Monday, March 29, 2010

Reconnected and it feels so good...

Aahhh, to get back in sync, go outside!  The sun peeked out around noon today, just in time for a nature hike with friends.  My friend Jennine said that whenever she feels out of sorts, she goes outside and gets back in touch with nature. 
I love the line in the Riveredge logo that says, "Everything is connected to everything."   Sophia loved the chickadee's spring cry, Dominic just loved running free, and rolling down the occasional hill.  I loved the sun, the warmth on my skin. 
After this beautiful day, to see the enormous moon, with wisps of clouds over it, was the perfect culmination of nature's show. 
Good night moon, good night mush...

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sometimes I wonder if it's me being down that starts things not going well, or if it's things not going well that make me down.

Nothing big, just one of those days that makes me appreciate happy days.  It's so clear that when we open ourselves up, in a positive way, to others and to new experiences, the flow is so there, whether you call your flow 'chi' or 'God' or the 'universe', that flow is so contingent upon if we are tuned in to the big signal.

Things just didn't click today.  Doesn't mean it's a 'bad' day, just not a 'flow' day.  Every day is a 'God' and 'Universe' day, but I felt like I was between two AM own signal was unclear.

I think in the yin and yang of things, these days are necessary to remind us of how good normal is, how good life is.

It's funny, I spend so much time with my children, that we really are in tune with each other.  Today, they were off too, and we so rarely are off tune with each other.

Tomorrow is another day.  I am going to take the lessons of this day to tomorrow, and reach my antennae out a little higher...

Good night!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Running Zen

About a year or so ago, I bought an hour of personal training at the Y.  This was a big step for me.  I am, by nature, very frugal when it comes to things for myself. I bought this hour because I was training for 5K's last summer. I am very good at starting a running program, or should I say an exercise program in general, but just when it gets easy, I am equally good at quitting it.  I "Stormed the Bastille" in '09, and that's all she wrote.  I guess I just like the struggle.

Last night I finally didn't cancel my appointment with the trainer to run.  Chris is tough, and our run was outside.  I was nervous, but the kind of nervous one feels at the top of a roller coaster. 

Our run was absolutely phenomenal. 

I still hit that point at about 2 miles that it really stinks.  It was especially bad because I hit it on a hill, and it hurt. I think that is where I get stuck sometimes, when the hurt means 'stop' and when to push through it. 
Chris talked while we were running, and almost anaerobic as I was, I listened.

He talked about being in the moment with running, not to anticipate the hill and adjust before you even get there, but tackle the hill when you are on it. 

He talked about how to focus on your whole body being pulled to your goal, your feet gliding forward, like magnets in your toes, instead of focusing on your feet pounding the pavement.

We talked about inertia.

We talked about the importance of breath, find your pattern, maybe even find a mantra.

We also didn't talk, and I didn't have my IPod on, as I usually do.  It was in the breath, and the rhythm of my feet that I found my Zen. 

I ran further than I have in a long time (3.8 miles for me is very good).  I hear that around 6 miles, you feel like you can run forever...I look forward to seeing if my Zen goes that far.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Lousy Chef...

The Lousy Chef...

So the journey to the kitchen begins!  Last night Nancy Stohs, editor from the Journal-Sentinel, and a photographer came to our house.  After some nerves on my part, especially at hearing that they wanted me to cook something,  it really was a lot of fun!  To catch some of you up, I entered a contest called "Lousy Chef" in the Journal-Sentinel.  Looking back, I think it was the title "Do you burn water?" that caught my eye.  I wrote an essay about how I wooed Tony by buying the makings for a wonderful, gourmet dinner, only to turn to him, smile, and he made it.
I share the title of "Lousy Chef" with a gentleman named George, whom I have yet to meet.  I am thrilled not to be singled out, and to share this honor with another. 
George and I get to have cooking lessons at MATC in April.  We also get to learn from chefs from Milwaukee area restaurants such as Bartolotta's and Crazy Water.  I get pastry lessons from the pastry chef at the Pfister too!!!
The first article will be in the paper on Wednesday, April 7th in the Food section.  I hope they are kind with me!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An unexpected gift

The kindness of others...our little cousin, Emily, who lives in Alabama, has ovarian cancer.  Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is not that rare, but Emily is only seven years old.  Emily is the youngest person ever to be diagnosed. 

Our family goes to a wonderful church in Cedarburg.  We asked if Emily could be put on the prayer list, and the response from the church is truly a testament to the goodness in people.  About a month ago, our church sent a handmade prayer blanket for her, prayed upon by the whole congregation.

Today, Dominic and I got to read at church; he did a wonderful job!  We both even got to hand out the communion bread.  At the end of the service, our pastor asked a man named Jim from our church to come forward, and to "bring the box" up with him.  Jim, it turns out, heard about Emily, and drove 4 hours round-trip to buy her a stuffed Steiff cat.  He told me that he thinks of her every day.  When I showed him Emily's caring bridge site, his eyes filled with tears at her picture.  There is such goodness out there.  Please pray for little Emily, and let us all continue to see the good in each other.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gotta Start Somewhere

I guess when one gives up Facebook for Lent, one ends up blogging...maybe that is the new Murphy's Law or something...anyway...this is more fun.
I love to write for fun, and if people want to read what I write, more power to me them.

To formally introduce myself, I am Jessica.  I have a gorgeous and brilliant husband, (seriously, no sarcasm) an 8 year old daughter that just kills me she is so much fun, a 7 year old son that has a heart of gold, and can crack up even the biggest grumps, and 2 Weimaraner dogs. 

I get to homeschool our kids.  This is our second official year.  I also work at a local technical college. 

I named this blog "Learning Out Loud" because it seems nothing in our house is done quietly.  I think our whole family likes to live out loud in general.  I frequently tell the kids to find their internal volume and to turn it down just a couple of notches.  It's not that they are running around yelling at each other, it's just that, as Sophia often says, they have "strong projection". 

I also picked the title because learning is such a focal point in our family's life.  My husband is a teacher, I am a teacher, our kids are living sponges...but because this is "my blog", it is about how I am continuously learning..  My children teach me so much.  My parents still teach me.  My husband and our marriage is a lesson in love and partnership.  And hey, learning how to cook in the public eye is definitely out loud! 

So there we have it.  On to the next adventure!