When I’m Quiet

As you can see, my personal blog posts have been quiet for quite some time. It’s because I’ve been living life – the good and the bad- the past few years. All while focusing more on my freelance writing and the college communication courses I now teach. I hope to eventually get back to blogging for myself- or writing those book ideas swirling in my head.

For now, however, enjoy sampling my personal blog posts or hop over to my samples page to see my published work for clients.

Thank you!


Slice of Life 2015

Finally, I find myself gearing up to once again blog in the Slice of Life challenge.  It has been a few years since I’ve been a part of this monthly challenge.

Sadly, I am not traveling to a warm spot this March, so I should have time to blog each day. At least that is the plan!

What stories will I share?  What insight will I have?  What mundane activities will become my inspiration?

Stay tuned.  Both of us may be surprised at what transpires with this month of blogging.


This monthly blogging challenge is through Two Writing Teachers. 


Slice of Life 2015


My Inbox

I can always tell how busy I am based on my email inbox.  Over Christmas break, I had my inbox down to 30 emails. Yippee I thought.  Now, let’s not forget that this doesn’t include my folders I have set up. Just my inbox. If you look at the folder for my sister’s emails, I have 734 unread messages from her.  But wait, I read most of her emails on my phone and respond that way.

As I started my day, I opened my email. And how many messages – both read and unread – do I have in my inbox alone?  Want to take a guess?


Yes, 646!

How does one get 646 emails in an inbox  – with folders not included in the count?

The daily weather email. The daily devotional email.  The monthly update on local property tax issues – I keep meaning to send her an email to remove me from the list.  The local bowling alley updates with new leagues forming.  The daily woot email.  The hulu update.  The Smithsonian store update – how did I get on that mailing list again?  There is the swimoutlet update with what is on sale. The triathlon race updates.  The freelance writing site updates. Oh the list goes on of email updates I thought were important. Now they just clutter up my inbox with barely a second glance.

Clearly, I need to set aside time to go through my email, delete and unsubscribe.

Because 638 – I deleted a few this morning – is clearly too many emails sitting in my inbox!

Buy the Buzz

Buzz’s leg has fallen off.  It should be a simple decision to throw him away. But it isn’t.

He is more than just a toy. He is a symbol of “Buy the Buzz.”  A symbol of something I don’t like to do:  giving in to a demanding child simply to keep your own sanity.

I have refused donuts. I have ended play times at the park.  I have even marched my kids out of places because they were beyond control – mostly because of my own embarrassment!

But I have also made the decision to “Buy the Buzz.”  And that’s okay. Because sometimes it is more about hours of sanity for myself (and those around me).

This spring we vacationed at Disney World with some friends.  We had just finished  the “Haunted Mansion” ride at Magic Kingdom.  Cade loved it!

When we exited the line, a little water/juice/ice cream/toy station stand was waiting for us.  Cade saw this Buzz and  started to go crazy. Okay, he had really started to go crazy earlier than that because he wanted to ride the “Haunted Mansion” again – not understanding that we had just stood in line for what seemed like ages.

I’ll admit, I was trying hard to say no. We were not planning on buying anything at that point beyond just bottles of water.  But after moments of screaming, crying and kicking, the four of us adults all screamed… Buy the Buzz.

And so we rushed to “Buy the Buzz”, and Cade settled down.

That Buzz  kept him entertained for hours – especially when he waited for the bigger kids to finish with a ride for which he was too short.

I have to admit it was not the only time I would “Buy the Buzz” on our Disney vacation.  At Hollywood Studios, I bought a Lightening McQueen piggy bank just to settle him down. I should have also bought him the remote control car he begged and screamed and kicked about having. It might have saved me from carrying a screaming, kicking kid down the street to meet the rest of our party who had just finished a ride.  But I had to draw the line somewhere.

Since initially writing this post, Cade found the broken “Buy the Buzz.”  He said, “He is broken. We need to buy a new one at Disney World.”  Cade walked over and threw it in the trash. I almost wanted to dig it back out to put it away in his box of special outgrown things.  You know…maybe I will go do that right now 🙂

I Am a Triathlete!

I did it!  I finished a full triathlon!!

On Sunday, I was part of the SheROX Philly tri.  This sprint tri includes a .37 swim in the Schuylkill River, a 15.5 (hilly) bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run.  Yikes!  I haven’t looked up my race times as of yet but that is of little importance to me right now!  I finished by running across the finish line… that’s all that matters to me at the moment.

After the Race

For a little background, last year I was part of a relay team with a friend.  Last year all I had to do was swim, but I enjoyed the day so much that I decided to train for the entire tri myself. I won’t bore you with details on my training before the race. 🙂  What I will share about training and this race is that it took me outside of my comfort zone in so many ways. I am not a natural athlete, so this was a way for me to push myself to become an athlete – and honestly up to race day I struggled with identifying myself as an athlete.

In the final weeks of training and tapering, I started to think about all that I had put into this race, and all that my family (and friends) sacrificed for me to compete and just get in one more workout.  As I got closer to the race, some days I felt strong and powerful, and other days I wanted to throw up just thinking about the race. I was told this was a good place to be right before a race.

What sticks out to me the most about training and racing is that I reclaimed a part of me!  A part of me that has been lost for a few years in between a college degree, a masters degree, a career, having babies, raising babies, homeschooling, writing. The list could go on of all the things that could have kept me from training for this race, but instead I looked it all in the eye and determined that I was going to be a bit selfish and do something for me!  And I’m so glad I did.

The race was great and brutal at the same time.  The day started early around 4:30.  Once I got to transition and set up, it was just a matter of minutes before we were getting lined up to race. The swim went really well. I kept a steady pace through out the swim and just kept thinking, “Thank you God for a beautiful day to swim.”  When I made my way to the end of the swim course, I spotted Keith along the shore and gave him a thumbs up.  He returned a wave 🙂

The Swim... I'm in the middle of the picture 🙂

Then it was off to transition for the bike.  I have to admit, I was most worried about the bike. While I have done cycling classes throughout the year, I don’t’ have a lot of actual road time – for a number of reasons. I also heard the bike course was brutal – a couple of my friends who raced it last year filled me in on what to expect.  I was as prepared as I could be yet not quite prepared for the ongoing hills and two huge hills!  I did take a little tumble when another bike and I briefly touched on the wet bridge, but we both bounced back up and kept on going.  And for those of you who know me and my “love” for flowing blood, I wiped it off and kept on going. Yes, I did have the medical tent clean it after the race.

Finishing the Bike Ride

I finished the two loops of the (brutal) bike ride and transitioned into the run.  I knew I was only 3.1 miles from the end.  My race goal from the beginning was always to have fun, enjoy the day and run across the race line. Because of this, I didn’t over push myself with the start of the run – my hamstrings were also starting to spasm a bit, which didn’t help much.  And in all honesty, a lot of ladies were walking the final part of the race  – although there were some 50 and 60 year old ladies passing me . How’s that for inspiration?!?!

Finishing the Race

I did run across the finish line and went straight to Keith. 🙂  My husband  (and best friend and coach and nutritionist and motivator and “get to the gym” encourager) has been so wonderful to support me in this race and all its training. I couldn’t have done it without him.  As he and I have said through so many things over the past 14 years, “Go Team Whitmore!”  My boys have also been so wonderful to support me and encourage me through all the times I had to go workout. As soon as we got home from the race, Cade took my medal and hung it up next to my medal from last year.  Kory’s first question was “mommy, did you win?”  I also couldn’t have raced today without my in-laws coming up to stay with the boys for the weekend!

Go Team Whitmore!

As crazy as it sounds and as brutal as the race course was at times, I’m looking to race again next year.

Who is going to join me?

Come on… you know you want to try something for yourself! 🙂

Mommy…. I have a birthmark…right here…

It’s that time again.  Time for another laser treatment for Cade.

Laser treatment Number 9 will happen on Friday.  It will be his second with anesthesia. 

I just wrote our monthly payment to the hospital for his laser treatments. And I have so many thoughts floating through my mind.

Thoughts of wonderful doctors and nurses who provide such great care for Cade and his port wine stain.  Thoughts of a wonderful hospital that has allowed us an outstanding payment plan.  A wonderful insurance company that has not given us any problems with any of his treatments and appointments.  Thoughts of how thankful I am that his port wine stain does not cause any other issues!!!  Thoughts of how far we have come in 8 treatments.

But what really sticks out in my mind today is a simple little phrase Cade said on the way home from an outing this weekend.

“I have a birthmark. Right here”  and he pointed right to his cheek.

This is the first time he has ever openly acknowledged his birthmark. And I have to admit I had such mixed emotions when he said that. 

His birthmark is so much a part of who he is. 

His older brother, Kory, always makes sure to draw Cade’s birthmark into any pictures he draws of his brother. 

When Keith or I pray with Cade at night, we will often stroke his cheek and ask God to continue to make Cade strong and to increase the progress of lightening his birthmark. 

We’ll have friends mention about his birthmark and how it is lightening. We LOVE to hear those comments!!!  It helps us and our doctors know that we are making progress!

Of course, we have the not-so-nice comments we get about his birthmark. Usually from strangers who have no clue. I have heard some crazy things. “I’d hate to see the other guy in the fight.”  “What happened to his face.”  “Did he get burned.”  And these not-so-nice comments have become less and less as his birthmark has lightened.

I’ve had complete strangers come up and talk about friends and family members with birthmarks years ago yet no treatment options.  I LOVE talking to these strangers because they are full of compassion, understanding and encouragement. 

I’ve had children say the cutest things while their parents gasp in the corner.  I remember one little boy who gently said, “oh his face is kind of scary.”  It didn’t bother me. Instead I walked up to the boy, got to his level, and talked to him about Cade’s birthmark.  All while the mom tried to hush him.  I remember turning to her and saying, “it’s okay. I don’t mind.”  All I could think is maybe he’ll understand when he sees the next one. 

So… yes.. .mixed emotions as I recognize that my not-so-little 2 -1/2 year old is becoming more aware of who he is – birthmark and all!

You can read more about Cade’s birthmark journey on my former blog site:

The Wild Side of Cade! – Laser Treatment #8 (Nov. 16, 2010)

Cade’s Upcoming Laser Treatment (Oct. 21, 2010)


My house is a disaster.  Unfolded clothes are all over a couch.  My table is scattered with coloring sheets, notebooks, books, and who knows what else.  My boys’ rooms are cluttered with toys all over the floor.  My fridge is running low on groceries.  My office desk has papers all over. I’m so far behind on pulling paperwork together that I normally have done at this point of the year.

But you know what?

I’ve been consistent in my running workouts!  I’ve kept on track with the 6-week running program I picked. I’ve stayed within the interval lengths. I’ve pushed myself to run a bit faster.

I’ve been consistent to spend 2 hours at the gym on Tuesdays, which includes  a 40 minute swim and an hour of cycling class.

I’ve been consistent to eat healthy, which means taking time to cut up fruits and veggies. It also means not giving in to cravings of sweets and carb-filled snacks.  It also means a lot of gum chewing 🙂

And to do that, I’ve had to make sacrifices. 

Do I wish all my clothes were folded? Yep. Do I wish all my dirty dishes were washed? Yep.  Do I wish that I had time to scrub my floor?  Nope – I still hate that chore. 🙂

But they are all sacrifices. I often turn my back on all the “clutter” of things calling for my attention, walk out the door with my boys and head to the gym. 

Does it stress me out a bit when I get home after being at the gym to see it all as a reminder?  Yep.  Does it drive me crazy on our long gym days where we get home almost 2 1/2 hours after we leave home? Yep.

But they are all sacrifices – and thankfully sacrifices that my husband doesn’t mind and is willing to help me with when he can.

And yes… I’m starting to see little progress with those sacrifices… a few extra swim laps without too much effort, a little longer distance on the treadmill, a few pounds lighter. 

The sacrifices are starting to pay off! But now I must go work on folding clothes, sorting paperwork, and cleaning a table because I already got my workout in for the day!!! 🙂

What are you sacrificing to meet your goal?

Welcoming 2011 with One Simple Goal

Here it is 2011. I can hardly believe it. 

As I look back on 2010, I am reminded of three major accomplishments I made this past year.

– I re-focused my freelance work.

– I swam in a tri.


– I finished a 5K with my boys. Literally with my boys as I pushed them in a double jogging stroller up a HUGE hill to cross the finish line!  While my race time was not the greatest, I enjoyed every minute of sharing that 5K with my boys!

It sure took a lot strength to accomplish these three things this past year.  Strength to know when it was time to say “no”.  Strength to focus on training. Strength to ignore the many piles of dishes, laundry, emails and phone calls pleading and screaming for my attention. Strength to just focus on the things that mattered to me – the same things that made me a better – happier – calmer person this past year.

Now I look ahead to 2011.  I have one simple goal for the year: to continue to be healthier in all aspects of my life – physically, spiritually, financially. 

How am I going to accomplish that goal?  I’m still working on that and will probably rework it many times this year. 

I already have a full tri in my sight for the end of the summer. Of course I’m hoping for another 5K – without a double stroller this year!  I’m hoping to work on watching those dollars and cents a bit better and pay more with cash.  I’m hoping to be a bit more consistent in my personal devotions. 

Talk about multi-tasking!! It may take a lot of that this year to accomplish these things while I also maintain my full life of family, homeschooling and writing. 

And it will take a lot of strength. Strength to know when to say “no”. Strength to ignore the piles of dishes, laundry, toys and everything else that finds itself out of its place.  Strength to ignore phone calls, texts and emails.  Strength to focus on the things that make me a better me!

And with that, I’m off to get on the treadmill… I have a tri to get ready for! 🙂

What’s your one goal for 2011 and how will you get there?