Thursday, March 31, 2011

the return of superman

there are times when life is a warm breeze on a new spring day.  and there are times when life just punches you in the face.  in the middle of the night.  when you are in a deep sleep.  basking in the splendor of a wonderful weekend with amazing friends, spring practices and championships games with your kids, sunday dinner with the whole family.  and then you find yourself literally falling down the stairs in your house to call 911 because you think that the life you know is over.  
i somehow awoke from my deep sleep to see jeff standing in the doorway of our room after returning from a drink of water in the kitchen and he was telling me he didn't feel right.  then in the blink of an eye he was on the floor.   in that split second you find hell and then you run.   after missing that last step to get to the phone, i realize that i don't remember dialing, i told jeff that god must have dialed for me.  the wonderful police officer who was the first to arrive at my door asked if i hung up on the operator and i had no answer because i couldn't remember.  
i remained on auto pilot until i got in my car to drive to the hospital while jeff was en route via ambulance.  i realized by the time i got to the end of the street that i was shaking, it was cold and at the same time my mind was trying to make sense of the punch in the face. 

jeff was all checked out, all tests were normal, and blood work was good.  so after three hours inside the emergency room we walked out together with relief.  and plenty of entertainment.  
 the woman across the hall was trying desperately to convince every single person that walked into her room that every single part of her body hurt and that she needed percocet.  she left without it, much to her chagrin.  there was some cursing and a repeated, "you people don't care....."  the guy next to us shouted some good and loud one liners, "this hospital sucks!!," "my ass hurts," and then let out some academy award winning moans and yelps just because he wanted water and he couldn't have it (yet).  the nurse and i spoke of her blog worthy stories, all of which she may simply turn into a book someday.  a bestseller no doubt.

i debated whether to blog this episode, but my blog mentor and childhood friend, jen the runner, said i should.  and here are her words,
"that's part of your life and you would consider that a part of your journey... I would imagine there would be a lot of inspiration that comes out of a moment like that. A reminder of what's important to us, how fragile our lives are and how scary moments can reshape our attitudes... And the relief of it all working out at the end... and all that jazz."  she said it best...
i contacted the police officer who arrived here first and thanked him for all his concern and his ability to keep things calm.  even when there were what seemed like a bonanza of emergency vehicles with every light possible flashing outside my house at 1 am, and the 45 (or maybe 6) emt's in my living room doing a great job, ready to save the world while talking to each other like we were in central park during a free simon & garfunkel concert, as my kids (well, as meatloaf says, 2 out of 3 ain't bad) lay sleeping and he tried to keep it that way...he also pointed out to me the shirt my mom had on (she drew the short straw to get the call to come hang with the kids).   the non-imbiber with the jagermeister t-shirt.   classically ironic.

all is well.
jeff said he was given kryptonite.  and he titled his run last night, "the return of superman."   much to my chagrin.  the running, that is. 

and this story, the whole reason for the blog of last......go back and reread, "everything got a second chance today"  and be sure to listen to the songs.....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

hey love...wasting time

Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait to hear the answer.  
Author Unknown

spent last night with some amazing friends....  some things stay the same and find a way to warm your heart....  thank goodness. 

a toast to unclogging the drains and hiding tools
like patti g. who has more smiles than anyone i know...

good times

a great song....enjoy it as you stay for a while...

 we never know the imprint we may leave on someone else's life....  so pass on your joy of you...

we all have friends who are part of our destiny...
my reminder...

Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused. 
Author unknown

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?

here's the top ten, which became more than twenty, "classic" movies that jeff and i came up with as we drove to washington d.c.:
in no certain order....
i'm sure you will think of a few more to add....

  1. sixteen candles
  2. valley girl
  3. outsiders
  4. slapshot
  5. fast times at ridgemont high
  6. old school
  7. last american virgin
  8. roadhouse
  9. goodfellas
  10. caddy shack
  11. easy money
  12. the breakfast club
  13. johnny dangerously
  14. used cars
  15. point break
  16. meatballs
  17. vision quest
  18. stripes
  19. a christmas story
  20. animal house
  21. national lampoon's christmas vacation
  22. mr. mom
  23. weird science
  24. ferris bueller's day off
  25. forrest gump  (thanks jen the runner!)
and the bonus.....the hangover (a new classic)

a great time was to be had at our ladies night out fundraiser last night for our town schools, aptly named "a night a the movies."  my friend, lisa m. (all county softball player in our town growing up by the way...), pirated my camera....(well done) here are a few of her pics:

yay, i won!

my dessert was terribly wonderful....

we should had some water, lisa...
the bartender

the valet
cheering me on this morning as i ran my 4 miles, post party

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

run of the 'mill

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk

slowly, except maybe when running.  i went to the gym this morning and hopped on the treadmill being that winter has made its return on this second day of spring.  running outside in the warmth of the sun for a couple days last week was glorious.  so i returned to the 'mill alongside my morning entertainment.  the lady on the treadmill to the left of me was chatting with her peeps alongside her, three happy men walking away on their faux-pavement, sure-fire members of the AARP.  she was enthusiastically telling them about this wonderful lunch she had the other day and the salad she had was delicious.  then without skipping a beat, she announced that the salad "went right through me.....can you believe it, i felt like i had a colonoscopy."   the "boys" chuckled as they walked merrily along.  then she said, "since you are all laughing, you know exactly how i felt."   with that, i turned up the music in my little shuffle, and ran like the dickens. 

i stumbled over this while reading....  love it!
zen morphed into....sweat, breathe, and go quickly....very quickly.  for me, that is.  there are others who run circles around me, but today i wore my sweaty shirt proudly.  my little nike sportband happily reported that i ran those 3 miles at my fastest pace yet.  thank goodness tomorrow is a rest day.  and it has been said that it may also be a day of snow. again. in march.  the third day of spring. 

our dog-from-next-door visited with us abound with sunshine this afternoon, as she's done daily for who knows how long,  i (along with everyone else in this house) look forward to sharing the time with her.

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.  
~Ben Williams

a jessica original

jess being all professional
another original by jessica
little zen-ful mia reminds us to smile, breathe, and go slowly.  

one of my favorites.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

run the palisades

Be around people who can keep your energy and inspiration high. While you can make progress alone, it’s so much easier when you have support. 
Dr. Joe Vitale

thank you to everyone who has contributed to our "run the palisades" to support the diabetes foundation.  I am so proud that we have raised $967 as of today!!   THANK YOU!!

my little superhero who supports me every day when i walk out the door to run...

here is my page if you'd like to check it out...

roberta schmidt, executive director of the foundation, sent out this awesome email:  
(i can't quite get it to fit in the space....) 

thanks, roberta!!!

Diabetes Foundation, Inc.

Nicole gets a hug from her husband after completing the run!

SUNDAY, MAY15, 2011
Cliffside Park High School
7:30 am - Check In &
                 Registration Opens
9:30 am -  Healthy Kids Fun Run/    
                  Health Fair Opens

10:15 am - 5K Run/Walk

11:00 am - Awards

$20 Registration
       (USATF members - $18)
$15 High School Students
$10 Kids Fun Run
Awards in all age categories

healh fair
 in the
Cliffside Park High School Cafeteria
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  Everyone Welcome!

   The Health Fair will provide information and resources for all people and especially those with diabetes. Over 25 million people across the United States are affected by diabetes, 57 million have pre-diabetes. 
  • learn about coping and living with diabetes.
  • hands-on teaching activities 
  • receive guidance and tips on prevention, nutrition, diet plans, exercise ideas
  • opportunities to talk to diabetes specialists and local agencies
  • discussion specific to other common healthcare issues, cholesterol, high blood pressure, pain management, etc.
  • Blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and eye screenings will be available.  

 Nicole Coyle has taken part in our last two races and has just signed up for this year's "Run the Palisades" 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

Until this year, I only knew her as another runner.  This year I watched her enthusiastic start on and knew there was more to this story.  She sent me her blog which she has allowed me to share with you.

Please take the time to read Nicole's blog and see for yourself what an amazing woman she is - determined, dedicated to her family, and full of admiration for her dad who has lost his leg due to diabetes complications. 

I hope you plan to join us and run for someone who is important to you - it's a great day for a great cause. And, tell everyone about our 
Health Fair inside the Cliffiside Park High School Cafeteria - open to everyone whether you are in the race or not! Free screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, eyes and blood sugar will be available.

You can easily register for the race and also get your friends to support you at 
Download a brochure at 
and send in your application.

Teams are welcome, too - a great way to raise more funds for people with diabetes.

Look forward to seeing you! 
 Roberta Schmidt
Executive Director


runners 3


Diabetes Foundation, Inc.
13 Sunflower Avenue
Paramus, NJ  07652

kids run

Thursday, March 17, 2011

over the rainbow

mother nature gave us a beautiful st. patrick's day so i decided to run outside for the first time in i don't know how long.  due to our long, snowy winter, i have become accustomed to the treadmill.  running outside on the road and pavement is a completely different ballgame.

the remnants of winter are still all over the roads and sidewalks, there are lots of branches, rocks, and slippery mud.  i came across some petrified animals lying mid-road, ew.... a nice mailman, and several people who were quite happy to be outside doing their walking (some dressed for a major blizzard).  then i approached some spring clean-up landscapers with their dreaded noise makers that were spewing foul air in my path.  it was towards the end of the run, so i was breathing heavily while trying not to breathe at all.  this happened twice.  oh well, the run went on, i went my 3.12 miles and was quite pleased with my non-treadmill pace, on the roads with some inclines, declines, and gas powered landscaping leaf and mud blowers.

i returned to pa's to scoop up my little leprechaun and continued on to celebrate the day of sun and clover.

jess made this rainbow...

May the blessings of each day 
be the blessings you need most,
May the most you wish for 
be the least you get,
May the Lord keep you in His Hand 
and never close His fist too tight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

lighting up the sky

i am quite proud to report that i received an email yesterday saying we are the top fundraisers so far for the "run the palisades" to support the diabetes foundation. a HUGE  THANK YOU to everyone who has made a donation and for all your words of encouragement!   we truly appreciate all the generosity and selflessness.

running has become an essential, and quite frankly, therapeutic, part of my life.  i often run at the gym during the winter months because i am too lazy to put on all that gear to run outside when it's cold.  the gym offers plenty of classes and people often ask if i take them but i'd rather be inside my own head for that time.   i listen to my music and some days that may be the same song over and over.   and over and over and over..... 

love this, thank you to whoever drew it!

some days, like yesterday, i get to a little over two miles and feel like i can't go one more step, and then somehow i make it to the three miles i was hoping to run.  and then there are days like today when i am running and i look down to check my status on my little nike sportband (love, love, love that little piece of technological heaven) and it tells me that i've already run more than two miles and it seems like i just started.  those are the incredible days when you feel like you can just keep going and going.  and although i think i could have done a bit more, i went a little over four miles today because in light of my injury in the fall i didn't want to push it.  tomorrow i see my hell-raiser acupuncturist to give me a tune-up.  

running clears my brain of the baloney, helps put the hullabaloo in perspective, gives me that coveted time with self, and time to just simply breathe.  and sometimes breathing pretty darn heavy and sometimes breathing in the vicks of the guy next to me.  i feel blessed that i started running (thank you, vita!).  it has changed my life, and it's something that no one can do for me but me.  and that's some pretty productive pressure.  

i found this wonderful blogworthy blurb at


Breathing can transform your life.
If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
If you are discouraged and have forgotten your purpose in life, breathe. It will remind you about how precious life is, and that each breath in this life is a gift you need to appreciate. Make the most of this gift.
If you have too many tasks to do, or are scattered during your workday, breathe. It will help bring you into focus, to concentrate on the most important task you need to be focusing on right now.
If you are spending time with someone you love, breathe. It will allow you to be present with that person, rather than thinking about work or other things you need to do.
If you are exercising, breathe. It will help you enjoy the exercise, and therefore stick with it for longer.
If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.
So breathe. And enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste.
Tip: Put the word “Breathe” as a screensaver or desktop pic, or put it up as a note on your wall or fridge or on your desk. Then do it every time you see the word.

to end on a delightful note....  matty wrote a note to his sister today on the marker board:

proudly translated to me as, "jess is a nice sister"....  sometimes a few words can light up the whole sky. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

all you gotta do is believe in yourself...

"quiet and sincere sympathy is often the most welcome and efficient consolation to the afflicted.  said a wise man to one in deep sorrow, "i did not come to comfort you; God only can do that; but i did come to say how deeply and tenderly i feel for you in your affliction."  
~tryon edwards

my cheerleaders last spring

on may 15, 2011 jeff and i, along with a bunch of our wonderful friends, are running in the 3rd annual 5k "run the palisades" to benefit the diabetes foundation.  this is the 3rd year i am running this race. in 2009 it was my first 5k ever, i walked part of it and finished in 37.07.  i had started running in the winter of that year and through repeated cajoling from my amazing friend, vita, i finally signed up for the race.  it was the beginning of my zen-tastic relationship with running and more so with the goal of getting better and a little faster.  

vita & jeff looking at the goodies in the goodie bag from the run

vita & jeff with the gift of colon zen
last year, in 2010, jeff, vita, and i ran this race again.  the course was a little different, but it was still a great route.  i ran my best time ever, 29.33.  as i approached the finish line, jeff was already done, water bottle in hand with his amazing time of 25.25, cheering me on to run my ass off so i could beat my time from my previous personal record.  (that pr was from when we ran in hackensack in october of the fall of 2009.  i came in third in my age category with 29.54 and even got a medal.... there were only three people in my age category...but who's counting...)
my one and only medal
anyhoo, as i approached the finish line in fort lee last year, all i could think about was that i may have the need to toss my cookies.  i pushed on, and made it over the finish line while practically shoving the person in front of me out of the way as the race people took my little number ticket thing.  then i proceeded to dry heave into the bushes adjacent to the finish line as jeff handed me a bottle of water.  10 seconds later and a little circular walk to regain my breath, i was back in business.  

so this year, we run again.  we are running this race for a great cause and who knows, i may just get under those 29 minutes.  we are running for all those who live every day with diabetes, like my dad.  almost two years ago he had his right leg amputated due to complications from diabetes but continues to soldier on, loving life.  
pa & matty at kessler with little matty 2009
pa hanging with little matty 2011

he is living, driving, and working at the golf course, and happily hanging with little matty in the morning while i run in to keep my sanity.

matty just came in from outside and told me he put his chair in the chair holder all by himself because "all you gotta do is believe in yourself."  godspeed.