Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Konabarbie Celebrates '1000 Ausome Things' #AutismPositivity2013

Today is the last day of April and the end of Autism Awareness month, but hopefully not the end of autism awareness and acceptance. It is also autism flash blog day. Autism flash blog day was started last year in response to a google search by an unknown person typing in the search words "I wish I didn't have Aspergers." The flash blog was created to counter the negativity of those words with something more positive.

This year the focus of the flash blog is 1000 'Ausome' Things. As anyone who's been reading my blog for awhile knows, my son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, when he was 13 years old. It's hard to believe, but he will turn 21 years old next month!

Gosh I'm old!!

To us the diagnosis was never a negative one. It was actually a relief to finally have a name to something because we knew he was different. Us meaning me and my son because at the time of his diagnosis I was a single mom and it was just the two of us dealing with the school issues, the stomach issues and the sleeping issues.

All of those issues were dealt with in time and now he is doing great in college and loving it and living on his own. I couldn't imagine him any different than what he is, Asperger's and all. Personally, with the exception of the school struggles and IEP nightmares that weren't his fault, I think he was much easier to raise than an NT child.

He struggled in high school, but not only got into the college of his choice, but made the Dean's list last semester.

He learned how to play the violin in third grade and then taught himself how to play the guitar when he was a teen using methods he learned from violin in third grade.

Not to mention he's a computer genius!

And I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom!

Yes, he's "ausome"!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Long Run, Breakfast With Friends and Taking Over The Man Cave

Image from Facebook.com- Another Broken Egg Cafe Birmingham, AL

Saturday I had a much needed break from running races, almost all of them fast, sprint races, even though one was a hilly 15k and hard to sprint, but the hills made up for it. I seriously needed a long, slow run because I haven't run more than 1 hour and 1/2 straight in over a month. My friend L, who use to be known as the running nazi, but now I will refer to her as Little L, wanted to take me to breakfast after our run since I am moving in a week.

Several of us met at 6:30 a.m. and ran. Only four of us ran the full 10 mile run and then went to Another Broken Egg Cafe to eat breakfast. Sweet Little L treated all of us and it was delicious! It was me, Little L, Mel and our running buddy, K, who looks like Morgan Freeman and I suspect might be the real Morgan so I will call him that on here. I felt honored to dine with such famous peeps! I didn't have my camera to take pictures, but I found these online that look exactly like what we ate from Another Broken Egg Cafe.

Image from Urbanspoon.com  - French Toast

Image from yelp.com - Belgian waffle 

I had delicious french toast, Morgan had the Belgian waffle, Little L had a veggie omelet and Mel had the gluten free pancake. I wish there had been more gluten free menu options around when the Boy was little.

Image from yelp.com - veggie omelet

Image from foodspotting.com - gluten free pancake

I am planning to run 13 miles with them this weekend since I'll still be here. Actually, I will still be here for several weekends until the house is sold or until we list it with a realtor. We had a very successful open house Sunday despite the rain and the fact the only ad was the open house sign we put out by the road.

I was using the Murph's man cave/office on my laptop in between showings during the open house to keep my laptop out of the way. The Murph did not really like this one bit. My cats were at my feet while I was in there and he really didn't like that either. He came in and pointed out several times that this was his man cave, no girls allowed. He pointed to his man cave plaque that was above my head.

I told him I wasn't doing anything girlie in his man cave, but this didn't reassure him. I also tried to convince him that I was authorized personnel since I am his wife now. According to the Murph, this fact still didn't authorize me. He was extremely relieved when the open house was over and me and my laptop moved back into the family room which is a co-ed zone where girls are allowed.

This morning I was informed that I had left a glass with lipstick marks on it in the man cave. I immediately went to get the offending lipstick covered glass, but the Murph said he had already "taken care of the evidence." He also informed me that he sensed a "presence" in his man cave. A girlie one and he didn't like it. Not in the man cave.

It will probably take a few days for his man cave to get back to normal. Maybe I should call a priest to help speed up the process.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fashion Friday - What I Wear

Dress: Dolce Vita similar here;  Shoes: Zigi Soho; Bracelets (old);  Butterfly ring: (old)

Jacket: Juicy Couture similar here;  Jog Bra: Addidas (old);  Leggings: Nike;  Running Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 10 here

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What My Husband Really Thinks About Me

On most days there is no telling what my husband and I will talk about and where those conversations will end up. Today has been no different except it seems like several of our conversations have made me more aware of how my husband really feels about me. It's not like I wasn't somewhat aware already, but now I have 100% proof from his own mouth.

Why?   Because it's magically delicious!
Conversation number one took place while grocery shopping this morning. While at the check out, the Murph said something rather negative about the Lucky Charms cereal I had put in the cart as the cashier was scanning it. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I immediately stated that the cereal was "for the kids" to try to cover up the fact that it was for me. Of course the Murph laughed and informed the cashier that the Lucky Charms were for me, we don't have kids at home and not only were the Lucky Charms for me, but the animal crackers inside the teddy bear container were for me too. "I'm dating a kindergartner," he said and laughed. At which point I reminded him that he wasn't "dating" a kindergartner, but he was actually "married" to one. Remember all those checks he had to write a couple of months ago? Remember that huge dress box that's still on the dining room table? Oh yeah, that!

Then in a feeble attempt to show that I wasn't totally a kindergartner, I then pointed out that the bottle of wine was mine. The Murph had his meat and beer. I had my Lucky Charms, animal crackers and wine. We had the cashier in tears by the time we left. This was the first time we didn't run her off. Usually they try to close the line and head out when they see us coming.

Number 1 thing my husband thinks of me - I'm a kindergartner.

Conversation number 2 happened right after we left the grocery store and followed along the same kindergarten theme.

The Murph: Do you smell that onion smell? I think it's those Leeks we bought.

Me: No, I can't smell anything. My nose doesn't work very good ever since I got that nose job.

The Murph: And for what? You can't even tell a difference. Your nose looks the same.

Me: How do you know? You never saw it before I had it done and yes there is a difference. It doesn't turn up anymore. It's straight.

The Murph: I saw pictures and you can't tell the difference, ski slope.

Me: Hey, that's what they called me in first grade. I was traumatized!! Ever since first grade I had vowed to get my nose done. It got even worse in fourth grade. The boy's called me "slope slut".

The Murph: Ummm, is there something you want to tell me about?

Me: No, I was a virgin in fourth grade!

The Murph: Well I should hope so in fourth grade!

Me: Are you kidding? I was still playing with barbie dolls when I was 12. I was very immature. Very!

The Murph: And you still are! You haven't changed one bit!

Number 2 thing my husband thinks about me - I'm immature (and I was still a virgin in fourth grade.)

Conversation number 3 happened this afternoon. As the Murph was scanning television channels looking for a hockey game, he came across a movie and in the description it said something about a feral girl.

The Murph: Feral girl? What does that mean? I thought only cats could be considered feral.

Me: It means a wild and uncivilized girl.

The Murph: That's YOU!! You are a FERAL girl!

Number 3 thing my husband thinks about me - I'm feral.

Those are only a handful of the weird conversations we had today. I won't even go into the one about the chick fil a cow that was waving to everybody as they drove past. I happen to be anti- chick fil a now (you can read more about that here) and the Murph knows this so he loves pushing my buttons. All in all it's good to know what my husband really, truly, most certainly thinks of me from his own mouth. It can (and probably will) be used against him at some point.

In his own words I am an immature, feral kindergartner, but my nose is straight and looks really cute even though it doesn't work right anymore.

As I was writing this post I had this uncanny feeling of being watched. Stared down by two very hungry pissed off cats who couldn't believe I had the nerve to do a blog post right in the middle of their dinner time. The demon on the right even took it upon himself to get my attention by nipping at my foot. I'm pretty sure I know what they think about me.

I'm the pushover who lets them get away with murder and knows how to open the food cans!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Expensive Wedding Dress Storage Box

I finally went to pick up my wedding dress from the cleaners yesterday after having it cleaned and preserved. I don't know how long it had been sitting at the cleaners waiting for me, but probably for a while taking up space. Apparently, it created more business for them as well because the guy working there said his mom just got married and saw my box sitting there and decided she wanted a box for her wedding dress too. It's important to have a box because this dress will follow me around wherever I go for the rest of my life even though it will never be worn or come out of the box again. That's just the way it goes with wedding dresses.

The wedding bouquet is another thing that is getting preserved and put in a shadow box, but I won't get that back for several months. I'm expecting a work of art with how much it cost and how long it has taken to get it back. I delivered my flowers to them right after the wedding in October and probably will not get the final product until September.

Reem Acra wedding gown
The wedding dress box had Cadence's sniff of approval as it was sitting on the kitchen floor. The cost to clean and preserve the gown was almost $200. According to the receipt, just the box was $50. That's one expensive cardboard box!

 I finally moved the $50 cardboard box to the dining room table. The Murph was slightly curious about the big box, but only enough to ask me where I was going to store it other than the dining room table.

I told him that I guess I'll put it down in the Boy's closet where my other dress is. The one I wore when I married the Boy's dad circa 1988. That box lived at my grandmother's house for almost 10 years before I brought it home to store. After the divorce it ended up somewhere in my basement before I felt sorry for it and brought it back upstairs to store in a nicer closet area.

 I'm still keeping this dress around because my grandmother bought it for me. We had fun going shopping together to pick it out. Believe it or not back in 1987 these giant puffy sleeves were hot. I still have the veil packed away in the box too. I'm not sure if a dress from the mid 80's is considered "vintage" or not. It's definitely retro.

Eve of Milady wedding gown 1987
I hope my boxes live happily together down in the Boy's room. I guess their next home will be in a storage unit until we get settled in a new house. This is why I tell the Murph we don't really need to downsize that much. We have stuff to store and cats to raise.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The South's Toughest 15k

I am still recovering from the "little" 15k race I did yesterday. There were a few rolling hills in it. Actually, they were more like rolling mountains, but what can you expect from a race that claims to be the "South's Toughest 15k" and the route is almost entirely in a city south of downtown Birmingham called Mountain Brook.

The race course is a point to point race starting near Vulcan Park and the Vulcan statue and ending near Liberty Park and Birmingham's own version of the Statue of Liberty. My running partner, L and I got to the race start early to meet another friend M and to pick up our race packets. There was a blue and yellow ribbon in all the race packets to wear in support of Boston and the bombing that took place during the Boston Marathon. Also, $1 of all the race entries is being donated to help the victims of the bombing. I think the Red Cross was there to take blood, but I'm not sure and I needed my blood after running those hills so, like I said, I'm really not sure if they were there or not. I didn't look for the blood mobile. I'm kind of a chicken that way!

Image from mRuns.com
Image from mRuns.com
Image from mRuns.com
Images from mRuns.com

The morning started out an usually chilly 40 degrees F, but quickly warmed up and turned out to be a beautiful day. I haven't run this race in about 8 years or more and really didn't remember it being so hilly and tough. The biggest hill is around mile 7 and it was steeper than I remember and I walked more of it this time than I remember doing the past times I've run this race, but that's okay because I'm much older too! I also may have a mental block on the hills.

My goal time was under 1 hour 20 minutes and I made it in 1:19:33 so I was very happy with that time even though it put me fourth in my age group. Since the third place winner did right at 1 hour and 11 minutes, I didn't feel too bad. There are just some freaking fast 45 - 49 year old women here in Birmingham! And it is a tough race! 

I probably won't be living in Birmingham next year to do this race, but I am so glad I got to do it this year before I leave and for those of you who live in Birmingham, I highly recommend it. You will appreciate the pain! I promise! It will make you mentally tough or maybe just mental! Anyway, today my quads are a tiny bit sore and I'm walking around kind of funny, but by tomorrow I'm sure I'll be good as new.

This was my fourth weekend race in a row and I'm not sure what I'll be doing next weekend since I have nothing on the schedule for once. Might be a good weekend to get a long bike ride in or there is a triathlon about an hour away from Birmingham that I could do. We'll see!

Image from David Christy Photography
Image from David Christy Photography

The real statues that the race is named after...

Image from Wikipedia.com

Image from birminghamrealestate.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fashion Friday - My Favorite Running Skirt and Flip Flops

This is the best running skirt I've ever purchased. I got it at Lululemon's here in Birmingham a couple of years ago. As all the Lululemon running shorts and leggings I have purchased, it has a zipper in the back for holding car keys or money and several pockets on the outside and tucked away on the inside for GU, salt pills, anything you need to get your through a long run or race. It's also great to go from your run to running errands without looking to much like you just stepped out of the gym.

The flip flops came from Saks Fifth Avenue about four years ago and I've just about worn them out. They are perfect for the beach or for wearing before and after a triathlon in transition. I shove them in my race bag before I go to the swim start and change back into them at the end of the run to get out of sweaty racing flats. Just for the record, I do NOT run in them because that would just be stupid and slow me down.  I do wish I could find another pair exactly like these, but I so far no luck!

Running Skirt: Lululemon (similar here); Running Tank: Nike (old, but similar here ); Flip Flops: Juicy Couture (old, but similar here )

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Triathlete Club Clothing

This was the post I was going to do Monday before the news of Boston Marathon came out and changed everything. Boston continues to be in my thoughts and prayers. At the Wednesday night Trak shak run here in Birmingham (Homewood) tonight we are going to have #prayforBoston event with some of the runners who ran Boston leading the run at 5:30 p.m. and then afterward there will be a prayer for Boston at 6 p.m. The Red Cross Blood mobile will be there from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for those who want to give blood. 

Now for the new post - 

I've been a member of the Vulcan Triathletes since it first started several years ago. In the past I've ordered some of the club tri clothing and did so once again this year. It finally came in yesterday. In my excitement I tried on the shorts right over the other leggings I was wearing. After I got everything on I hurried over to show the Murph.

The Murph: "Hey, do you realize you have something written all over your butt?"

Followed by uncontrollable laughing while shaking his head as I ran to check out my butt in the mirror.

He didn't laugh last month when he saw the American Express bill. Like I need more work out clothes he says!

The Murph: "So this is what I paid for? I don't get it! What are those things on your arms?"(followed by more head shaking)

That's my favorite - the arm warmers!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tragedy At Boston Marathon

Image from running.competitor.com

I was on the computer yesterday with the news channel on in the background when suddenly it was announced that explosions had gone off near the Boston Marathon finish line. I watched in horror as it was announced that at least three people were dead. I switched over to Facebook to find out if there were any news of our Alabama runners who were running the marathon. My cell phone started ringing from a couple running friends to ask me if I had heard anything about our Alabama runners.

Little by little we started getting information that they were all okay. It took three hours to find out about each individual person that was in Boston because several were still out on the course when the explosions went off. It was a stressful three hours.

I ran Boston Marathon in 2003. It was my third marathon and by far the most memorable. My friend L and I were talking about the upcoming marathon at the race last Saturday. She still hasn't qualified and that has been her goal for a long time. I would love to run it again one day since the first time I ran I was injured and it was a painful 26 miles. My time would have put me at coming in after the 4:09 time when the explosion went off. I can't help but think what if I was running it yesterday and still out on the course while my husband would have been waiting at the finish line. He would have been at the finish line when the explosions went off and I would have been on the course not knowing if he was okay or not.

This is such a sickening and horrible thing to happen during this memorable, historic marathon. It's well known not just in running communities, but by everyone around the world. I hope everything is done to find and punish the people who did this. My heart goes out to the parents of the eight year old boy who was killed yesterday and all those injured while waiting for loved ones to cross the finish line.

I read in the news that some of the marathoners went straight to the hospital after they crossed the finish line to give blood for those injured in the blast. My husband had never heard the term "running community" until he heard me use it. He thought I had just made it up until I was reading him a news article yesterday that had the term in it . There is a "running community" out there that is like a family. It is a strong and resilient community. This horrible act will not stop that "running community" from running marathons. This will not stop that "running community" from running period and will not keep them away from their dream of running the marathon of all marathons.

The Boston Marathon.

Image from Facebook

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This Week's 5k Run For Another Great Cause - Transverse Myelitis

Run 4 Mike 5k

A few months ago a good friend of ours who knew I liked to run asked if I would do a 5k run for Transverse Myelitis. Her 30 year old son was diagnosed with TM a year or two ago when he woke up one morning paralysed. He eventually was able to walk again, but TM is a very scary and unpredictable disease of the spinal cord. There is no know cause or cure right now and it can leave patients permanently disabled or worse since it can be fatal.

I agreed to race in honor of her son and raise money for research to help find a cure for this terrible disease. The run was called the Run 4 Mike, named after Mike L. Jezdimir, who was diagnosed with TM in the 1960's. You can read more about the Mike L. Jezdimir Transverse Myelitis Foundation here.
It was a beautiful day and a perfect course on paved trails in Veteran's Park in Alabaster, Alabama about 30 or 40 minutes south of Birmingham. The course was a couple of loops in one part and then an out and back the last mile which had a few more rolling hills, but nothing too bad. I've been using these 5k's as speed work since I haven't done real speed work in years. I took off as fast as I could and was in the overall lead for almost two miles before a guy passed me. I thought it was pretty cool to be behind the cyclist who was showing us where to go with no other runners ahead of me, temporarily at least.

Me with Mike
When we hit the hills around 2 1/2 miles another guy passed me, but I held on to be the third person to cross the finish line and the first female overall. I forgot to start my watch and I'm not sure but I think the time when I crossed the finish line was 22:34 or something, but I'm really not sure. All I know is my first mile was 7:24 minute mile. I felt pretty strong the entire way and only briefly felt nauseous on the hills, but it went away before I crossed the finish line.

Several of our friends were walking the 5k course for Team Daniel and wore white t shirts and white ball caps with a blue ribbon for Transverse Myelitis. I love the fringe! I would've worn one, but I think I would have gotten it all sweaty by the time I finished the run. I wore the same Lulumon tank that I wore in the Rumpshaker 5k because it fits so well, holds everything in and I love that it has wider straps that crisscross in the back. They don't dig into my shoulders and the material wicks so no sweaty wetness. I think I'm going back to Lulumon's and purchase another tank similar to this if they still carry them. I bought the one I wore during this run a couple of years ago.

Overall, a great race for a great cause. Maybe next year I will form a team for the Autism 5k (which was the one I did last weekend here) in honor of my son. The Murph and I were trying to come up with a cool Aspergerish team name but couldn't think of anything cool. My suggestions were Team Asparagus or Team Hamburgers, but the Murph said nobody would get it. Any good ideas?

Go Team Daniel!
More pictures of the fun from Facebook page of Alabama Transverse Myelitis Awareness.