Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm alive.... really

Hi everyone!

Well my poor shop on 1000 Markets and Etsy have sat for a while for a few reasons.

A) My husband is a submariner with the US Navy and recently just left on a patrol. Getting ready for a patrol is like trying to shove a hippo into a pair of technicolor tights. It's not fun and it just isn't a pretty process.
Trying to help your husband accumulate and pack the appropriate items for a long cruise amid what chaos a daddy-loving 3-year-old can produce is akin to poking my eyes out with twizzlers. It's slow and painful and not something I look forward to.

B) Amid all this craziness, my son - who has a severe speech delay - underwent a series of evaluations by both the Naval Hospital and the school district. Thank the Lord and his tie-dyed underpants because everything came out OK. It's a very scary feeling having your child evaluated for Autism and other issues.
He was deemed a bright yet quirky child and an appropriate preschool schedule and speech therapy plan was hatched.
I can't wait for the day my child does not turn the word Banana or Clap into something naughty. Nothing makes me want to run for cover more than my toddler screaming "PO-NANA!" in the middle of the grocery store. Add in a good "CRAP CRAP" instead of CLAP. Or "HOCKER" for HELICOPTER and you have yourself quite a good show.

C) Now this is a VERY good reason for having neglected my online store fronts. I've been filling custom applique orders for two different stores. One is based in Birmingham, AL and uses my designs as part of their clothing.
Another is a fellow friend and artisan who is redirecting her store to feature more custom pillows and shams.
While not millions of dollars both have kept me very busy and creatively challenged.

Amid all the craziness I have also decided to refocus Moose Threads toward strictly appliques or appliqued items. Over the past year or so I've begun to notice that the majority of my customers come to me for the applique itself and not necessarily the item it is on. This way my customers can choose the appliques purpose.
For example: One person commissioned 6 custom dragonflies based on a swatch of fabric. These dragonflies were then incoporated into a quilt design.
Another customer took an applique and sewed it onto a jean jacket, another a shirt and yet another a beach towel.

So after seeing where my customer base is I've begun stockpiling appliques and new designs with the plan of adding these items into my store over the next few weeks.

So stay tuned.....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Running away

I noticed the past two weeks that my self confidence had started to wane and that I hadn't visited my usual twice-weekly step class or Tuesday morning weight routine. I even found myself lagging during my session with my amazing trainer Janice.

Now if I'm not enjoying a session with Janice then something's wrong. She may be all of 5-feet nothing, but Janice is solid muscle and with more energy than the Roadrunner after a hit off a crack pipe. Even if your entire body felt like jello and your insides wanted to make a run for it out your eye sockets from sheer pain - Janice would still make you wanting more.

I was not myself.

It's been a stresseful few weeks as I have mentioned and I think that now that I've had a chance to slow down and take it all in, that my mind can't handle everything at once. When this happens I tend to fold back into myself and eat the pain away.

I found myself going for high-carb, high-sugar items that left me burned out and dead tired. I was living off drip coffee and zero water. The scale was sticking at 212 although just the week before I had hit a 5-pound loss reachin 210. I REFUSE TO HEAD BACK DOWN THE SLIPPERY SLOPE.

When I felt myself start to panic after a near run in with some people who in the past made me doubt myself and feel like an outsider - something I thought I was WAY past - I new I needed to find a way to grab hold of something and climb back out of this wave of depression.

So I've decided to do two things.

Return to writing
And return to running

Writing has always been my refuge and the best way for me to express myself. I used this blog heavily as my own form of therapy when talking just made me feel worse. And I could care less if people think I'm lame, or people think I'm whiney or people just think I'm plain nuts. If they dont' like what I have to write about don't read it.

I think a lot of my newfound anxiety is being triggered by the fact that we are appraochign the 1-year mark of my first real anxiety attack and first real experience with feeling lost in this world. It is a very deperate feeling to not know who your friends are or who you can trust. It's like being dropped into a pool of crazy glue where you feel stuck and unable to free yourself from the pain.

I'm finding myself sticking my neck out there again and I'm waiting with eyes squeezed shut and breathe held for the axe to fall. The HAHA we got you SUCKER!

It was right after my first anxiety attack that my friend Karen pushed me to start running with her as a way to not only help me cope but as a way for her to train for triatholons. I found running difficult, but very freeing. Though I was a slow runner, I used that time to sort things out in my head. It gave me a goal to push for and something to look forward to. It was me and the clock and no one else.

The more I ran the better I began to feel and I even lost a few pounds along the way - until I injured my shins. Not being able to challenge myself left me a little lost. Over the next fall and winter I gained 25 pounds and hit my highest weight ever. I was busting out of a size 16 and teetering at 215 on my 5 foot 3 inch frame. My back hurt and all I wanted was to sleep all day.

A trip home to visit family only hammered a few extra nails into coffin for my slowly dying self esteem.

Enter Karen again.

Upon arriving home she whipped out the new race schedule and motivated me to get back to the gym. This time I hired a personal trainer who not only knew my struggles but really pushed me to better myself.

The first 5k I did was tough and I came in second from last at a measly 44:40. Little did I know I was running in the wrong pair of shoes and slowly destroying my heels and shins. The second 5k a few weeks later I came in even slower at 50 minutes. With shin pain so severe I was forced to walk the majority of the race, again coming in second from last. I felt a bit like a centipede who was born with all left feet.

Though devestated Karen and our friend Kristen reminded me that what mattered was I finished.

The next weekend after a pow-wow with Janice and Deb - my step instructor - Robert took me to Poulsbo Running to get properly fitted for a pair of running shoes. The difference was amazing and It was sheer torture to forgo running for a month while my shins healed. In the meantime Janice and Deb pushed me through thier own versions of cardio and resistance hell in an effort to repair my shot muscles and build up my strength.

I wasn't sure if any of it was working until tonight when after thinking too much about last year and starting to feel the hurt and sadness well up I found myself reaching for the junk food.

It was late, the kiddo was asleep but I couldn't turn off my brain.

So I decided to try an experiment.

I laced up my running shoes and hopped on the treadmill. It was awkward at first but I managed to pump out 2.3 miles in 35 mintues. I alternated walking with 1 minute sprints. It was tough but I felt more alive and that I was doing something with my grief.

Hopefully this time when I run away from stupid people and situations I'll hit my stride and leave them in the dust.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life's lovely speed bumps

The past few weeks or so I have felt my depression attempting to grasp for a firmer hold on my life.

The social awkwardness has begun to set in again - where I feel like I don't really fit in and am only along as a gesture of goodwill or someones inability to get rid of me.

I feel like my mouth and my brain aren't running at the same pace, thus putting me in some strange situations. Imagine my brain is Shamu attempting to run a marathon, while my mouth is the Roadrunner taking on a 5k race in a motorized scooter.

Not good.

We have officially gotten one week of patrol out of the way and it hasn't come without the typical Murphy aspects that usually latch on to me faster than a Laguna Beach reject latches onto a pseudo-reality show.

Day 1, my cat decided to have my record player take a nosedive from a very tall shelf. Since most of my collection is on vinyl, needless to say I wasn't too happy.

Day 2, I walked into an appt. with a pediatric developmental specialist for my son, under the guise it was for hyperactivity. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It was in fact a screening for Autism and Autism Spectrum.

Talk about feeling as though you went to the plastic surgeon asking to look like Angelina Jolie and woke up looking more like Brad Pitts ugly sister with the lazy eye.

Nothing can prepare you to hear the word Autism in reference to your child.

Thankfully, he is fine and there was no diagnosis, but it has left me questioning my faith in the care we have been receiving through the Navy.

Day 3, Robert's mom informed me that their beloved family dog died. Talk about losing a member of the family. Abby was not just a dog, but a wonderdog. Her best friend was the family cat and her ability to herd David around the house was in fact better than my own.

Thankfully there have been a few bright spots along the way.

David gave up the binky and we are successful done with that aspect of his life.
He also have begun to potty train again with some success.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to shake this cloud of doubt that is trying to swallow me up. I don't want to go down that road again.