Friday, August 28, 2015

I Will Not Feed the Crazies...I Will Not Feed the Crazies

And, no, I'm not talking about my children.

I'm not that desperate.


However, I have come to realize that in my new quest for balance (thank you, Jen Hatmaker for your new book, For the Love. Ladies, please read. Jen, please friend me.), I just have to step away sometimes.

(again, I'm not that desperate.)

(but seriously Jen, friend me.)

Anyway, I have been trying to keep my healthy eating and running to a maximum, as I am finishing up training for a half in September as an ambassador for Team Beef. So, that means, planning long runs around our hectic pace, eating well, drinking lots of water, blah, blah, blah.

It also means following Runner's World magazine and its advice, which is usually great. I love my Brooks Ghost running shoes (although why did I pick navy blue and run exclusively on the gravel roads around me? Note to self: no more.). I love the training plans they direct me to, the core workouts that (in theory) I should be doing more often than I have been. Again, blah, blah, blah.



However, there are days that I want to scream at the community of runners who are just so danged opinionated (present company NOT excluded). We are obsessed, we runners. We are obsessed with splits and mileage and shoes and chafing.

But mostly?

We are obsessed with food.

Weird, huh?

This is why a lot of us run (present company included). We run to feel better, sweat more, and EAT MORE. I am able to maintain a good balance of brownies as long as my mileage and pace are up.

So, why am I always surprised when the topic of food comes up and red meat is the first on the chopping block? I generally comment with a witty, "we are beef producers, and I'm not dead or slow" post.

Until I saw this pop up on my Facebook feed:

If you read it, it's a happy little post about how eating red meat and all the otherwise considered "naughty" foods are really not that bad for you.

Yay for beef!

However, look a little closer at comment #1. 

Boo for beef!


As I finished reading this post and moved onto the commentary, I started to get my knee-jerkish, high and mighty, we're beef producers post ready, but stopped.

Yes, I stopped.

Why, you ask?

Don't you call yourself an advocate for agriculture?

Don't you think this is the perfect outlet for someone like me to start a conversation?

Shouldn't I have commented?

And probably yes.

But I just couldn't. If you go to Runner's World's Facebook page and read the commentary, it's just exhausting. The post reads very unbiased. It's very nicely written, a quick read, a factual piece that preaches moderation in diet. Perfect, in my opinion. However, these friends of Runner's World are cray-zay. They are so hot about this topic that it's almost laughable. 

And I just can't even.

I can't run with them. Literally and figuratively.

I won't feed these crazies. 

The anonymous nature of the Internet is just too much some times, and while I have written commentary to folks on public posts such as this, and have even gone so far as messaging a journalist who did a truly crummy job covering a story about our school district (she actually trolled Facebook for some fodder...real journalism there), I have decided to draw my line in the sand. I can't try to change these people's minds, so why should I even comment in this thread, or any other like it when it will just end up ugly and with some sort of "agree to disagree" ending.

I will gladly strike up a conversation, face to face. I will happily write a blog debunking different viewpoints, but Facebook commentary has just become too much for me. Fighting on Facebook is like junior high, and I hated junior high.

So, if you feel so inclined to feed the crazies, head on over to Runner's World and comment. I would gladly "like" your post. 

However, I gladly offer a "no comment." 

I refuse to feed the crazies.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Just a Little Recap

This blogging thing has gone to the back burner. And when I say back burner, I mean like the burner that we never turn on and have to dust off when we're cooking Thanksgiving dinner (if I ever had to do that, thank you Mom and my sister in laws!).

I feel like last year was the most hectic year ever (If you're new this post, and then this one, then this one, and maybe even this one, and you'll thank me later, and maybe give me an adult beverage or a handshake when you meet me).
(and, by the way, that was fun to look for those posts! Oh the days that have all melded together from last year!)

However, this year, although quiet right now as the front half of the kid crew is now at school, I have had trouble finding my groove. So, unless you want a whiny, I'm so busy, and yet I can't ever get anything done (see my closets) post, here's just a little recap of the past few weeks via my iPhone.

The big girls and Joe started school:

And on the second day, Josie did this:


And while I won't be receiving the Mother of the Year award, as Josie spent 24 hours with some ice on her broken arm instead of her mother taking her to the ER (#momfail), I am a part of an award winning podcast trio. This is last year's plaque, but we won AGAIN, so I promise to take another photo, but for now, this:

Our town has a little festival, and we enjoyed lots of fun times: 

Whee! This fun is free!

Whee for three!

Last year on the left, this year on the right. Kind of a happy day.
Anna performed on Friday night, but the sound was off. Here's her practice video from her teacher's house. We're grooming excellence in kids, my friends.

Joe's FFA kids got in on the parade fun! Is it weird that most of the items used for the country living theme were from my front porch. Call me country, I guess!

Then, our house project is in the final stages. We have progress, and one wall for our screened porch!!
This is the window to the north. And the original 1871 "siding." My carpenter is soooo excited.

The front door, and some extra insulation, as a bird nest community was in this area the first time we blew in insulation. Again, our carpenter was thrilled. Josie is, too...this is like a big stage. 

So, I promise I'll get back to regular postings.


Because this is my life right now as I am posting these very few words:

Yep, that's a trash can. On top of the desk. And yep, my daughter is trying to eat the paper in the trash can.

And now she's head first in the magazine basket.


Happy Wednesday!

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Season of Schizophrenia

Without much pageantry or flourish, summer has begun to fade into the distance and the kids headed off on the bus this morning.

Yes, it's August 14th. Yes, it's crazy early for school to start. Yes, we were just diving into the pool, showing cattle and finishing up summer fun as close as yesterday.

However, maybe it's because last year was a kindergarten year, Joe's first year back, and well, everything else going on, this back to school year just seemed kind of no big deal. The kids know the drill, were age appropriately excited (my fifth grader was a little too "middle school cool" for a lot of pageantry), and because it's so danged early some of the back to school things that get ticked off a list were not. We just didn't have time. 

School snuck up on us so quickly that some of our back to school shoes are en route thanks to, which horrified my third grader, who believes in the all things new for back to school hype. She'll tell you about her devastation that this was not a new backpack year. 

Maybe our lack of elation and hype is because I feel a little bit like I have one foot in summer and one foot in fall. Neighboring districts don't start for a few more days, and some weeks. Friends with kids old enough are showing at the state fair, camping out and enjoying things like a deep fried Snickers. With all this around me, I can't seem to choose a side. On one hand, I'm ready for a schedule. It's nearly nine AM, and all beds are made, laundry folded, babies napping, dishes done, whereas just yesterday, I was just rolling in from a run, breakfast dishes still on the table and kids still in bed. 

I like both sides of this coin, so maybe that's why I am feeling divided.

This is also a funny time on the farm. Dad has been mowing and mowing and mowing. Uncle Jeff has been crop scouting. We're in mid-August which means things are starting to mature to the point where you can really tell whether or not we're going to be okay or not, and everyone starts to really worry. Harvest is upon us, but seemingly far enough away that summer to-dos are still being done. From our cattle standpoint, this is a time when Clyde, our beloved steer who has done so well this season, will be prepped for his final show. 


Clyde will be sold the first weekend in September, and while we know and understand this cycle of a show animal, Anna is steeling herself for this moment. 

The season of schizophrenia spreads its wings to every aspect of our life. Summer is fun and awesome but always comes to an end. Same with kids. Kindergarteners move onto first grade. My baby is now in fifth grade and is taller than her teacher. And on the farm, Clyde will move onto the fate that we knew he would have when Anna started prepping him. 

So I guess that's why we're trying to keep everything status quo. Life is a cycle, a set of expectations, and barring any tragedy, I expect all of my kids to make it to third grade, so why freak the heck out about it. Sure, I took the back to school pictures, braided the hair, signed up for parties and conferences and met teachers last night, but each year will bring new firsts, new challenges. Maybe it's because last year was so crazy, I'm thinking this year will probably pale in comparison.

I don't know.

Either way, this back to school time has caused me little stress, little tears, and even made me want to go back to teaching a little bit. 



Who am I? 

The joy of this rambling post is that life will get back to normalcy, and with the bigs gone, I'll have more time to complete a thought, and write about it.

Get excited. Maybe by the end of the day, I'll be back to the Emily who never wants to set foot in a classroom again who is sad because her babies are growing up and will take thousands of pictures of them as they get off the bus.

Probably not.