Friday, October 29, 2010


this blog will probably be more self-reflective than looking for input at the end, but I never truly know how blogs will end when I start them. I just kind of let everything roll off of my fingers.

I have noticed lately, my own lack of self-confidence. I make grand plans of things I want to do and then get nervous and full of doubt and end up letting the things I want to do pass me by. I said awhile back that I want to start my own photo studio. At this point in my life, I would want a photo job to get experience and feel more confident about opening my own studio. I want to open a studio by my 30th birthday, but I haven't really gotten much accomplished towards my goal, and I start to doubt that I can actually do it and be successful.

And then there's my running. At the beginning of 2010, I made a goal of running a 5K. I did my first in May and got a time around 45 minutes. I added to my goal, saying that I wanted to finish a 5K in under 40 minutes. If I had trained, I probably could have done it. Doubt got in my way a lot. My own paranoia made me believe that random people who lived around me would see me out running and point and laugh. It sounds stupid when I write it out, but that's what I honestly believed, and it makes it harder for me to get out and run. I finished my final 5K of the year with a time of 41:14, so I got close, but not close enough to make myself happy.

Next year I want to run a half marathon. 13.1 miles. My goal time? Under 3 hours. I looked into a race I really want to do in April. I have told people it's a race I want to do, but I have not yet done anything in the way of training. And a NY winter isn't really the best time to be out running, but if I truly want to run this race, it's something I'll need to cope with (or get a gym membership). I keep just imagining myself, passing out at mile 5.

I guess in order to meet my goals, I need to truly take a hard look in the mirror. I say that I can't do things a lot of the time, and I don't think it's true. I can do things if I truly put the effort in and stop with the excuses. I need to make sacrifices to achieve the goals I have set for myself. Yet I feel like there's nobody pushing me to do things, I have to push myself but I've never really had to before. It's a new thing for me to have to totally be in charge of my own goals.

Ok, I think I've rambled enough, I hope that I will remember this next time I'm sitting here, wondering why I am not getting any better mileage or pacing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

When a parent gets hurt

Somebody I know recently broke a bone, and they found out that they are going to have to have surgery to fix the bone. I thought that their children would know, or should know, so I e-mailed one of their children to update them. Well, that totally backfired. The child in question, called and freaked out on them for not calling them as soon as they found out.

I don't get it. I would be concerned and call my parent and see if they were ok, not scream at them. I would want to know and would also thank the person who let me know.

What would you do if one of your parents got hurt and you weren't the first person they called?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Traveling, and an update

I wrote my last post about winning big with the lotto. My mom and I cashed in her winning ticket, and later that day we headed to the casino. We lost, but a woman who sat next to me won a little. She told me that the game we were playing (a nickel slot machine) hated her and that she never wins. I finished my money on my card and went to find my mom. A little while later, my mom was playing another machine, and I hear a bonus on the game I was playing earlier go off. I turn around to see the woman who told me she never wins. She ended up winning about $400 on that bonus. She laughed when she turned around to see me cheering her on, hoping she'd make the right choices when it came to winning. A few minutes later, she got another bonus, this time winning $700. She made me wish I wasn't done playing and could win a piece of the action too.

On to today's topic, traveling. I am planning to take a trip soon, and looked on-line at ticket prices. The place I wanted to go went down in price from the last time I checked, which was great. I booked my tickets and the husband reminded me that the plane leaves at 5:50, and I would need to get there 2 hours in advance. Being that early in the morning, I may be able to get there just one hour in advance, especially with only a carry-on and no baggage to be checked.

I haven't been on a plane since 2005. I would love to say that I will someday travel the world, but I will be happy just to travel to a lot of the United States. I am hoping to run a race in every state, whether it be a 5K or a 100-mile ultra. OK, I probably will never run 100 miles, but it's a possibility for a race.

Anybody reading this want to share a travel story? Whether it's about meeting 'the one', getting your luggage lost, or anything in between.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Winning big

Last week was a lucky week for my family members. My brother told us that he won at the nearby casino, enough where he should have paid the taxes before he left. If he was supposed to pay taxes, that means it was over a thousand dollars. The very next day, my mom called me and said that she won on a scratch-off ticket. She said "I scratched it off and won $100, and then found out it was times ten." So she won a thousand dollars on a scratch-off ticket.

This got me thinking. What would you do if you won $1000? What if you won millions? How would you spend it?

I would like to think if I won big (like millions) I would donate some to a charity of some sort. I would like to donate some to the youth center that I spent a lot of time at when I was growing up. I remember promising when I was 16 or 17 that I would buy an air conditioning unit for the soup kitchen I visited with the youth center. It got far too hot in the summer, serving food behind the counter.

In the way of spending it, I would like to put some away for my son's future, as well as a lot of it in the bank for me to spend as I please. I would get more driving lessons and get my license, and then a car as well. A bigger house would be nice too.

So what do you think? What would you want to do if you won millions of dollars?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meeting Superman

It's a beautiful fall day today. Other than some crazy wind, it's a great day. Sweatshirt and pants weather, if you will. So Tristan and I went to the park. It's only a little walk for us, through the "woods path" and to an elementary school that has recently been closed.

Playing on the playground was none other than Superman. Not the best disguise, he wasn't wearing glasses, or anything other than a sweatshirt to cover his Superman outfit, cape, and huge muscles. Ok, so he was a little boy in costume, but he was Superman. And that is all that Tristan would call him. "Hey Superman, let's play!"

His mother was half-watching as she sat at the picnic table, and appeared to either be working or studying. She would look up every few minutes to make sure he was still there, but otherwise just kept doing what she was doing. At least she was smart and wore a hat, to keep her hair from blowing all over, unlike my hair that was covering my eyes, more so than usual.

Tristan was enthralled with Superman. He chased that little boy around; and made sure if he was going to a different part of the playground, he was going to tell Superman where he would be. They spent probably 15 minutes taking turns climbing up the little slide. As soon as one would get to the top, the other would slide down and then climb up again.

And then it happened, Superman pretended to hit his head and roll down the slide. I could tell he was fine, but Tristan thought it was hysterical. The laughter kept Superman running up the slide and rolling down into the mulch. His mother finally spoke, to tell me that he's a stunt double in the making. I could see this kid going far in the movie business, or as a professional 'wrestler' like The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin.

I think my favorite part of playing alongside this boy was when he ran behind a tree, ripped off his sweatshirt, and became Superman. He seemed so confident and fun. I hope that Tristan can play with him again, if we meet up at the playground. I love little children in costumes, especially when it isn't yet Halloween.

For the parents reading, or children at heart, what is your favorite costume that you have worn or that your children have worn? Tristan is insisting on being a tiger, his costume is already finished. My only worry is that he will eat too much between now and then, and his costume won't fit very well. In that case, he'd be a ghost, which is the alternative costume he requested I make for him.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Credit cards

I got my credit card bill in the mail today, and was kind of surprised. I forget how fast everything adds up. We put a lot of stuff for the new house on there, and wow.

I won't get into exact numbers, but let's say that this month's bill is over $2000. I looked at the handy dandy thing on the side, that tells you how long it will take to pay off that bill, paying only the minimum. It says 21 years. What? How do people get by, making only minimum payments? I could not imagine paying off my washer and dryer for 21 years, as well as the new shades in the house. In all honesty, I probably won't even own them in 21 years. So I would be continuing to pay on things I no longer own.

I try to be financially responsible, as well as a stay-at-home mom with a credit card can be. I may be a little ignorant when it comes to finances, I admit that. I have never really had any bills of my own to take care of. My husband handles all of the bills that we have. He has a lot of them go straight to him, so I don't even know what we really pay on all of it.

Not knowing where money is going out (or rather, how much is going in and out of our account) is kind of frustrating. You never learn about finances if you don't get put in charge of them, at least in my opinion. Before I met my husband I had a pre-paid cell phone, and lived with my father. I had the credit card, but knew not to rack up more than I made at my part-time job. I vaguely know the importance of credit cards, they're a great way to build your credit, in case you ever need a loan.

I don't know, it's just frustrating when I see on the news about credit cards charging above 30% interest. I know that's how they make their money, but a lot of young adults are falling into the trap of getting credit cards and overusing them. I know people who were $10,000 or more in debt, just through credit cards. They got in the cycle of spending just a little bit more than they are taking in, hoping that this would be the last time they did it. Add in the interest and things spiral out of control quickly.

On the opposite side, you have people who don't have any credit. They are financially responsible enough to not find credit cards attractive, and maybe have various bills in somebody else's name. Not that they are committing identity fraud, but more like people who have their parents paying for things like their cell phone and car. So they go through life and don't build up any credit to speak of. When it comes time to settle down and buy a home, they don't have the credit to get a good loan, even though they would be able to make the payments that go with it. I even know a guy who paid for a house in cash because he had the money to do so and couldn't get approved for a mortgage to pay the house off over time.

I sort of forgot where I was going with this post. I started out talking about my credit card and am now discussing other people's credit. Overall, I think they should teach finances as a mandatory class in high school, rather than a small section throughout different math classes. New parents and newlyweds should also have to take a financing course, as those two events are a great time to re-evaluate your credit and finance knowledge. I know that, when I had my son, money was flying out faster than it was coming in. Diapers, wipes, clothing, furniture, and everything that went along with having a baby. Not to mention hospital bills that would have to come out. I was lucky that we had help, and that I was able to utilize Medicaid to pay for hospital costs. I know that other people do not have those options and end up paying a lot of money out of pocket, or using the credit card to pay things off over time.

While I think credit cards are great tools to have, especially in case of emergency, I also think they are very easy to obtain and misuse. Have any good credit card tips, or stories about misusing one? Feel free to add a comment and tell us about it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Say what you need to say

This post is inspired by a post I found on (I believe that's the correct website, it's the Single Dad Laughing blog).

How many times have you lied about yourself or your family to appear more perfect? Have you hidden things about yourself so that you don't have the bear the shame of being.... well, normal?

I guess we can call this post, a cleansing. If you wish, leave a post (with your name, or anonymous) and fess up to something. The writer of that blog owned up to a lot of things, some more serious than others. It would only be write for me to own up to some things, since I am asking all of you to do the same.

I used to go through a period of time where I wanted to kill myself. I wanted to end my life, and looking back, most of it was trivial stuff. I had a bad day at school, or my boyfriend dumped me. When you're a teenager, that seems like such life-altering stuff. And it is, but instead of ending your life, it makes you part of who you will be in your adult life.

I am jealous of a family member's relationship. They seem truly perfect, never fighting or really even disagreeing. I feel horrible for almost hoping that their marriage isn't as perfect as it seems. I am NOT saying I hope there's major issues, just regular everyday stuff.... like he comes home and walks on the clean floor with muddy shoes. I had somebody else tell me that they look at the marriage I mentioned and wish their marriage was the same. I told them that they can't compare themselves to somebody else because the grass isn't always greener, but I wish I could have it easy like their marriage appears.

I yell at my son sometimes and don't even know why I am yelling. I feel like a horrible parent, but it sort of slips out. I think if I worked, even part time, I would be a better parent. Being with a toddler from the time they wake up, until they go to bed... well, it's a tough job. It is much tougher than I thought it would be.

So, what do you want to own up to?

My first post

I know this is the lamest title for a blog post, but I don't really know where to start. So I guess this will mostly be a "getting to know me" post, for those who don't already know me.

So let's start with the basics. My name is Mary. I am married and have one child, a little boy who is almost 4. I am a stay-at-home mom and I live in NY. Not the city, the state. I really am not fond of people who assume NYC because I say I live in New York. If it were up to me (and a few others I know) New York City would become it's own state.

Also, if it were up to me, I think a lot of things would be different. Same sex marriage would be legal in all 50 states, with all of the benefits of marriage. I see no reason that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt, or be miserable like a lot of heterosexual married couples.

Marijuana would be legalized and taxed. Think of how much money the government could make off of potheads. Those with medical conditions would be able to get the prescription-grade pot like they are now in states where it's legal, and there would be less potent pot for recreational smokers.

OK, I think that's enough for now.