hard, and it's perfectly ok to let them weigh on you.  I think if we don't let these experiences get to us, then we aren't learning all the lessons.

All emotions are awesome.

Sometimes it's ok if the only thing you did today was breathe.

Smile.  It confuses people.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.  -- Abraham Lincoln

BElieve THEir is GOOD in the world.

Close your eyes. Clear your heart.  Let it go.

Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires ...  -- Charles Dickens

Do what you love, and do it often.

You're only one workout away from a good mood.

Always wear your invisible crown.

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.  -- Elizabeth Taylor

And each day:  
Live your dream and share your passion!


Off to a Great Start

In January, I worked out over 29 hours.  I practiced yoga, did P90X resistence routines, and ran at least 72.79 miles!  I'm feeling "fit" again, and I've shed most of the "flubber" I created October, November, and December, when I enjoyed holiday feasts and treats and allowed my back injury (bulged discs) to recover.  *Those months were tasty, but January has ROCKED!  Recap:  I LOVE when I'm more fit.  I feel GREAT!
Taylor and I laying in the sun at "The Compound" August 2011 at the Carmody/Marshall Family Reunion.
Two Current Challenges to Consider in February:

(1) I absolute can not do any plyo-type exercises.  Three days in a row last week I tried to expand beyond resistance and running into some more hoppy, challenging routines (12 minutes tops of Insanity and Bodyrock workouts), and I had to refriend ice and ibuprofen.  Not fun.  If I don't pay heed to this knowledge, I may have considerable struggles this summer riding downhill at Whistler.  That is unacceptable.  I MUST take care of my lower back so it's ready to take on the mountain!  : )  *Great news:  Running doesn't hurt my back so long as I add in stretch and PT exercises.

(2) I have discovered that I am a chocoholic.  Literally.  This is new to me.  I used to love sweets, desserts ... but now it's specifically chocolate.  I developed this insane craving during my pregnancy with Eli ... he gifted me that and a nice large vericose vein in my left shin.  Ha!  Back to the chocolate ~ chocolate brownies, chocolate truffles, chocolate chips (white chocolate Ghiradelli, to be specific).  If chocolate is near, I am struggling to muster will power.  Basically, I don't stop eating until it's gone.  This has got to be tackled!!

Here's to February!