Be Me, Be Free

Be Me, Be Free

I am striving to let go and be me. Sometimes I let others influence me, or I dream up an intense pressure and put it on myself. I mentioned this a couple days ago in my post Garden GuiltBut today, I will listen to these words:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” 
 Bernard M. Baruch

Go be you today… or not. Your choice.




Be Me, Be Free

Though I try to let go and not care what others think, I am a people pleaser to the core. You don’t even have to communicate what you want, I KNOW what you want… OK, I truly have no idea, but I can certainly spend all my time making tons of assumptions and worrying about it, and I do.

For example, my overgrown garden beds and weed-filled yard… I am certain that the millions of dandelion seeds that blow from my yard are the many reasons my neighbors haven’t wanted to get to know me for the past 5 1/2 years. But, instead of actually making real improvements, I occasionally make a half-hearted attempt to weed or prune or… who am I kidding, I know nothing about yard work or gardening. And I hate my yard. Perhaps it’s time to give in and pay someone to fix it up, that way it would actually get done… and in this case it wouldn’t just please my neighbors, it would please me.

2014-05-03 17.07.05

Garden Guilt

A Wish Met and Training Unleashed

Just a few days ago I wrote a post called Can I Get a Day Off? That question was just begging the following cliché statement…

file000874288359Be Careful What You Wish For!

Four hours after hitting the “Publish” button for the blog post welcoming a mental health day, wouldn’t you know it, I got a nasty bout of food poisoning that forced me to have the most terrible kind of sick day. Oh, the irony.

On Monday, between the hours of 2am and 8pm, I spent 99% of  my time in bed or hanging over the toilet. I’ll spare you the projectile, dehydrating, and exhausting details.

chiliNow I will say, I was SO hesitant to eat those chili leftovers from my fridge. I didn’t just fear the original spice, I sensed something was off about this 3 day old chili… should I not be eating 3 day old leftovers??? Yeah, I didn’t think so! Why oh why did I ignore the intuitive voice saying, “Something isn’t right with that chili!” and instead listen to the heedless voice that said, “Oh Vanessa, let’s not be wasteful”!?! Oh, don’t worry, I have since thrown out almost everything from my fridge. And luckily, I didn’t let my overly frugal ways lead anyone else to sickness. But my family certainly suffered the loss of not having me as a resource for the entire day…whoops.

Training Unleashed

Unleashing the speed within

Unleashing the speed within

Being confined to my bed for the day also affected the official start of my training plan in order for me to reach my running goals. Despite my week getting off to an uneasy start, I have hit the ground running once again and I am regaining my strength.

I have been building up my mileage over the past few months and starting this week, I am officially kicking off a training plan I found from Coach Jay Johnson out of Boulder, Colorado.

Here is his 5K running plan and below are some complimentary videos that will help implement the plan:

As I unleash the speed within me once again, let me know if you want to join me on this running adventure by running together, supporting each other virtually with our respective running goals, or _________________ (you fill in the blank).

Can I Get a Day Off?

I have been scouring the blogosphere lately, reading a ton of good material, encountering people of common interest and those of differing interests alike, and I have been having a lot of fun reading.

In a recent blog post I read called Mental Health Day, Charlotte describes calling in sick for the first time in over a year to simply take a break from her stressful job.

Her blog post reminded me that, as a stay at home mom, I can’t very easily take a sick day or a mental health day from my “job”. Though, I am indeed lucky to have family and friends to call on if I really need them. Also, I am fortunate enough to have less overall stress then when I was a working mom. Now I can focus on home life and budgeting and play dates and my relationship with my kids. I didn’t have the bandwidth of brain capacity to think about and manage all those things as a working mom.

Inescapable Stress

Sometimes we need to scream

Feel the need to scream? Let it out!

Still, I certainly have home stress that feels inescapable at times. It’s the kind of stress where I have constant pressure from two wild boys who crave and need attention and love. I grasp for moments of relief as I shut the bathroom door (all the way… gasp) to get a bit of privacy, stick them in front of the t.v. so I can clean, shove them out the door to search for bugs and play in the dirt so I don’t scream in frustration, all while hoping they don’t hurt themselves. Or, worse, embarrass me by, oh, I don’t know… pooping in the front yard!?! Yeah, to my mortification, that happened the other day… oh, the things I never knew I would deal with as a parent, they are endless.

What it comes down to is everyone has stress. Everyone needs to take moments (or large clumps of moments) to focus on themselves and their mental health. I can see how moms who stay at home might find themselves feeling a bit insane at times. While most people can’t often escape stress, we can find healthy ways to cope. Thanks to one of my final projects in college, I wrote a whole stress management program. So, I should be an expert right? Ha! Not so much, but I am certainly trying.

Some Self Praise

Running For Sanity

Running For Sanity

I learned recently in a parenting class the importance of praising not only others but ourselves. Sometimes we can be so critical of ourselves, not cool! So, today I am going to pat myself on the back for doing a great job of taking time 6 days a week to strive for my fitness goals because it helps me de-stress and in turn be a better mom. Good job Vanessa 🙂

Your Turn

Rejuvenate, fill yourself up, do something just for you today. You are totally worth it!

Stumped by Self

Typically I can manage to talk or write about myself but I found writing my new about page for this blog to be particularly challenging. In trying to avoid focusing on any one particular topic I struggled to know which of the many possible topics to mention. Also, in knowing I have a captive audience in some of my friends and family members I didn’t want to bore anyone with trivial details.

Encountering Writer's Block


So, it’s true, I ran into writer’s block when it came to talking about the person I am most familiar with… myself. Being that I am a complicated and complex woman, just because I am familiar with myself, doesn’t mean I really know and understand myself, let alone have the ability to communicate effectively about myself… but I have digressed and that’s starting to sound like a whole other blog post!

Being stumped resulted in very concise content. I felt like perhaps I didn’t include enough and something might be missing. On the other hand, maybe you will find it full of new information you didn’t know about me. But not to worry, amidst my inability to write, there was a redeeming quality in my about page experience…

A Picture Party

I had SO much fun trying to create an image to use on my page and in a sidebar widget. Want to hear all about it? Well, I will share some nerdy details either way but feel free to scroll to the bottom for the end result if you simply can’t wait.

Free stock photo from

Free stock photo from

First, I chose a stock photo of a girl contemplating as she looks out at the sunset. To me this picture communicates the ideas of dreaming and hoping while enjoying nature – elements that I want to incorporate in my blog. Then I went to PicMonkey, a website that offers free picture editing tools. I tried a few of their many editing options and I had the most fun trying to place words on top of my image.  While the picture on it’s own communicates important ideas, adding key phrases made for an impactful image. I have a ton to learn in using this program but I am pleased with my first attempt at a pretty image.

Check out the final product below and let me know what you think. Also, if you haven’t already done so, check out my new about page (Click Here!) and let me know ideas for additions or things that can be taken out. I truly want all kinds of feedback, so do tell me what you really think!




Articulating “About”…Me?