Archive | Kitchen Conversations RSS for this section

Summer Summary

When the sun was shining in 2016, we were soaking it up.

Our Osborne 2016 summer highlights include:

  1. Celebrating James’ birthday and America at the Celebration at the Station Memorial Day weekend
  2. Having the Bruce’s come live with us. Mornings with June x Cousin time + Adult shared life = Joy IMG_7279
  3. World’s Of Fun Season Passes and fun days at Worlds and Oceans- even an anniversary afternoon for Drew and Linds at Oceans- almost Jamaica, but not quite. IMG_6691
  4. Swimming on the Coves Swim Team for the third year with Oaks joining the team as a Little Croc. All three kids made huge strokes towards personal successes and new strengths, plus had so much fun with their swimming neighborhood friends.IMG_6382IMG_6644
  5. Colorado 4th of July with a Henke Family reunion and street fireworks with Daddy in front of Nat and Johns. IMG_6934 (1)
  6. Bearing rings and flowers and a marriage license for Michelle and Alex Mead as we celebrated their wedding July 9th and will forever be their friends and fans. IMG_6990 (1)
  7. Going to Young Life camp at Castaway with my Park Hill and Park Hill South friends for a week of amazing fun and and depth. We made major memories and moments for God to call deep into the lives of ladies with love. IMG_6712 (1)
  8. Going to Young Life camp at Castaway on assignment as a Summer Staff Coordinator Session 3. I was privileged to lead, listen to, walk with, and learn from the strong and sweet college students who brought their brokenness and their bravery to set themselves up to serve, share, and change. I loved my friend Alex the Castananny but not nearly as well as she loved my kids. I was challenged and cheered on by good leadership and friends, new and old,  full of integrity. IMG_7213IMG_7142 (1)IMG_7162
  9. Turning 36 and splitting my life loyalties. I have now officially lived HALF my life in Colorado and HALF in Missouri. And of course, many a summer month in Minnesota. Also, Drew turned 35,  Eli turned 10, and Drew and I turned 12 years old in our life together. IMG_7182
  10. Ending the summer Osborne style with the ever-epic Z and C End of Summer Cookout, and then a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks with GG, Pops, and special attendees Mary Kate and Walking Wilson. IMG_7297

Now its all over and school is in session and our school session is at home.

With summer behind and our gap year now rolling, we lift our eyes to the sunlight and anticipate adventure.

On Schedules with Routine and “May I speak to someone else?”

I like a bit of organization and appreciate parameters. I know better where to go when there is a benchmark set before me.

A month ago, Drew started writing down to-dos with abandon and I had an idea for our Monday nights. The result is two-fold. There now hangs on the back of our basement door, a recycled sheet of school paper with my hand written scrawl forming two columns.

I’ve typed it up here for easier viewing. You don’t want to view the chaos that surrounds this taped up list on the back of that door!

Saturday Jobs

Monday Midrash

1st Saturday- Dust, Do allowance (pick up basement) 1st Monday- Money/Budget/Goals
2nd Saturday – Wipe cabinets, Beat Rugs, (wash kids beds) 2nd Monday – Something Spiritual
3rd Saturday – Turn Compost (wash our bed) 3rd Monday- Parenting
4th Saturday- File paperwork (deep clean kid rooms) 4th Monday- Marriage
Every Saturday: bathrooms, sweep, mop, vac, (clean out the van) Every Monday- No TV, follow up sex optional

*Kid work in italics.

We structured our Saturdays and Mondays for manifold reasons but mostly these two:

  1. We wanted to get some things done more regularly.
  2. Nights seem to go by quickly- kids to bed by 8:45 if we’re lucky and then, often we default to a device, more work, or a show instead of spending intentional time talking together.

This has been a good rhythm and helps us have something set to accomplish that keeps us moving.

Of course there’s more that needs to happen and weeks we have to boot the whole thing. The idea is teamwork and a structure that takes it off our minds.

The success of the schedule so far begs the question, “What else should be listed in routine?Kid showers? My work life?! Fingernail clipping? Iphone photo deletes?

The other big win for 2016 so far has been some negotiations. Talking to strangers about money, services or contracts is not high on my list of fun afternoon activities. Put it right behind changing bunk bed sheets, or getting a shot. Not comfortable!

However, our internet service fee increased and I was charged for some insurance on a rental car that I did not need. In both cases, I spoke to an associate on the phone who explained they could not remove the fees or adjust the bill.

In both cases, with trepidation and yet some gumption, I asked if there was someone else with whom I could speak. Both times, I was transferred to a manager and got my issues resolved.

The next person on the line had more power to make a change. I reciprocated the power given with my own power to thank, promise return service, and yes, I’ll give good feedback on our conversation if I’m surveyed.

Seems like perhaps the first answer isn’t always the end answer.

We say this a lot in Young Life as we ask kids to camp. At first, an adult leader asking you to go to a camp far away in the summer can be a NO.

“Is there someone else I could talk to?”, asks the timid or too-cool high school friend.

Yes, yes there is. Please speak to one with more power- your peer who went last summer.”

I want second opinions or another voice in most everything I do. I make quick decisions and then back pedal later in some decisions (external processor probs), so I understand coming back around to revisit something.

In a world that is whirling and threatens to accelerate our emotions, schedules, families and souls beyond our health, I think reminders, set routine and rhythms give life.

Second opinions, “under further review”, processing more, or pushing past the first hesitation, just might get us the action or answer we really want. 




2016 Oscar Showcase Summary

Four years and counting.

For the past four Februarys, Drew and I have spent two Saturdays in movie seats. Taking in screens of fantasy, story telling, truth portraying, agenda pushing, artistic awe-ing, talent showcasing, heartbreaking, mind changing, soul searching, question asking, and/or emotion engaging films, is one of our favorite couple traditions. We like good movies and long days together. It all fits.

We had great company this year and ran into acquaintances as usual during breaks. We bonded as lanyard wearing, popcorn toting fans “watching the best back to back.” Seems they took their tagline from the Royals past two years! It’s a great season in KC.

Original (1280 × 779)

Of the past four years, this year’s films do not stand out as most excellent of all time. There were a lot of ties for almost every ranking. I liked a lot of them third. I did finally rank them ,with angst and little expertise, in this order:

*This is how much I personally appreciated the movies, not what I thought should win Oscar statues necessarily.

*I give you one simple reason for my placement of each film.

1. Spotlight- I liked it best for its portrayal of the power of hard work, genuine empathy, and well written stories to change lives on scales small and large. 

2. Bridge of Spies – The message here was to do the right thing, even if its for the “wrong” person. I appreciated the layers and tension. I appreciated seeing strength to stand up for reasoning that there is always another side,  and a person on that side who should be considered at least, and respected and honored most times. Good Old-Fashioned Spy

3. Room-  I couldn’t get this movie out of my head. However, a hard movie to watch is most often worth watching.  Here the unsettledness in my soul moved me to appreciate how strong one can be when reality requires unfathomable strength. The film shows how brave moms are and the balance between telling kids enough truth to shape their world, but doing a whole lot of hiding what’s too hard for a little soul. She overcame loneliness and fear in ways I have never imagined one could. 

4. The Big Short- Complicated and detailed in actual content, this movie was entertaining to watch and engaging from its beginning to its raw finish- what a crappy victory for the victors. What I didn’t anticipate was how much of my adult life would be on the screen and how luckily, we came through unscathed, young and naive to boot. 

5. Brooklyn- She is beautiful and quietly determined to feel all of her feelings, letting pain direct her towards figuring out who she could be. We talked afterwards about how malleable love can be, which is a complicated and continuing conversation. 

6. Mad Max: Fury Road- While my first reaction was one of bewilderment of how this movie made the Best Picture list, I grew to appreciate it. To watch it is exhausting sure, but it’s perfect as a movie in most ways: amazing scenes, tons of action, great looking actors and actresses, and an adventure to find connection and identity- struggles we drive ourselves around in sand still today. 

7. The Martian-  Simply put, the book is way better. 

8. The Revenant- Simply put, it was too much, for too long, with amazing scenes great for a Planet Earth episode, Drew says, but not enough story to draw me into the dragged out drama. I could hardly even believe in the father son relationship on which the whole journey rests. However, I did appreciate once again, the illustration of how often we misunderstand and abuse those who are different than us. There is even a sign that points out a truth with irony so potent it took me to Jesus’ “King of the Jews” sign on the cross, and all the other violence wrought on good people who threaten someone else’s agenda. 

The themes through most films seemed to me to be:

  • survival
  • who you are and how you cope when you’re alone in a struggle
  • a journey that changes not only where you exist but who you are

The major question posed sounded to me like:

  • What will you choose to do inside your circumstances? 

This image rendered as PNG in

The other great movies, once again ranked, I saw this season rounded out a really fun winter:

  1. Creed
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. The Intern
  4. Straight Outta Compton
  5. Amy

I like to tell my kids to use their power- their power to say yes, or to say no. Power to make a choice or make a different one. Power to try again and power to help and heal. I appreciate each of these movie characters harnessing their power and the whole film industry for putting great stories in beautiful and artistic packaging.

Until next year…



New Year, New Words

signsign 2Despite being a blog about words, I promise not to use too many.

I like words because they express meaning, make a statement, can be memorized, remembered, written in calligraphy or bubble letters,  and communicate reality. Of course not only words express reality- so do our feelings, relationships, trips to loud waterfalls, quiet beaches, or majestic mountains, the whispers of the Holy Spirit, and the unforgiving weight of gravity, among so much else.

I guess what I want to affirm is that I have a great relationship with words, really enjoy them and prefer them to numbers. Give me words in a book, on a list, in a crossword puzzle, or a fortune cookie. I’ll take the words, leave the cookie.

Every now and then, we need some new words, lest our sentences sound stale (like a fortune cookie).

How about these this year? If not new to you, then props to you…your word bank is affluent.


Affable- characterized by ease and  friendliness , pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite


Serendipitous- occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Magnanimous– upright, benevolent, considerate, forgiving, fair and generous

Implicit Bias  – an implicit bias is a mindset held somewhat subconsciously or thoughts implied, but not expressly stated.

My friend Hilary told me about a discussion she led high school kids through regarding race, justice, and equality just before Christmas break. She used a tool called the implicit bias quiz from the MTV Look Different campaign.  Their definitions:

  • Racial bias is a form of discrimination, often unconscious, that results in the different and unequal treatment of racial groups.Screenshot (49)
  • Gender bias is a form of discrimination that results in the unfair treatment or stereotyping of men and women because of their sex or gender.  These attitudes are based on the beliefs that women and men should act, dress or behave in particular ways.  Gender bias is mostly targeted at women but can negatively affect men as well.

The goal is awareness of what we hold deep inside and a movement to heal ourselves of the harm we did or could, cause.


The project offers a quiz  that tests your implicit bias and supplies, not judgement but proactive work in dealing with your result.

I took the quiz today and am signed up for a bias cleanse. (Conincidentally, the Crossfit Northland Clean Eating Challenge began this week…cleansing all around..mind and body!)

Constructive tension- I reread MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail today. The letter is brilliant and oozes humility and hope from a man and for a cause where hope or humility would have been hard, if not impossible, for me to conjure up.  On constructive tension he says,

I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettere

d realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

Indeed, tension makes us move. Movement is better than stagnation, ignorance, or inaction when justice is within reach. Constructive, non-violent tension can open up conversations, force the deeply held but perhaps flawed beliefs to be spoken, debated, discarded and forgiven.

Last words…

– Appreciation Rampage. I heard this at yoga and it’s just what it sounds like. Inside your head or aloud, say one thing you’re grateful for… then another…then another…

-Okimafire– (oak-i-mma-fire) a cool mist humidifier.

This is the word you need if you’re putting Oakley to bed these days. Please tuck him in and turn on his okimafire before you leave the room.


Let’s go…and as we go, share our words for hope, healing, help, and higher consciouness.

Enough said.


Cloth Napkins and Happy Birthday Carol

The only way to follow up a long blog about an unbelievable journey through the World Series that ended in a Royals WIN, is obviously to write about cloth napkins and my good friend Carol.

Carol is one of my best friends and a Missouri foundation of support and love. I come to Carol for friendship, love, wisdom, support, ideas, help, and advice. Carol comes to me with love, help, smiles, faithful blog readership, and bagels, books, gifts, and Sonic for my children.

Carol thinks of others more than she thinks of herself and is always willing to help. I have received so much from Carol, its now one of my favorite things to be asked to help her in some small way. Carol came into my life to offer transactional babysitting and became a best friend. Over the past almost decade, we’ve walked many miles, drank much wine, prayed many prayers, sunned by many pools, listened and talked for countless hours, and grown up a little bit ,the both of us. Happy Birthday Carol.elijah with graves girls

One more thing about Carol- she uses cloth napkins too.

There are a few things I’ve done my whole marriage long: enjoyed Drew as my favorite everything, and used cloth napkins.

We learned about cloth napkins through our good friend Binny who used them for every meal, and then threw them on the wooden stairs leading up to her second floor laundry. I love the memories of nights we shared around their table, napkins on my lap during Chief’s party afternoons, and that pretty pile of used napkins on her steps.

I got some napkins for my wedding but have bought most myself. Most of my napkins are 10 years old now and receive daily use. I’ve started to collect some seasonal ones and made some (with Binny’s help) for my sisters and mom a few Christmas’ ago.

I love them for how sturdy they are, how comfortable they are to use on our mouths, hands, and laps and how little waste they create. I don’t mind the washing and folding of them at all. In fact, I’m minding it less and less as Andi becomes more and more adept at folding herself!

My recent appreciation of my cloth napkins came when I packed a picnic for Oakley and me a few weeks ago. I packed two cloth


napkins which we used as a “plate/tablecloth” on the rock and as a napkin. It was easy to pack in and pack out. I was already using a cloth lunch bag and Tupperware. so the lunch was completely trash free, in addition to Oaks and me being comfortable with our cloth in the great outdoors.

For what its worth, I recommend them. Perhaps you’ll consider them for your Thanksgiving table or Christmas wish list!

Just “walk away”…OR walk towards

It matters were we walk.

This week, I was experiencing stress at the end of myself with Oakley’s attitude and a big bout of fussiness. For “no reason at all,” (in quotes because I can realize at a rational moment that he had reasons in his two year old head that I didn’t slow down enough to figure out…) Oaks was throwing a fit.

I wanted to throw one right back.

The impatience within me was heated and explosive (I’m not proud of my temper), and I almost let it out in anger. Instead, I walked away. I went upstairs to my room, a whole floor away, and took deep breaths while pacing and putting away shoes- putting all that hot energy to use!

Oaks yelled out to find me and I was able to answer him calmly, and then return downstairs to his presence. The frustration had melted away and I felt so relieved.

Walking away, steps up the stairs, gave me a victory over a flooding emotional moment. 

I took another victorious walk this week as well.

I wanted a snack. I most always want a snack in the quiet of the afternoon. I’m not usually hungry. I just want to snack.

I headed away from my computer and towards the cabinet of temptation and diet doom. Instead of reaching in, I had a mental check-in moment, slowed down my habit-driven hand, and used a short installment of self-will.

I walked away. I took a lap around the house the other way, grabbed some water, and sat back down.

Walking away gave me a victory over mindless eating. 

When I reflected on it later, I thought, “This is so good, this walking away…how else could I use ‘walking away’?”

Then, I realized walking away is not always great.

We should not walk away from commitments or people who need us.

Instead, I thought of all the important walks we take towards good things.

The walk down the aisle at my wedding to join my life to Drew, was a great “walk towards”. The walk of the civil rights activists in Selma towards justice was an epic “walk towards”. The walk towards my kids off the bus, instead of the waiting inside for them to come to me, gives them (especially Andi) the gift of me showing them I’m anxiously wanting them to be home, back here, walking towards me as I walk towards them.

So I’ll try to do more”walking away” when it saves a relationship from stress or stomach flab from extra calories. But I think right now, I’ll walk towards the bus stop and give a couple of kids a welcome home hug.




Oaks and I walk through the leaves last fall.


Our walk into June’s life…meeting June Marie for the first time ONE year ago!!! Happy birthday sweet niece!


Our 10 year anniversary walk down the beach in Michigan last summer



Ask your friends around a table sometime, “Hey, what do you recommend?” and just let them answer in absolutely any way they’d like.

Without too much explanation, if someone asked me today, I’d say,

“I recommend…”

1. Watching the Demetri Martin Live Comedy Special on Netflix. –He mostly makes jokes out of plays on words…I love words! I find his dry humor funny and less offensive than most. 

2. Unplug and check-in with who and whats right in front of you.  Spend a day away from social media every week. 

3. The “Cerise Limon” flavor of La Croix sparkling water. The tall cans are so fun and flavor is great. 

4. Leave your phone when you take your kids to the park. Play, sweat, run, chase, tickle through the bars, or just watch. 

5. Potty train a kid when they are really ready. Wait at least 3 months past when YOU want to start and make sure there are 4 of 7 readiness signs present. Then it’s just bliss and success for all. For us, the third time really has been the charm!  A few specifics here; I have to recommend:  

  1. Spend 3 days naked below the waist at home, ready for runs to the potty at anytime with no comfortable protection for them to drop or let it flow into undies or a diaper 
  2. Have multiple little potties and take them with you when you go somewhere in the first 2 weeks to month of training. Longer if you’re headed to port-a-potty or “Sorry you’re out of luck, just hold it” places like soccer practice or parks!
  3. Don’t ask or make them go on a schedule. Let their little bodies lead them. 
  4. Celebrate with a song and dance- no sticker chart or m & ms needed. Our song: “Rah, Rah, Ree Ree- Oakley went pee-pee!” If you change “Ree-Ree” to “Roo-Roo”…

6. Giving your masseuse a message.  I had a wonderful hour long massage and hour long facial on Monday. Do wish the masseuse had asked me less questions and told me fewer stories. Next time I will, and right now I recommend, telling the therapist, “I’d like lots of pressure and very little talking. Thank you.”  

7. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

8. Nights without TV. Some nights, we need to distract and disengage from real life and engage in humor or adventure on screen. Other nights, we do so and miss out on catching up conversations, really long reading times, or solitude and sleep. 


Our compost mystery vine has yielded gourds and squashes of great variety.

9. Trying to grow something outside. It’s a lot of work but a good lesson in tending to what we’ve been giving and reaping what we can sow right around us.

10. Going upside down. Do a handstand, a back flip, or a headstand against the wall. It’s good for your back and legs to take a load off and a fun challenge for your head and neck! 




So many screens and not enough skipping rocks

We had a wonderful adventure and smooth family trip traveling to Seattle, and surrounding islands, for my cousin Bonnie’s wedding two weeks ago.The quality time of

IMG_5366IMG_5372 IMG_5374being with family from so far away, combined with adventures in the great outdoors, gave me the gift of being with and seeing my kids and family in real time. The phones and screens that we use to connect or distract occasionally (phone calls, Facetime, Google hangout, kid “electronic time”- mostly Minecraft,  wedding prep meetings with the couple..just to name a few) were put aside. Touch, eye contact, conversation, cuddling, and group interaction played out at full tilt.


Oakley’s genuine AWE on the airplane from the sight outside the window


The complete sibling, cousin set with Maama…silly heads.


COUSINS! Vienna, Andi, Eli, June, and Oaks

We hung out, laughed lots, celebrated and cheered, had to say goodbye and then came home.

After vacation, it’s hard to cook.

Drew and I decided to take our family to Chili’s for dinner two days after being home. This is a rare, almost NEVER-EVER experience for Team Osborne. The five of us do not go out to eat. Alas, we had a gift card and no motivation for making food appear on the table at home.

The kids were surprised but game…who doesn’t love chocolate milk refills and french fries? We got a big booth, long table, and upon it, a small screen. The screen is a “Ziosk”- a small computer offering games, menu browsing, advertisements, and we’d find out later, a way to pay at the table. We asked to have it taken away when we sat down as screens are intoxicating and distracting to what we were trying to accomplish: quality family dinner time- in a commercial restaurant? Yes we wanted it all.

Our waitress was great, our food mediocre, and the clean up we had to do: non-existent. We had a great time.

Then we had to pay. Our friendly, attentive waitress brought back the silly screen and required, didn’t offer, that we pay at our table. She walked us through it standing there and then said goodbye. The whole experience rubbed me a little bit the wrong way.

I know computers are helpful, essential, and powerful. And yet, I cringe and pout when screens take the spot of a person. I didn’t want more work for the waitress- her having to go back to a different screen and run our card and all, but wanted her to do what she could do as well as a screen or even better and without the extra-nonessential interface. 

Seems screens instead of people has been in my face lately.

In Seattle, we ordered from a Subway drive-thru with a touch screen. It seemed smooth enough but prohibitive as well. We couldn’t ask for mustard on just half or for the footlong to be cut into thirds. In the end, I had to get out of the car and enter the restaurant, intercepting our order and asking for mustard packets and a specific slicing set up. The worker danced back and forth between the window where Drew was paying with a credit card, and me with my special requests.

Finally, we’ve been to the library three times in seven days. We are potty training Oakley (still too new for commenting) which has us upping our reading times.  Plus we just love the library- we gobble up books.

Over a year ago, the desks with “my people” (friendly library staff) were moved back and to the left, and four check-yourself-out (actually, check your own books out- it’s not a mirror) stations with SCREENS were placed front and center. No longer any need to stand across a desk from a person checking out my books, I can do it all myself, while chasing kids and juggling books.

The library screen is much smoother than Subway’s or Chilis’ and serves a money and time saving purpose for a non-profit, while serving the consumer pretty well. Still, I miss the help and the friendly conversation of the library staff. Now I only get to talk to them when I have to pay a fine.

I’m adjusting, digesting, and fighting the screen infiltration. In some ways revealing my low-tech/anti-tech tendencies, in other ways,  perhaps preserving person-hood and teaching my kids that real life happens best in real life.

We came home from Chili’s that night and took a walk. We went down to the small pond, ran into a neighbor, and skipped/tossed rocks as a family. It felt like really good, real life. I sat in the moment, loving it, living it and being grateful. Then, I took a screen shot of it.IMG_5346


A short bit about “short-on-time” tips!

Back CameraFall brings invitations to new adventures, obligations, commitments, and friends. I welcome the rhythm of new beginnings and a bit of starting over, mixed with a return to the familiar and routine.

As we approach the end of our summer (as in, “It’s not Labor Day yet!”), we still have major moments to check off the list: Drew is heading to Las Vegas this weekend, I’m going to attempt to stain paneled walls, and finally, most momentous, we’re all five flying to Seattle for a wonderful wedding for my cousin Bonnie, and the opportunity to meet my sweet new niece Vienna for the first time!

Like everyone, I feel there is a lot to do and a little bit of time.

Here I write to myself (and you) some of the best and simple advice I have on time stewardship– in short snippets because we’re all busy:

  • If you only have five minutes, think, “What can I finish?” never, “What can I start?”
  • Plan your work, then work your plan
  • The goal is not balance but living out good priorities
  • Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least
  • I cannot manage time- time is a gift. I can only manage myself within time.
  • There is real freedom in life-giving limits!
  • I literally cannot do more than one thing at a time. When I try, one thing is suffering from a lack of full attention.
  • There are lots of good things out there I could do…but I only want to do the best (for me) things.
  • Time flies

That last one is easy to say and very true. So…what do we do?

Maybe this?

  • Live right where we are as much as possible.
  • Realize order, structure, and schedules are nothing but vehicles for our life in Christ lived out ON PURPOSE, with priorities, alongside other people. 


I’ll end with a centering prayer I learned from my friend Jim Gordon- pastor at Pine Ridge Pres here in KC.

Let’s pray it out loud and move on with the day.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know that

Be still and know

Be still and

Be still



When working out doesn’t work out.

1377166_544628175605078_1290412836_n (1)

Ahh burpees- literally lifting yourself off the floor…over and over.

Not counting a leisurely bike ride on Mother’s Day, Sunday, I haven’t worked out for the last five days. I’ve been in town and had the schedule availability and even the desire to work out, but have a bit of an injury/sickness that has made me tentative to do regular Crossfit workouts.

Today I packed workout clothes in the car when Oaks and I headed out to meet a friend for park play around 9:00am. I thought we could fit in an easy workout at the gym, Oaks practicing his dribble, and me earning a shower and burning some calories.

Then, I had a mental quandary and a long conversation with myself in my head and ended up here:

“Self, go do something. Anything is better than nothing. Just a little stint on the rowing machine at least.”

How about “no”?, Self. Do the errand instead. Return the “really cute but too small around the arms” (muscles or too much ice cream?) Royals shirt that Drew gave you for Mother’s Day.”

Returning the shirt with Oakley in tow will be a work out…but still, you should go to the gym”

“I think I”ll do the errand. One more day of taking it easy on my aches and pains won’t hurt my lifelong fitness.”

And that’s when it hit me…LIFELONG FITNESS.

9am class-1

We hope our time away from family to work out, is showing our kids that we think health and fitness are important…we also try to work out mostly at 5:30am so they never know we’re gone!

That’s the goal. Movement and health for as long as I live. The ability to run, play, exercise, compete in sports, move up and down stairs, chase kids and grandkids, lift heavy stuff, do hard things…I want to do all of this for a long time. Looking fit and fitting into my clothes- always a bonus.

If we approach working out as a lifelong endeavor, as a habit and a rhythm, a part of who we are and what we do, perhaps the burden of guilt, or fear of fat, will lift when working out just doesn’t work out for a moment, week, month, or season.

People who do Crossfit get injured. People who run and walk and lift and dance, kick, or throw, get injured too. Activity involves risk. Injuries require healing and rest. For people who are used to activity, rest is the hardest! I’m raising my hand here and thinking of my friends who have gotten very hurt and have taken time off, done months of PT, and then come back to the gym. They’ve come back brave and healed, with head-held-high-humility- indeed they have overcome.

In short, taking time off can do more good than harm. Resting a weary body, allowing a sick or wounded self space and time to heal, or simply skipping the gym because life is complicated and full in this season, does not disqualify one from fitness.

I have taken longer breaks for sure, but today felt the purest peace in knowing that a week off, or even 10 weeks off, is OKAY when fitness is your lifelong pursuit. I will still be fit. I can get back into shape

I will only work out for my whole life if I don’t do it every day of my whole life. (Read: I am not an elite or professional athlete. Duh.)

It’s not rocket science or an excuse to stay home from the gym today if you’re planning to go…but it is a mental pass for people who might otherwise get all tangled up in somersaults of guilt and shame…instead, let’s take deep breaths with our eyes closed and drink two extra glasses of water and call it good.

Cheers…and Peace.