Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fabulously Fun Fundraiser to benefit the March of Dimes - Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax, 4/9, ALL DAY!

Please come out TODAY, Tuesday, 4/9, to Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax for a fabulously fun fundraiser to benefit the March of Dimes! The event will take place ALL DAY (11:30am to 11pm) and Dogfish will donate 15% of EVERY sale to the ...March of Dimes! There will also be a silent auction all day with fantastic prizes and live music, from The Slow Burn, from 8:30pm to 10:30pm! Please share this event with your family and friends! Hope to see you there! I really appreciate your support! :)   
My March for Babies team, The Fabulous Five Fitzgerald Family, is hosting this event.  To learn more about why we walk every year or to make a donation, please visit http://www.marchforbabies.org/AFitzgerald3
Here's an update list of the awesome silent auction items:
A round of golf for 4 (unaccompanied) with cart included at Hidden Creek Golf Course in Reston ($460 value)
(2) pairs of ia sophia earrings donated by Jenn Gibbs - $80 in value/$40 each
(4) $50 gift certificates to Glory Days
$50 gift certificate to Alegria in Vienna
Gift card to Stone's Cove
Lunch for 4 at Potbelly's
(3) $5 gift certificates to dunkin donuts
$75 gift basket from Great Harvest Bread
$20 gift certificate to Cupcakes Actually and coffee mug
Three month family membership to Martial Arts World, Ashburn, VA
A photography session from Alex Chalkey Photography
An autographed jersey from Redskins player Stephen Bowen - March of Dimes Ambassador Family, Stephen and Tiffany Bowen


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sacrifice of Motherhood

Something happened to me today that was so subtle, but yet, so profound.  Moments like this almost always make me want to run into a quiet room and write for hours.  If only I could carve out the time to absorb my interaction and analyze what it meant and then let the philosophy lesson flow onto the blank screen.  Yes, maybe in ten years, I will have all the time in the world to practice this process but not now.  Instead, I grabbed this moment of rare energy, late at night.  Perhaps the energy to write this post is inspired by the black starry sky staring back at me when I took our puppy outside.

It was a typical work day.  I actually decided to eat lunch - a meal I sometimes skip because I rarely get hungry during the day.  There is only one option for lunch if you don't want to get in your car and you weren't organized to bring a lunch and that option is the local deli.  I only work at the office twice a week but know I can count on the same three people to greet me when I walk in the door, prepare a delicious sandwich, smile and make small talk, when I pay for my food.  "Nice people" are my thoughts usually and then I head out the door and back up to my office, never to think about them for the rest of the day.

However, today was different.  Today was one of those moments when the Universe freezes time and forces the interaction for a reason.  There was a calling for me to buy my lunch at 2pm at a time when I would have usually skipped this meal.  I said hello and the cashier greeted me.  I went to order the special, grabbed my full strength Coca Cola, my caffeine for the afternoon, and wandered back over to the cashier.  She mentioned something about how I am only here on Thursdays and I explained I worked part-time.  And then out of the blue, the message was delivered.

The deli was quiet with very few customers and so she compliments my Coach purse, something she does weekly, and whispers, "let me tell you a sad story."

I almost said, "Excuse me, did I hear that correctly?"  But instead I leaned in and stayed quiet, not even thinking "do I have time to listen to a sad story?"  At that moment, I was her counselor and I had no where to go but right there. 

These type of occurrences happen to me often.  Random strangers, people who I have met for the first time, making a connection.  And I honestly don't believe it happens by accident.  My cousin once told me that I was very insightful.  But to be very insightful, you first must be approachable and open to whatever the Universe sends your way and then you absolutely must focus on the person and listen.

So there we were, at the deli, at 2 something in the afternoon, and her sad story began something like this "He is here all the time, even working on the weekend to get the deli ready for the week ahead.  I am here almost everyday but Sundays.  And my kids, I have two, and they are grown.  One is in college and one has graduated but I missed it all.  I was working and working and now I don't have any memories.  And then the one line zinger hit me.  I haven't had one day of vacation in sixteen years.  What did you say Deli Lady who is always kind and smiles every time I pay for my food??  You haven't had a vacation in sixteen years????  How is that even possible?  Just last week I was ASKED to take vacation because I couldn't hold up my office hours because my kids were home on Spring Break! 

I tried to be reassuring and guessed that her kids have a strong work ethic and she smiled when I said those words.  I also shared how her kids must appreciate her and the sacrifices she made for them and she shook her head ever so gently.  I immediately felt guilty of my part-time schedule and I felt a calling to then share my sad story with her and why I do everything in my power, to balance work and family.  I told her the sad story of my three angel babies and then gave her hope when I spoke to her about my three premature Earth babies.  She was quiet for awhile and you could see the pain that she was feeling for me, realizing the heartache I had experienced to have a family.
Just like that, a moment frozen in time, I bonded with the Asian deli lady and she bonded with me.  And her sad story has had a presence with me all day. 

What can I do?  How can I help?  How can I make it happen that she would get a vacation?  I'm open to idea's. Pleeaase flood my brain with your creative thinking!!!  Until I figure it out, I may have to collect money at the office and buy her a Coach purse. 

To all the momma's out there, take time to hug your precious babies and enjoy their company!  I know all three of my blue eyed, blonde hair babes witnessed a silly momma tonight because I needed to make sure they knew how much I love them but also how much fun I have being with them!  Sometimes our kids may drive us absolutely crazy but be thankful for those crazy moments because there are many momma's who make unimaginable sacrifices.  Often, we have no idea how blessed we are, until we hear a sad story, like the one I heard today, that makes us appreciate all the good, and the bad, that comes along with motherhood. 

My children are the reason I laugh, smile and want to get up every morning.  ~ Gena Lee Nolin

"Every cliche about kids is true; they grow up so quickly, you blink and they're gone, and you have to spend the time with them now. But that's a joy." ~ Liam Neeson

Monday, April 1, 2013

Slow Down, Run Fast

A blank page.  Many times I opened up this screen and knew the words I wanted to write, the message I wanted to convey but ended up running away.  The blank page remained.  The last couple of months were a struggle.  I had to take some time off to just absorb my feelings of grief.  Shadow, our puppy we adopted from Lab Rescue in January, is no longer with us.  The whole story is heartbreaking and if I begin to share the details, I will have to attend my Body and Soul strength training class in the morning with puffy eyes.  We are all still healing from the aftershock of having to say goodbye to Shadow.  Way. Too. Soon.  One of life's curveballs thrown at you.  However, this curveball knocked me to the ground.

I have also been recoving S-L-O-W-L-Y from tendinitis in my foot caused by my running craziness last Fall.  Needless to say, it has been frusterating to want to run the distance and then only be stopped mid run and have to walk home in pain.  I am learning to let go of some of my stubborness and actually listen to my physical therapist.  I'm taking each run, one day at a time and have come to accept that running 3 miles at a time is OK.  My heart sings "KEEP GOING" but my pain would slow me down.  Each day I am getting stronger with the pain slowly diminishing.  I wish I could say the pain has completely disappeared.  I am a predicting a cortisone shot in my future if I want to continue running L-O-N-G distances, like 26.2 miles and higher.

For awhile, I didn't feel like I was runner and instead, I was a swimmer, surrounded by murky water.  I haven't been my usual optimistic self.  I even became skeptical for a few days but realized it took more energy to approach life with a "the glass is half empty" rather than "half full" attitude.

I had to stay quiet.  It was important that I was mindful to my emotional and physical pain.  This explains the silence on my blog.  I don't like spilling negativity into the world so I had to slow down and stop myself from communicating the difficult stuff I was going through.  To be honest, I should have been an actress because I don't think anyone noticed what a struggle it was to just change out of my pajama's everyday.

All that silence was helpful with my healing.  I still miss him, my "Shadow" >>> that dog really did follow me EVERYWHERE!  My husband called me the "Dog Whisperer" because those nights when he struggled to breathe, I'd lie next to him and pet him gently and tell him I was there to help him and he would begin to calm down and his breathing would slow down just enough that he would close his eyes and try to rest.  Shadow's struggles far outweighed mine. 

We have a new puppy now and his name is "Lucky" bacause we adopted him on St. Patrick's Day. He has brought so much healing to all of us.  I will definitely share the whole wonderful story in a follow up post. 

My last few runs have allowed me to reach a place where I am not focused on the pain.  I have made the realization I need to stop being AFRAID and just RUN.  It feels good to be back out there, to be free, allowing my body to become a strong runner again.  I have been given clearance by my physical therapist to run my favorite upcoming race.  On Sunday, I will be running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, aka, my comeback race!  I can hardly wait to cross the Finish Line, running Free, running Fearless, running FAST!

It appears that I have crossed one finish line tonight...A brand new blog post.  No pictures. No expectations. No quotes.  Just simple words, written on a blank page, being typed at lightning speed.  May you also run fast today and embrace each moment!  Together, we will run this race called LIFE, slowing down to soak in the sadness, in order to give us the strength, to shine again.