From Here To There

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Yeah, I’m terrible at keeping this updated. Shocking. Well, it’s a good goal for the upcoming year week. YEA Me!

In case you missed it… In May 2012, I stopped eating wheat/gluten.

In August 2012, my husband and I returned to my hometown to attend my 20th high school reunion. No one told me that if you take your husband to your 20th reunion, have an entire weekend without your child around… that you’ll be expecting a baby on May 2, 2013! Whoa. Beyond shocked. We’d been trying for a while… even to the point of going on Chlomid for 6 months (about 2 years ago, I think)… no luck… then meeting with an infertility specialist who wanted to charge a lot of $$ to run all kinds of tests but honestly said, “You may have to consider IVF if you really have to have another child.” Ummmm, no. One, IVF is CRAZY EXPENSIVE. Two, it is an ethical dilemma for me because it would be against my faith to create several ’embryos’ and just keep them frozen or have them destroyed. I’d be paying a lot of money to destroy a human… which seems a lot like abortion… and I can’t wrap my heart/brain around how that would be OK for me to do. So, yeah, not an option. That was maybe 18 – 24 months ago that we were a “one and done” family when it came to children. I put on a smile and tried so hard to be OK with it. Actually, I knew that most people didn’t really care if I was OK with it or not, as long as I smiled and put on a front that this was the way life was and we were happily accepting it. A few people knew of the inner turmoil and struggle it was for me. There is nothing like having your child pray for a baby brother or sister every night and knowing that you can’t do anything to provide that sibling. There is nothing like having your child ask you repeatedly why we’re not having a baby… as, it felt, everyone around you was having child #2, #3, #4, etc. It was almost painful to go to church each week because, for whatever reason, the church we attend has a constant supply of new babies being born regularly. This isn’t an old-and-dying congregation. It’s more of the young families/older aunts & uncles family kind of church. By this I mean that there are a lot of young kids in the church… and a lot of young families that can’t really financially support a church. So there are a good share of middle aged and older people who are ’empty nesters’ (or close to it) who can and do financially support the church more so than the young families are able to at this time. Wow, what a model for the nation to follow… if only it were that easy! I digress… but if your tax rates were lower as your children were young (and even until they’re in/through college) and then tax rates steadily climbed as you did not have to support your children (as much) financially… well, what a concept.

 

Back to babies. Some days it felt like a knife in my heart. Why was I defective? We had no issues getting pregnant in summer 2006, so why was this a problem ever since then? Confident that we weren’t able to have more kids, we made the bold decision to refinance our home in June 2012. Going from a 30 year mortgage (we were ‘only’ 9 years into it) to a 10 year mortgage was a little scary, but when we did the math, our new interest rate was about 40% less than the original rate (which was a very ‘good’ rate when hubby bought the house in 2003)… and, realistically, the new payments would add about $225/month to our existing payment (which, essentially, was to cover our property taxes and homeowners insurance). That seemed more than doable. Our cars are aging quickly (2001 and 2002) so we even researched and set a budget to replace one vehicle now and another one in a year or two. However, since hubby is indecisive about cars (he likes too many to make a final decision in a timely matter) and I’m apathetic to the type/size/style of a different car, we felt like we were in no rush. If we could nurse our current vehicle(s) another 6 or 12 months, that was just more time to save towards a down payment. We were thankful that we didn’t have the expense of diapers, formula, baby food, more clothing, and especially daycare. Life was good for us and getting brighter financially. We’re able to afford swimming lessons and dance lessons… among all other kinds of park and rec activities for our daughter… during the summer. Yes, she was and is pretty spoiled at times but she hears “no” a lot as well, Especially, sadly, when it came to her longing desire for a baby brother or sister. So for months we remembered our friends/family who were expecting babies in our prayers each night. And whether she spoke the prayers aloud to me each night or not, she was praying for a baby sibling for herself. f

I still can’t explain the why or the timing. Even my OB (who did the 6 months of Chlomid for me two years ago) exclaimed, “How did this happen NOW?” Yeah, he knows how it happened… but the timing shocked him too. I told him it was 2 years of prayers from my daughter and he said, “Well, divine intervention, then!” Amen, doctor.

Now life has been turned on its head and I couldn’t be happier or more scared. Once the baby is healthy, happy, and in my arms (God willing!) I will be overjoyed to have a tiny new baby in our home again. Once the baby is here, I will be stressed out wondering how we’ll ever pay for daycare again. The daycare centers around here charge about twice what we paid for in-home daycare for our daughter. I know God has a plan… but God knows that I’m a worrier, so you’d think He’d clue me in on His plan early on so I don’t worry and stress about it needlessly all these months, right? Apparently not. Trust and obey. Those are the two most challenging commands in our world. Wait and see are the two others!

I personally think that the problem this whole time has been wheat/gluten. I don’t think that I was always allergic to it, but I think that it has gotten worse and worse since I probably turned 30. Such a difference in my mental clarity (no more daily headaches) and in my guts (nothing like painful gas, bloating, etc to deal with on a daily basis). I guess it also causes immune problems and that can cause problems with fertility. Who knew.

 

Now I’ve taken you from “there” (where life was in June/July 2012 before I was pregnant) to “here”… and there’s more to update you on but I’ve been awake for 2.5 hours in the middle of the night (oh pregnancy joy!) so it’s time to close for now.

Blessings and peace.

 

 

 

Oh, Summer…

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It’s the “boredom buster” part of summer… I have to say, I LOVE that I have a 5 year old. She can do so much this summer and it has been wonderful to have her out-and-about for most of the summer. Gone are the long, long days of being at home with mom or running around to many places that mom had/wanted to go to prepare for the upcoming school year.

To put things into perspective…

Summer 2008, she was about 16 months old. She & I drove 1450 miles across the country for my new job. My husband stayed behind to stay at his job while our house was on the market. Once I arrived at our new home/my new job, she spent the majority of her time with me in my office before school started. Then she spent her days at daycare, or with me… at home, at school/my office… it was fine and she was little, but I felt bad that she had to play and learn to entertain herself (to some extent) while I worked.

Summer 2009, we returned to our original ‘home’ because the house didn’t sell and I had a job offer here that was much closer to home than where I’d previously worked (before the 2008 move)… Anyhow, we got back in time to find out that our refrigerator died. Seriously. You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal, go buy another one!” When my husband bought this house in the early 2000s, “bisque” and “almond” were the popular colors. Not so in 2009! He didn’t want to go with a different color since it wouldn’t match our stove… so wait, wait, wait we did. On the positive side, it’s amazing how much weight you can lose when you can only buy/store things in a cooler and you have to keep adding ice (from the gas station) to the cooler! She my sweetheart was not quite 2 and 1/2, she had spent a whole school year without her daddy, and now we were back to our old home. That summer, I didn’t get the new job offer until August, so things were in flux for much of the summer… it was pretty stressful.

Summer 2010

Our now 3 year old enjoyed a week in Orlando, FL with mom, dad, and grandparents. We took her to Disney, she freaked out met the “Princesses” and went on some rides… It was a good June. Then came terrible news. My school was downsizing and I was being RIF’ed. In a tiny, Private school where no one else wanted to teach the grades that I was teaching. I was stunned. I was freaked OUT. I didn’t make a lot of money but it was just enough to help with our expenses with our house, my student loans, our daughter’s daycare… I liked my job, I had a good school year (not easy, but good), I brought new ideas/enthusiasm, and I loved that my daughter was just down the hall from my classroom. I didn’t want to get a different job. I liked having summers where I could work from home and create my own schedule. (No truly good teacher has his/her summer “off”… They are constantly thinking about things for the upcoming year. It’s genetic. We can’t turn it off!)

Well, I’ll spare the details, but I ended up getting my job back but the dynamic at school has never quite been the same. That’s a story for another time!

So the happy-Disney-summer turned freak-out-horrible summer turned relax-I-have-a-job-again summer meant a lot of changes for me. I spent time at school because I switched classrooms. Once again, she spent a LOT of time in my classroom with me because, Thank God, I didn’t have to put her in/pay for daycare in the summer!

Summer 2011

She was now 4 and could sign up for some Park and Rec classes. We did Mommy-and-Me swimming lessons… with a bunch of the under-1 crowd. Oh well, she enjoyed it. She & I have been swimming together since our great migration in the summer of 2008, so she loved the water already. She did soccer lessons, t-ball lessons, and “Friday Fun in the Park” days — an hour of themed games (edible creations, Curious George, etc).

We did FOUR (count ’em!) Vacation Bible Schools. The first week that school was out, we did the evening one at our own church (just participated, didn’t have to help/lead anything) and we went to the one at the church that is a ministry partner with the school where I teach. I taught the 3rd/4th grade class for that VBS. (Loved it!) Mid-July, we drove an hour to/from my former school so I could once again help lead part of the VBS. (Loved it — loved seeing all the old faces!) A week or so later, we repeated the second VBS but this time it was at the school location instead of the church’s location. I helped with crafts at that one. By this point in the summer (beg. of August) my little girl was up to her eyeballs in new Park and Rec experiences and doing VBS. But there were some long, long days of being at home with mom and/or being in my classroom with me.

Summer 2012

A coworker teaches summer school for the public school district each summer. She mentioned that they have summer school classes for kids going into Kindergarten. Who knew?? So I signed up my daughter for that because the girl loves, loves, loves all things “school” (Gee, I wonder why!?!)

Since we live in an older neighborhood with a corner lot and not much no backyard, I decided that I needed to sign her up for some Park and Rec activities throughout the summer. She had taken swimming lessons throughout the school year, so I knew she’d like that again. She’s also done dance lessons since she was 2.5 years old, but I thought we’d try a Mommy-and-Me tap class through P&R instead. I’ve NEVER done tap in my life, so I thought it’d be fun! I also signed her up for t-ball with her best friend (who, coincidentally, has a mom who teaches at my school…) and for karate. Then I thought about the fact that one of her grandmas loved tennis and was really good at it — so I signed her up for 4 weeks (twice a week) of tennis lessons. Crazy mother, line one.

She spent the first week of summer with my family. Mostly because I had teacher meetings that week and because it’s tradition now. She’s been staying with my family in May or June for a week since she was a year old. She loves it and looks forward to it. She loves hanging out with her uncle, with her boy cousins, with her grandparents… she gets shuttled back and forth among relatives and loves every moment of it. Every day is different and it’s just the way she likes it!

When she got back home, summer school started. 8:30 a.m. We live a few blocks from the school so we would walk or she’d bike and I’d walk. Somedays she got a ride because I would then drive over to my school to work in my classroom while she was in summer school. Other days, I’d walk back home and just spend hours organizing, cleaning, or reading. Ahhh. I had to pick her up at 11 a.m. instead of 11:30 because we had to drive over to the pool for her 11:30 swimming lessons with Tom. Oh, how she loves Tom. He was her swim instructor in the spring as well.

Then came the rest of the fun. Mondays, acrobatics in the evenings. Tuesdays — oh, Lord, Tuesdays! School, swimming, t-ball, tennis, tap dancing! Exhausting! But it made the rest of the week not seem so bad! Ha ha ha… Wednesday was karate. Thursdays was tennis again. Fridays we were done once swimming lessons were over at noon. Ahhhh.

Two weeks of that schedule and then it was the 4th of July week already. We drove her to my in-law’s house and she spent the week there with them and her girl cousin. She loves it. It’s just different. More time outside (they don’t have a lot of neighbors). Not as much shuttling around… actually, not any shuttling around. Just time with her grandparents, aunt, and cousin. They went to different things around their small town, even the fireworks, and she made some good memories.

Now I feel like maybe I’ve created a hustle-and-bustle ‘monster’ because I don’t think she really knew what to do with herself. It was maybe too calm and too relaxing. Yikes — I hope she can actually appreciate times like that!

Once she was back home, it was more of the same… school, swimming, sports. Rinse, repeat. Two more weeks flew by. I was busy at school, painting my classroom while she was at her school. Then all the school and sports were done. She did have VBS last week. I taught a group of 3rd-4th graders again (they were AWESOME!) and she loved her class. So our mornings were taken care of. We found things to do in the afternoons too. Not as crazy and busy as before but we still found things to do. 

Then there is this week. Nothing planned. No place to go and no schedule to follow. Sounds great except that it’s not. I know that people often daydream about retirement and having no place that they “have” to be and no schedule that they “have” to keep. But there is a certain loneliness and emptiness once all the activity stops. It’s the “empty nest” of our summer and we weren’t sure what to do with ourselves.

Poor girl was literally so ‘bored’ yesterday that she asked to call my mom so she’d have someone new to talk to. (Nice!) She didn’t talk long and then decided to sweep the kitchen. (I don’t understand her either!) After about 30 seconds of that, she spotted her Barbies and began playing with them while I finished sweeping and talked to my mom at the same time on the phone.

As much as she says she doesn’t like these ‘down’ times… I think she needs them. She’s spent so much of her summers having to entertain herself for at least short periods of time that she’s really GOOD at it. She can play Barbies for hours; she does all the voices, makes up all the names, etc. Then she will get out her art supplies or her play-dough or even a pencil and paper. Yesterday she found some old Hooked-On-Phonics workbooks that my dad had found at a yard sale and given to me. I forgot we even had them. She said, “Mom, I think we should work on these.” I went through the first workbook with her (letters, rhymes, sounds) and she aced it. She decided at that point that she’d just sit at the table and start coloring in the letters on the pages. Later, I found that she’d gotten into some of my teaching items. On the floor was a blank piece of paper that she’d written (copied) “Grades” on it. Wow-za!

Our new ‘game’ this summer is “Slug Bug”. You know the one, right? You see a VW Beetle car, call out the color and then yell “Slug Bug! No backs!” Well, it loses something when it’s just mom and a 5 year in the vehicle. But we still have fun. We try to see which one of us can spot more “slug bugs” during the day as we travel around town. I get more than she does, but she’s getting pretty good. In all our nerdy fashion, however, she told me that we should keep track of how many we see each day. I told her that we’ll make a chart and we’ll also graph what colors they are so we won’t forget!

We have a 2002 Honda CR-V. Some time ago, she decided that our Blue CRV is named “Isabella”. No clue where she got that name, but that is the vehicle’s name. On the way to/from school, she’d have ‘conversations’ with Isabella. Isn’t her hair nice today? Mom, do you like the skirt that Isabella is wearing? The creativity never stops. This summer she has decided that whenever she sees a CRV of a similar era (not the new, sleeker ones!), it must be part of Isabella’s family. Here are the rules — if it is another blue one, it is Isabella’s brother/sister (she’ll let you know by telling you their name); if it is a silver one, it is Isabella’s grandparent (again, she’ll tell you the name); if it is a red/maroon one, it is Isabella’s father; if it is a white,gray, or any other color, it is either Isabella’s mom or aunt. Seriously. This kid amazes me and kind of scares me with how systematically her mind works.

Next week, btw, is Lego Camp in the afternoons. Much to her delight, there will be no more unscheduled activities like the children’s museum or going swimming… it will be structured activity… and something new. Thank you, Groupon.

 

 

 

The sweetest thing…

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I wanted to share part of the email I wrote to Laurette Willis, creator of “Praise Moves”…

The Praise Moves PM program was so different for me. The stretches felt great — not too hard for me to do/hold — and hearing the Word of God and the positive Christian messages made a HUGE difference for me. This was just the extra “dose” of God’s Word that I’ve been searching for in my daily routine this summer. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased some foam mats and covered our entire basement (concrete) floor with them so that I would have plenty of room to do the workout. My 5 year old daughter (who is tall and lanky…and can stretch in a million directions… and LOVES the Lord with all her heart, mind, and soul!) asked to do the PM workout with me. She LOVES it too. She asks me every evening if we can do our “Jesus stretches”. How sweet is that for a mother’s heart to hear??

Pray As You Go

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Pray As You Go

http://www.t-tapp.com

http://www.praisemoves.com

I’ve been searching for a way to improve my flexibility. I’ve also been searching for a way to improve my meditation/devotional life. I know that might sound odd but during the school year, I have a great routine: staff devotions/Bible study before school, prayers and devotions to start the day with my students, teaching religion as a class, then prayers before the meal, and prayers before dismissal at the end of the day. I go to Bible study with other women, I play music for my church. I’m just immersed in a routine that surrounds me with quiet prayer and fellowship with other believers.

Once school is out, things change. We pray before meals and do bedtime devotions and prayers. But I’ve just been missing out on something.

One of my favorite memories was working at camp in the early-mid 1990s. I was a counselor and every morning, before my camper girls would wake up, I’d go outside my cabin and sit on the ground. The sun would be rising over the lake and I would say Luther’s morning prayer and do a devotion. The peace and calm was awesome and it helped me through a very, very crazy (but wonderful) summer.

I don’t know how to recreate that, all these years later. Hustle and bustle seems to always seep in. A mentor recommended Pray As You Go (see link) and I’ve really enjoyed that, but I’m still missing something.

As for the physical flexibility. I’ve had people recommend Yoga and Pilates to me. I tried a Yoga/Pilates dvd and some early morning workouts on tv. I wasn’t a big fan of yoga because the poses seemed too hard and I didn’t like the Hindu chant/meditation/feel of it. Pilates just seemed REALLY hard on my back/neck. Didn’t seem like something I could really see myself doing for the long term. One workout that I found that I really DO enjoy is from Teresa Tapp. See her link — she’s shared incredible information, enthusiasm, inspiration, and encouragement with me and many others over the 12+ years since I first ordered her T-Tapp system. One important element of T-Tapp, though, is the need to focus and concentrate on how you are moving your body. I love that because it gets results. I hate that because sometimes I get SO focused on trying to do it perfectly that it really stresses me out…half the time I don’t realize that I’m stressing out about it!

What’s a girl to do? I recently found a website called “Praise Moves” (see the link). Using stretches that are similar to yoga but with Christian Bible verses and meditation, these DVDs seemed promising to me. I ordered one of the new DVDs and it was backordered, so they were nice enough to send me the AM/PM Praise Moves as a free gift. I love it. My little girl and I do the PM workout before her bedtime routine. She is SO flexible and I am SO not… but it’s a great chance to bond and stretch and meditate. Sure, I’d probably get more out of the meditation part if she WASN’T right next to me, but I don’t care. It’s demonstrating that taking care of our body and souls is important. And, I hope, it’s a good memory that she’ll always have to take with her as she grows.

Dr. Oz’s “Faturday”

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Dr. Oz’s “Faturday”

OK, call me Crazy (like that’s hard to do!) but I was wasting time researching ways to get healthier, online, and found out about something called calorie zig-zag. Have you ever heard of it? Yeah, I don’t know what it was either.

It works this way: instead of eating the same amount of calories every single day of the week, you eat the same amount of calories for three days (Sun-Tues), then increase your calories by 20% on one day (Wed), back to the regular amount for two days (Thurs-Fri), and then increase your calories by 10% on the last day of the week (Sat). The theory, from the way I understand it, is that your body won’t know what to expect and will be getting enough calories to be active and lose weight but will also get a little ‘boost’ of calories (and energy??) on those two “zag” days. This is so foreign to me.

I did watch the “Dr. Oz” show a week or two or several ago (because it’s summer and I’ve actually GOT that kind of time now!) about “Faturday”. The concept there is that you give yourself ONE day a week to ‘pig out’ or ‘fall off’ the diet wagon; by allowing yourself to do that, you will stick to the lower calorie days and won’t be as tempted to cheat. See the link to check it out for yourself…

The thing is, for me anyway, I don’t know that I can really just ‘pig out’ for one day and then be perfect the rest of the week. That’s asking too much for me. I have to admit that since I cut wheat out of my diet (OK, I confess, not 100% out but I’m working on it…), I find that my mood swings and cravings have gotten much better. But I don’t want to risk getting off track from a schedule one day and then… knowing myself as I do… NOT getting back on the schedule again for days, weeks, months, years. Sigh.

So I think that a calorie zig-zag will be a better option. For me. It’s worth a try. I joined a website and downloaded an App so that I can map and track my activity and my food/water. I like that I can track my calories and how much protein, carbs, fats, etc. I’m hoping that it won’t take too long before I’m in the ‘groove’ and know how many calories are in my go-to meals from home so that I can plan accordingly.

Here’s to good health! Salud!

I’ve got a Map and I MIGHT know how to use it…

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For weeks, OK maybe months, I’ve been thinking about this blog. Wondering if/when I should start writing. Why I should bother to put it all down. I realized that if I’m struggling with something, chances are that others are too. Or they’ve been there, done that, and what to help others through the rough times.

I’ve felt stuck in a rut for the last 3 years. I’m not kidding. THREE years. I felt like I was forced to give up my dream job, move away from some of the most awesome friends I’ve ever made, move back to a place that never has felt like ‘home’ to me, and go back into a job that has never felt 100% my best fit. And even less so now, I guess. The one advantage…the only good thing… about the move was that I was reunited with my husband. We didn’t have to live apart anymore. I didn’t have to be a ‘single parent’ to our young child anymore. No more missing out on milestones; no more sleepless nights filled with endless anxiety for me. THAT part has been awesome. The whole giving up my dream job and wonderful friends part has sucked. Big time.

I appreciate that I WAS able to get the job that I currently have; and I’ve made new friends, so that’s been a huge blessing too. Don’t get me wrong; I stepped into a job at the WORST possible time and somehow I’ve managed to enjoy myself at times. But I’ve also had a lot of stress and anxiety. I’m a broken record about those things. One step forward, two steps back… seems to be the dance moves of my life.

One other thing I’ve missed in the past 3 years — flexibility and time to work out. I used to drop my child off at daycare, go to work, leave work right on time, go to do my workout, pick up my child, and go back to my office to get some more work done in the evenings. When it was just the two of us, we could have supper whenever we wanted to; we didn’t have cable or internet at our home, so we spent a LOT of time at my office. But I had the chance to work out. I would walk/run on the treadmill and then sit in the outdoor hottub, which was open 365 days/year, even in the winter. I was do arm bends, squats, etc in the warm water. Sounds crazy but it really did help my muscles. And it felt SO good.

Part of being back home is that 1) it doesn’t feel like ‘home’, and 2) we live in a terrible area for walking/running/biking. Lots of train tracks and not a lot of trails or paths for riding bikes. I grew up riding my bike on the sidewalks and always felt very safe doing that. Here, you’re supposed to ride your bike on the street. The traffic FREAKS me out. So, sadly, I shy away from biking. I used to ride on the streets about 10 years ago but that was only until I could get to the trails around the lakes in Minneapolis. That made the stress of biking on streets worth it. And I’d get up VERY early so that there wouldn’t be as much traffic. That helped.

As I was debating about starting this blog, I was searching the internet and stumbled upon an App for my iphone that would log my bike rides, walks, runs, etc. As much as people may hate technology, I love it. Love it. Love anything that can make life easier and more fulfilling for me. Anyhow, I realized that if I could map out what I WANT to ride and then record what I DO ride, that might be some good motivation for me!

I also have struggled with what I’m eating and not eating. Since cutting out (OK, not completely, but definitely cutting DOWN) wheat from my diet, I find myself overeating other types of food. I’m just stuck for ideas of what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, etc. I found a website to tell me how many calories I SHOULD be eating… and how I can switch up the number of calories that I eat each day to help my body burn more calories. Well, I finally feel like THAT is some sort of ‘mental map’ for me to work with! Now I just need to start tracking calories (the best that I can) to figure out what I can eat/how much in order to stay in that calorie range. FINALLY, some direction! Will it work?

Only time will tell.

Which, by the way, is why I keep going back to my job, year after year. No two days are ever the same so while I can feel like a complete failure one day… the next day may have me laughing and enjoying myself so much that I can’t believe I get paid for this.

Why a MENTAL lunch box?

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I grew up in the late 1970s, and the 1980s…when metal lunch boxes were popular. I had a Holly Hobbie lunch box, with the thermos. Then I had a Strawberry Shortcake lunch box, with the flip-top spout on the Thermos. AWE-SOME. Those were METAL lunchboxes. They don’t even MAKE lunch boxes like those these days. You can find something similar to it at places like Old Navy… but they don’t come with a thermos and they’re made in China instead of in Tennessee, like the “good ol’ days”.

I spent $30 — on clearance — to buy a bagpack and lunchbox with my child’s name on it last year for Christmas. What did this child want to take lunch in almost every day once the special lunch box was here? Yeah, you guessed it — mom’s old metal lunch boxes. You know why? Because they’re still awesome. AWE-SOME! You can stick magnets on them. You can bang them around and they’ll survive. Spill something? Easy to clean up — no need to throw it in the washing machine. Practical. Well built. Withstood the test of time.

So… when creating a blog, why would I call it my MENTAL lunch box? I wanted to call it “Cheaper Than Therapy” because I figured that my rantings, ravings, and web-land journalings would prove to be much cheaper than therapy, but someone else already has that clever name for her blog. Shucks. Missed out. Then it struck me… if I can be proud to share my kick-butt 1970s/80s metal lunch boxes with my child… I guess I can share all the practical, well built, test-of-time things from my own life with anyone who is interested. A mental lunch box indeed.