Why every parent should watch Inside Out. Alone.


Ok, so yes a lot has already been said about Pixar’s new film, Inside Out, regarding how it helps kids recognize their emotions, and how in turn helps parents when certain emotions arise. I am going to talk about what struck me the most as I watched this wonderful film, and I believe that it helped to watch the film alone.

Pixar has the magic touch when it comes to painting that fine line between kid and adult content. UP, for example, has left grown men and women in a puddle of their own tears only 5 minutes into the film. Finding Nemo never stops pulling at a parent’s heart-strings because we, too, would never stop searching for our kid. Inside Out was no exception. I think I cried about 5 times.

I watched it alone, so I didn’t have any distractions (bathroom trips, crying, shushing, you get the picture…). I was completely engrossed, and able to let myself take in the emotional life of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. So this is what struck me, and the reason why I wish I wore waterproof mascara (I looked like Alice Cooper by the time it was over):

All I can do as a parent is to be there for my kid, and to respect his feelings.

That’s it. I want him to be happy, but I cannot force happiness. I can only hope that happiness will appear between the hurt, anger, fear, and sadness that comes with growing up. It is so difficult to watch our kids in pain, and struggle with their feelings, but trying to change those feelings without letting them occur is unfair. All of this may seem very obvious, but I have found that this can get lost in the day-to-day. It is tough to just let emotions pour out of a kid like a fire hose, but breakdowns need to happen to build the strength to deal with whatever will come in the future.

The film showed all of this to me in a simple, tangible way, which made it relatable and brought on the waterworks. I related to watching the happy memories of Riley from when she was a baby and a toddler, and then cried when those memories were disappearing. I cried with Joy when she literally held forgotten memories and said, “I just want her to be happy”. The family hugs, the shared goofy times, the want to change Riley’s bad memories to good ones….all made my parental self…sad. I know my son will not remember every happy moment the way I will. I know that he will not always be happy. I know that I have no control over what he will think and feel. All I can do is be there for him, and help his emotions mature as he matures. I just hope my emotions are mature enough to handle it.


“We can talk it so good. We can make it so divine”

Mile 5


Why hello there Mr. Treadmill. It’s been a long time. How about you and me, right now, 30 minutes. Maybe 45. (hey, if I don’t think of it as sexy then I am never staying motivated.)

I really do enjoy running. Right now I just love running to Lorde. My favorite song to end with is “Ribs”. It is a great interval song. I keep it steady and then crank up the speed whenever the songs picks-up. This may sound strange, but one of my favorite albums to run to is Siamese Dream. I am a big Smashing Pumpkins fan anyway, but this album is perfect for interval training. Many of the songs gradually go from slow and steady to rockin out, and I just love it.

So yes, I’ve been working out! Yay! I have been dancing to burn calories as well, and trying to tone as much as I can. I have even been trying to do my best not to eat crap, and I haven’t been drinking as much coffee. For me that is huge. I probably had caffeinated blood.

It is funny how things begin to fall into place. After almost three years of not sleeping well, my son is finally (mostly) sleeping through the night. This makes for a happier and well-rested set of parents, which of course equals energy to do more than drag my feet and pour more coffee. I have found that with a rested mind also comes the motivation to make changes. So thank you, my son, for making this possible.

One day I will tell him of the days when Mommy was always grumpy, because I hope I will never return to those days ever again!

Walking Out of the Darkness


Mile 4

So I have finally finished House of Cards and The West Wing. I have had my fill of that oblong office, and will now get to work on this oblong body!

No more distractions. No more excuses.

A new driving force to workout is that I will be walking in the Out of the Darkness Overnight, to raise funds for suicide prevention and mental health awareness. I will be walking 16-18 miles through the night, and my goal is to raise $1500 (hopefully more!). I have never walked this far before, so I need to get my you-know-what in gear!

I have lost friends to suicide, and I know too many who have lost a loved one. Mental illness runs in my family, and as you know I have been dealing with my own boughts of depression.

Any support would be greatly appreciated. No donation is too small. Seriously, it isn’t! If you cannot donate, please just help by talking about suicide and mental health.

For more information, please visit my page here.

Help spread the word to bring suicide and depression out of the darkness. Thank you!

Self care = actually caring


Mile 2

When you are a parent, it is always important to try to remember to take care of yourself. Of course this means physically, emotionally, and the big one – hygienically. Yep, I said it. After giving birth and in the beginnings of taking care of a child, you forget when you took a shower, washed your hair, put on deodorant, wore a bra, and how many times you’ve worn the same shirt since washing it. Throw some postpartum depression and a child who doesn’t sleep for months into the mix, and you are seriously forgetting how to take care of your basic needs because another person’s needs have taken over.

Even though my son is almost three, I still find myself in my pajamas half the day, and actually feeling that I look good hasn’t happened in, well, almost three years. The realization that I need to be taking care of myself is there, but I have come to realize that I am missing something – actually caring! I don’t seem to care about how I look anymore, but I get bummed out when I feel gross and ugly. Make sense? Nooooooooo…

So how did this happen? See the first paragraph. Like all things, it has become a habit. To get out of a bad habit you just need to force yourself out of that habit, and to give yourself TIME to do so. Something else I have trouble with, but trying to change.

I don’t know about you, but I always try to do everything all at once and then crash and burn. So today I took a shower, put on deodorant, and then put lotion on my crazy, wintered Godzilla skin. That’s it. That’s all I did, and it felt good. Baby crawls! All I needed today was to stop looking like a scaly Ethan Hawke.

Goal accomplished!

I blame you, Frank Underwood


Oh Francis…may I call you Francis? Thank you. So I would just like to say that I hate you for ruining my nap time workouts. I tell myself one episode, but you and your no-pattern-wearing wife have lured me in with your lying, scheming, meat-throwing ways. Now now, Francis, let me finish my thought. Wait. Maybe I shouldn’t…

Anyway, let’s just say that I am given 18 seconds to decide on whether or not to watch the next episode, but I take only 3 to click the button. Perhaps it is your southern charm? Or your ability to make murder look as easy as tying a tie? No. I believe it is because I am one of the few you never lie to. I am the only one who gets to see all you do, and yet I never want to look away. You are honest with me, and I appreciate it coming from a politician such as yourself.

So I blame you for the lack of shrinkage in my thighs, but thank you for inviting me into your twisted life and neutral-painted townhouse. Tell me, do your Pottery Barn Latte walls help you forget and get to sleep at night? Is the color dark enough to hide all of your secrets? Please. Don’t answer that. Some answers should remain buried (pun intended). I am only on episode 7, and I cannot wait to see what you do next. Goodbye, Francis. Say hello to your lovely wife.

Oh, and you may want to call my husband and say thank you. He was part of the Season 2 camera crew. Without him, you really wouldn’t exist.

Move It

Day 1, Mile 1


(this isn’t me, but I like the photo.)

This morning I did a 20 minute morning yoga video with my son. He is almost 3, and “with” is not really the correct word. As soon as I was in the table top pose, Mommy was a horse, and during the downward dog Mommy was a tunnel, but thanks to the hubby I got through it! I felt great!

I have decided that tomorrow I will begin the Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis DVDs that have been collecting dust for a month. I am not going to do the meal plan though, because who has time to pre-cook and blend all of the meals you are expected to eat on certain weeks? No seriously, who? Perhaps Mrs. Paltrow/Martin’s assistant can, but not me. That is just wishful thinking that I do not need.

I have also decided to do the workouts during my son’s nap. Lately I’ve been burning my calories on a West Wing marathon while he naps, but unless I want to end up looking like Toby Ziegler, I need to actually burn some calories.

Hurray for change! Let’s move!

A Journey Back to Me

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

I am a stay-at-home mom, and I have to admit – it is hard.

Let me first say that I love raising my son, and I feel very lucky that I get to watch him grow every day. I do think that I’m a good mom, but I could do better. Why? I have good days and bad days, just like everyone else, but lately I’ve had more bad days. I feel lazy. I go onto Pinterest and become exhausted by all of the great ideas of what to do with your kids. I used to get excited. My ideas begin with energy, and then fizzle out like air from a balloon before noon.

Lately I have been wondering why this is, and I have figured it out – I have basically lost myself. I cannot seem to remember who I wanted to be before being a mom. I cannot envision who I want to become, either. I’m stuck.

I started working at the age of 15, and pretty much never stopped until I quit my most recent job. I have discovered that a job gave me a sense of self-worth that I had never realized. I had my own bank account, and had the freedom to do whatever I wished with it. Now (even though my husband does NOT make me feel this way), I have lost that freedom. If I want to buy something for myself, I feel I have to ask for the OK. We shared our funds before, but since I contributed, I could peruse the JCrew sales without the guilt. A part of my independence has left the building.

This has moved me 10 miles away from myself

Before moving to NYC, I graduated from college with a BA in Theatre Arts. I wanted to become an actor. It didn’t happen, and that is totally and completely my fault. The reason I mention this is that I have always kicked myself for giving up. I’m angry with myself. I LOVE acting and the theatre, and yet I let it leave me.

10 more miles

After having my son, I suffered from postpartum depression. It is tough to say when it stopped. I will always have to deal with depression creeping in, but this hung on like a sloth, and just got bigger and bigger. When you have a gigantic sloth hanging onto you, it is tough to connect with your spouse in every way. Things are better, but to keep a connection flowing is really difficult, and I’ve been blaming myself. It makes me sad, and then the sloth returns. I tend to hide inside myself, when I should open up.

10 miles

I have always had mental issues with my weight. When I was thin I thought I needed to lose weight. Now that I definitely need to lose weight, I dislike myself and hide when I should just get up and MOVE. I find excuses. I sometimes sound like my toddler, “Just go to the gym.” “Why?” “You’ll feel better” “Why?” “You’ll have energy!” “Why?” “You’ll be happy!” “Why?” “Good question. I’ll sit and eat chocolate cake.”

10 miles 

I am the cause of the miles I have traveled from myself. We are all a work in progress, but it is tough to work on something that is 40 miles away.

So I am going to begin a journey back to me.

I will be better for it. I will be a better mom for it. I will be a better wife for it. How can we be anything to anyone else if we no longer know ourselves?

I will be sharing the progress of my journey. If you need to begin your own journey, please join me! Support is the best motivator!

Let the road trip begin…