Newsletter Sept- Often he who does too much does too little.

I can’t think of a more appropriate quote to summarize how I have been feeling lately.  Everything from the household, to parenting my kids, to my fitness routine (or lack thereof) to staying organized has deteriorated.   When coming to grips with the truth, I have to say, that I like to look like I have it all together.   But the “myth” of having it all or doing it all- is just that….a myth.

Overall, things look pretty good over here on Walnut Avenue, but god forbid you open a closet, peak in the laundry room, or ask the kids how many hours of video games they REALLY play during some weeks. (Thankfully, the kids have no concept of time- or they might embarrass me in public!)

I wonder if anyone else out there, reading this newsletter, has felt this way before- doing a whole lot of everything, but not excelling at anything.  What I am working on now is choosing a couple of goals to focus on and finding the courage to say NO to the things that don’t rank as high on goal list.  Now that the school year is starting, I am going to have to take a close look at how much time I can volunteer to my kid’s classrooms considering I have just launched a new business- I can’t always be the room mom.  I might have to cut back on signing up for 10K’s and triathlons, so I can focus on getting my house organized (this doesn’t mean giving up running or biking- just giving up the pressure to train for a certain event).  I don’t have to be the gal who plans the girl’s trips, or the kid’s tennis lessons, or takes charge of the group gift for the party (whatever party it may be).

One of my more recent goals was to overcome my fear of swimming in the ocean.  While I still do have a healthy fear of the great pacific, I have managed to get myself into the ocean on at least six occasions for a swim.  Visit TheInpiredMom.com to read about my recent ocean swims.

Also new on TheInspiredmom.com is an interview with someone I like to call IronMama- Jennifer Temperley.  She is an amazing athlete who focuses on Triathlons.  I tried a new question and answer format for our interview.  I am interested to hear your feedback on the format.  There are a few other posts to read; and, now that the kids are getting back to school, I hope to get back to a weekly posting for TheInspiredMom.  Stay tuned.

Ironmama- Jen Temperley

60401-317-023fTake a close look at the picture to the left (click the pic to enlarge it).  Do you see the mom pictured there?  That is Jennifer Temperley, mother of two darling kids ages 6 and 3.  Also, did you notice the time on the clock above?  That is the time it took her to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles.  Even finishing one of these events in 5 hours would be an accomplishment.  But Jen did all three events in 5 hours and 27 minutes (oh yeah, don’t forget the 5 seconds).  She placed 4th in her age group and 20th for women overall.   Best of all this time qualified her for the Half Ironman World Championships and the National Age Group Championships.  Just two weeks later, she placed first in her age group for an olympic distance triathlon- piece of cake after doing a half ironman (I guess).

Jen proves that it is possible to achieve your goals even if you are a busy mom.  Competing in triathlons takes prioritizing and dedication, both of which she has mastered.

When Jen was training, she invited me to ride along for 32 of her 70 miles.  Let me just say something- this girl doesn’t mess around.  You see, I joined her on her LAST 32 miles and when I got home, a fell into a heap on the floor.  She probably put on her running shoes and sprinted 10 miles; but, in order to save face, I pretended to be fine and told her to call me anytime she needed company for a ride. Continue reading

Following dreams- it’s hard work!

helpinghandsSee this picture?  Yesterday, my kids helped me out by putting together marketing materials for my business: MyOwnLittleStory.com.   Sometimes I wonder if I am pretending to be teaching them something so that I can selfishly get my work done without having to break up a fight!  Call it what you want, I will call it a good lesson in launching a business.

Thus far I have spent countless hours designing, printing, and cutting marketing materials.  I don’t have the money or the time to hire someone to do this.   Every step of the way, my kids have been helping me.  They pull stuff off the printer, stack pages in order, punch holes and help me clean up the paper scraps.  They see how hard I am working to spread the word on my business.  Today I sat at the Manhattan Beach Farmer’s Market handing out fliers and promotional materials.  I was there for 6 hours and 15 minutes.  One of my sweet friends stopped by to ask,” Have you made any money yet?”  The answer: “No, but I am not deterred”.  People have bought gift vouchers, but considering I paid my babysitter $100 bucks and $25 to the Farmer’s Market for my booth, and $50 for ink and paper to print all this stuff- I haven’t made any profit…yet.

In order for me to just break even for all I have spent- I need to sell 1,000 books.  Yep, you read right: ONE THOUSAND books.  Some of you might think I should throw in the towel right now.  But dreams are priceless and so is the lesson I am teaching my kids!

Kicking and Screaming- phase two of ocean swim complete

lifeguard shack and hermosa beach piercrThis ocean swim goal is testing me mentally.  In almost any sport, I see myself as having some sort of dignity.  I get out there, work hard and regardless of how tired or sick I feel I rarely quit or complain.  But ocean swimming is a slightly different deal.

The other day I met my friend (Robin), who is an amazing swimmer, and a swim coach (Eric) to get in the ocean and swim for a bit.  The thing is, I sort of cheated.  I wore a pair of swim fins.  Not only that, but from the get go, I said I wouldn’t swim around the pier, and warned that I would get out of the water after a short while (all of this before even getting in).  But, I did get in and swim- I managed to swim a half a mile.  I started feeling sea sick from the rolling swells and called it quits. Continue reading

Susan Retik- Helping women in Afghanistan

ourwork.womenSusan’s story begins on a beautiful, clear-blue day in a suburb outside of Boston.  Her 4-year old son’s first day at his new pre-school and her 2-year old daughter’s first day at hers.  Her husband, David, had left each child a note on the kitchen table as he left on a business trip to Los Angeles.   Susan, seven months pregnant with her third child, gradually got her day started as each child was dropped off in their respective school.  While the day seemed routine on so many levels, it turned out to be quite the contrary.  This wasn’t just any beautiful day in September, this was the 11th of September, 2001. Continue reading

My Own Little Story

logo3If you read my most recent newsletter you have heard the news: I finally launched my online baby book- www.MyOwnLittleStory.com

This blog, The Inspired Mom, was born out of the concept that there must be more moms like myself.  Who had an idea, a dream, a goal and they might need some support in order to pursue their ventures.   In fact, the very reason I was able to reach my goal was because I had a support network of friends and family who wanted to see me achieve my goals.  Even though I have launched my website, I still have a huge journey ahead of me.  I need to get out there and market my book.  This is not something I have experience in doing, but then again everything I have done over the last three years has been outside of my “scope” of experience.

Up to this point, I never considered myself to be a creative person; but, as I look at my website and a finished baby book, I realize I am sort of creative.  Also, I didn’t envision myself as an entrepreneur, but I can’t think of anything else to call someone who has created his or her own business.   I knew nothing about technology or how to build a web-based business, but I have managed to ask the right people and do enough research so that I could bring My Own Little Story to life.  Now, I am going to teach myself something about marketing and public relations.  I guess in the near future, I might have to hire someone if I want it done right.  In the meantime time, I am going to harness my passion for my product and see who will share my enthusiasm

I hope that my readers will take a look at my website you can click here: www.MyOwnLittleStory.com.  There are some really cool features of My Own Little Story that have never been done before on a baby book site. Continue reading

Ten things I learned after becoming a mom

Photo on 2010-05-09 at 21.51To the left you can see my Mother’s Day gift from my boys….3 coffee mugs.  Each one asked whose mug I would drink from first…wow, lots of pressure!

Today I learned how to do a flip on the trampoline.  I didn’t quite land it and I also of pulled a muscle in my neck from the whiplash of over-rotating; but it was pretty impressive (at least my kids enjoyed it).   It got me to thinking of some of the crazy  things I have learned since becoming a mom over eight years ago.

I have learned how to use the restroom in 15 seconds flat- including washing hands.

I have learned how to play with light sabers. Continue reading

Step one: complete

Many of you are familiar with my fear of swimming in the ocean.  My goal this year is to actually get out in the ocean and swim a mile.  Last week I completed the first phase of becoming a better swimmer.  I participated in a triathlon.  Yes, I know many people do this- and I am not really looking for accolades on doing a triathlon.  What I am willing to pat myself on the back for is completing the swim portion of the triathlon.

The swim was not in the ocean, and there was no threat of sharks- but I did manage to swim 3/4 of a mile in a freezing cold, somewhat disgusting lake in the midst of 100 other feet and bodies kicking and bumping me.  As the gun went off, I dove in and started strong (that lasted about 15 seconds).  After getting kicked and jostled my goggles were full of murky lake water and I lost my breath from putting my face in the cold water.  Fifty yards from the shore I started treading water, looking at the bouy in the distance and thinking: this is not going to happen.  Then I thought of my hours of swimming in the pool and started to convince myself that I could go the distance, I just needed to get myself situated.  I wasted about 4-5 minutes treading water, floating on my back and trying to get my goggles back in order.

I took one more look up at the buoy in the distance and put my head down and tried again.  One stroke at a time I saw myself getting closer and closer to the turning point. Just when I was gaining confidence, the men caught up to us old gals and once again I was thrown off by bodies and feet everywhere.  I had to clear my head one more time and find a rhythm that I could maintain.  I ended up breathing every other stroke rather than every three strokes.  I had to let go of my fear and just get busy moving forward.

I got out of the water in 29 minutes.  I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself once I was back on solid ground.  Once I got settled on my bike, the reality of my accomplishment in the water set in:  I can be a swimmer, I am a swimmer.  I realize many people swim greater distance all the time.  And, in the scope of life, this was just a swim- not like saving someone’s life or finding the cure to cancer.  Tucked away in each and every person is a little voice that says “I wish I could do _____.”  You feel in the blank.  I am here to tell you that you can do it.  It might require hard work or take a while to do, but you can do it.  You just have to get started.

Pacific Ocean here I come!

Water is life.

UnknownIn the last 24 hours I have been keeping track of how little I value water.   I wake up, use the bathroom and flush the toilet (there go 2 gallons), I turn on the faucet to wash my face and brush my teeth.  Even though I am careful to conserve, I am sure another 3 gallons have gone down the drain.  I make coffee (with fresh water) then head upstairs for a shower, rinse breakfast dishes and run the dishwasher.  Before 9 am in the morning, I am sure I have used at least 20 gallons of water (probably more).  Can you imagine having no access to clean water?  Take a minute to think about how you would live without one of the most basic necessities.

Even if we can’t imagine life without plenty of water, there are literally billions of people around the world that face this reality EVERY day.  I had the pleasure of meeting a woman, Kristen Kosinski, who created The Samburu Project that has already helped over 20,000 Kenyans gain access to clean water.  When I heard about Kristen, a million questions raced through my head: How did she get started on this mission?  Why did she chose Africa and where does she find the strength to keep this project going after giving birth to a son who is now almost two years old?

Continue reading

Healthy Sweet Pea Soup

peasou[Ingredients:

1 TBS of Canola Oil

1 leek- white part only

1 white onion- chopped

1 small zucchini chopped

1 TBS of Arrobio rice (Or whatever rice you in your pantry)

2 cups of frozen petite green peas

3 cups of water

Directions:

Heat 1 TBS of Canola oil over medium heat, add leek, onion and zucchini- stir to coat with oil, reduce heat and let soften for 10 minutes.  Add 1 TBS of rice and 3 cups of water- raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add peas and simmer for another 10 minutes.   Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes to cool.  Use an immersion blender or standing blender and carefully puree the soup.  I stirred in a pinch of salt and pepper to add flavor.  This makes about 4 servings.