April 24, 2017

life after the mic drop.

Hello?  Is this thing on? Is there any body out there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?... wait, no, put down your lighter, let's get back to business.
It's been a while. A long while. 1 year and 4 months to be exact, since I posted anything here. Somewhere along the way I lost my love for blogging. My desire to care about it, but it's slowly coming back to me. I've spent this time reading other women and men write these great stories, and in the process, forgot to tell my own.

A lot has happened in the past two years. So many things I haven't even written about. Lots of heartache, and just as much joy. Milestones as well as disappointments, and frankly, near death experiences. I'll get to all that in the next coming months, I promise.

I'm not sure how many of you are still following, but I'm going to try to get your attention again, very soon!

If you're still around, thanks for hanging in there! I'm looking forward to hanging out again!

ox Kelly
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January 05, 2016

small changes toward a greater goal.

June (our dog) requested to go out this morning. "Jeeves, open the back door so I can run out and then run back in immediately as I do so delightfully, enjoy to do."  I didn't hear her whine, I heard Michael (my husband) get up and stomp tiredly down the hall and steps to let her out. The double "BEEP BEEP" of the alarm for the back door was clear as a bell. At this moment I was sure it was only about 3:49 am. I rolled over and sadly discovered it was actually 5:16 am. NARDS! I didn't fall asleep very well last night. Stomach was in knots, my muscles were stiff and sore, and I just didn't have an overall great rest at all. I laid there, listening to Mike stomp around downstairs... getting June water, pulling on his track pants, putting on shoes, and probably a sweat shirt, then I heard the tell tale "BEEP BEEP" as he went out the garage door into our 'gym'.

I must have dozed off for a split second, my alarm going off jolted me awake again. The delightful sound of horrible, 'Bro-Country' blaring [I always pick a station I hate] - I quickly slammed my hand down on it to turn it off.  And then it started... the reckoning. You can either get up now, and do this, or you can wait until tonight. However, if you wait until tonight, you won't have time to run. You will tell yourself you will do both, but you know damn well when it comes down to it, you won't. You have to watch episode to of Making a Murderer #priorities. Toss, turn, knowing I can't get back to sleep, I do what any rational adult would do, and I start in with the EENY, MEENY, MINEEY, MOE. Dammit, best two out of three... the damn outcome is the same... "You, Are, Not, It... laying in bed."

Annoyed, I sit up and notice my back is very stiff... I shuffle to the bathroom to do my business. I wake up most days checking social media, in the crapper. There you have it folks, the absolute truth. Think about that next time you see a comment from me before 6 am.  You're welcome.

I finish my business and fumble around trying to find my damn sports bra, some shorts and where the hell did my my last precious hair tie go?  I'm ready, I look at myself in the mirror and give myself a semi enthusiastic thumbs up, I am a vision... I then waddle down the steps to the living room.

I know all of this sounds like it's a New Year's Resolution that's already become a chore. Like, Kelly it's only January 5th and you're already bitter?  No, not a New Year, New Me BS trap, I didn't do that this year. I give all kudos for taking on the new year, new you stuff, but honestly, this has been about change for a while. You see I'm currently on my 3rd run of 21 Day Fix, once a day, 30 minutes every day for 21 days. I'm getting stronger every day, but still not firing to my full potential.  I've been jogging 2.25 miles on the treadmill at night, as often as possible (roughly 2-4 times a week). Why? Part of it is for the hell of it, to see how much I can push myself, the other part is that I wanted to drop some weight, and gain some strength, but the most important part is that I was ready to make a change in my life.

Mike and I did the Whole30 this past summer. We both saw amazing results. I did my 1st round, alone,  2nd round with him. Between the two rounds I lost over 20 lbs. This blew my mind. No exercise, JUST diet. I always heard your body was built in the kitchen but I didn't believe the validity of that statement until after doing the whole30 program. Mike had great success too.

via Grit and Glamour

Sounds scary I know, but honestly, it's not. Tough yes, but there isn't much in life that isn't worth it, after a tough battle, right? Through Whole30 I discovered my sensitivity to gluten, sugar and dairy. None will send me running for the bathroom to get sick, or worse (think other end, sorry TMI), however they will cause me to bloat, to swell, to ache, often to itch (gluten) and feel awful after consuming them. What did this teach me, well that #1 the treat better be worth the issues afterwards, and #2 it should be reserved for mostly special occasions.

I noticed I could breathe better. I wasn't getting winded walking up the steps, I wasn't getting the mid afternoon exhaustion issues I had in the past. My blood sugar wasn't spiking, I wasn't shaking, I wasn't as moody, and PMS was more of a breeze than EVER in my life. (Not easy, just MUCH better).

Do I still want chocolate, yes, I'm human, duh. And I will NEVER give up pizza, EVER!

After all of that discovery, I noticed that working out, while still hard wasn't nearly as bad as it used to be. We purchased a treadmill and one day I was like OK, let's do this. I walk/jogged my first full mile since high school without dying. I finished in 16 minutes. I bragged to my one running buddy and she said that was excellent so it made me feel wonderful.  The last time I tried to run was about 2 year ago, when Mike and I entered a Mud Run. Needless to say he was like a beautiful cheetah and I was like a slow ass elephant trudging through the mud. I have never felt like I was going to die more than that day, in my life.

So I made a change... We purchased bikes and started riding in the evenings after work and some days during the weekend. In approximately August/September or October, Mike made his own declaration to himself to do more moving, to try lifting weights again, and it went from there. He found a fitness routine he fell in love with and he's been getting up at 5:30 am ever since. He grumbles WAY less than I do. He's made amazing strides and floors me everyday!

I joined him with the early wake-up maybe a week or two into it, I started to feel guilty and lame for not trying... I'm glad I started. It's been about a month and 3 weeks for me. I've done 21 Day Fix, did a bit of PiYo over the holidays and I'm back to the 21 Day Fix, just to even it out in the mornings. You really can't beat pushing yourself for 30 minutes, sweating like crazy and then getting on with your day.  I actually look forward to my jog/runs in the evening on the treadmill, seriously, who am I?

I haven't seen huge changes in my body as of yet, just small bits, some weight loss, some hidden muscles coming out to play, HOWEVER, I have noticed that I am getting into a groove, and making headway in the whole "It's time to workout" scheme of things. This morning was rough, but I got up, turned on 21 Day Fix, and worked out. I always feel better once I start and I've never regretted a workout.

Mike and I started my 3rd and his 2nd Whole30 yesterday... I'm feeling much better already after all of the bad food we ate over the holidays. It's nice to get back to basics.

All that being said, I feel like I'm working toward a greater goal. While I'd love to say I'll be bikini ready by this summer, I'm really not focusing on that. Instead I want to focus on my health, and feeling better in my own skin. Listening to my body, and hell maybe even attempting a 5K that hopefully won't kill me.  Getting stronger and feeling better is my biggest goal. We'll see... 2016 is wide open, but for today... I'll stick with one mile at a time, one day at a time and one better chosen meal at a time! And who knows, maybe through all these changing habits, I'll drop some more pounds, but I don't want THAT to be my ultimate focus, because in the past, my vanity has always slowed me down.


PS I am NOT a Beachbody Coach, or a Whole 30 expert by any means, these are just the programs and things that I'm loving at the moment!
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January 30, 2015

he's a musical genius....

My love for Jack White is no secret. I've spoken about this affection for Jack before on this blog. However, until Wednesday night, I didn't realize how deep that love was.

For our birthday's last year, Mike and I received tickets to Jack White's show,  from his parents, and we finally got to use them Wednesday night.

I'm not going to blab too much - just let the photos do most of the talking.

All photos were taken by Jack White's personal photographers and available for viewing via Jack White's website under live shows. (My seats were not this amazing and I can't take credit for a single photo in this post).

At the beginning of the show the announcer instructed all of us to relax, and enjoy the show, without our phones. He stated that he understood we'd love to have keepsakes, or our own, but you miss the big picture when you're busy staring at a small screen. In order to keep us all happy, he let us know that Jack had hired his own personal photographers to capture the night for us, and that all the photos would be available the next day. And in turn we were free to use them and share them however our hearts desired! This is something Jack must do at all his shows, as well as ones he hosts at Third Man Records. We had a similar pep talk before the Mudhoney show we went to a year ago, and that is why I didn't have any photographic evidence of that either. And I'm ok with that.

And Evening With Jack White + Loretta Lynn
1.28.2015 • Nashville, Tennessee 

His opening act was the one and only Loretta Lynn. I am a huge, classic country fan (most of the new stuff is absolutely CRAP, yeah I said it). Her set was refreshing, very down to earth, sweet and so enjoyable. She came out in a beautiful ball gown, she was polite (even after having to blow her nose a few times for which she apologized, a lot), she was poised, and talked to the crowd the entire time. Often she would say "Yell out what you want to hear sweetie, and I'll sing it." Once a fan would yell, the band would start up a tune. I am really, really thrilled that I was able to see her. It was a joy to hear "Coal Miners Daughter" live.

Jack White and his band came out swinging and NEVER slowed down!!! I was floored by their energy, and the sound was ON POINT! And LOUD!!!

All Photos Courtesy of Jack White's Website

Could he look any more amazing? I loved his suit!
I loved the vintage vibe of EVERYTHING on the stage. 
(Please appreciate the old television behind his head in the image below, more on this in a bit).

It's hard to see in this photo but this entire stand up bass was mirrored. VERY reflective and gave off an almost "invisible" vibe when he turned with it. SO stinking cool!

Below: The entire band switched to different instruments from time to time. Jack even played the piano for a song. The use of fiddles in rock n' roll was fresh, not the standard, Southern Rock vibe, and not entirely "folk driven" like so much that's on the airwaves today - the blended really well, like they were meant to be there in the song, but yet still stood out enough that you thought, Wow, that's so cool!

I couldn't see the detail of the drum set from the angle we were sitting - and because there were NO big screens for this show (his drummer was set off to the left hand side of the stage instead of front and center, which was awesome. Being able to see him JUMP UP and down while playing was truly a sight!  I dig the anatomical ear on the front of the main drum.

After the first set (about an hour into the show) Jack and the band took a break, pulled the curtain and gave the crew time to set the stage back up for the 2nd half of the show.  Before the curtain lifted, his announcer came back out and introduced not only Jack, but also The Raconteurs! I was SO excited and floored. I didn't expect his other band to even be near the Bridgestone Arena - getting to hear them do 3 songs together was AWESOME! [As you can see he's all about not only giving you a great show musically but that the visual is just as important, for this set the lighting transformed the stage to be a much warmer, golden color. I love, love, love his attention to detail).

His set design was on point. Very mod, had a very 60's vibe to it, and his Powder blue suit complemented it so well! This man has an amazing eye for detail, and I love it! Remember that TV I mentioned above, and in the photo above this??? Well... 
*** It totally reminded me of the scene from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, where TV Stevie gets zapped into the television and made smaller. ***

"Look Ma, I'm on Television!!!" • via
Not only was Jack joined by the other members of The Raconteurs, but Loretta came back out to sing their duet "Portland, Oregon". They were so sweet together and you could completely tell how much he truly looks up to Loretta, and respects her.  He told a sweet, fun story about the first time he called her on the phone to discuss recording, and how she disguised her voice on the phone. She giggled and gave him grief. During her set, she said he couldn't sing a lick, and it was rather comical.

Side Note: I think that having Loretta open the show was a special treat just for the Nashville, his 2nd Home Town. I'm really glad we got to witness this!

I literally think I smiled the ENTIRE time I watched this show. Jack's energy and his entire band's energy was nothing short of amazing!

SIX //
Jack finished off the night with a more recent, White Stripes favorite. "Seven Nation Army". The whole arena literally sounded a lot like a College Football stadium game. Everyone chanting the "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhhh" together was MOVING and ugh, so, so good. At one point the entire band silenced themselves and let us sing it together.

The night wasn't just about them being on stage, Jack and his band were hell bent on making sure that we all enjoyed ourselves and that we wanted more. He asked us quite a bit... "Are you all still with me?" "Are you doing ok?"  "Do you want more?"  It reminded me of something that Johnny Cash, Elvis, or maybe even James Brown might do with their audiences back in the day. Mike also commented that the stage set to him, really reminded him of old school performances by Johnny, on variety shows.

Speaking of Elvis and Johnny, can we appreciate these images below, and see where the Cash and King resemblance is strong? Maybe it's the hair, or the clothing or the stance, but either way, it's there. The music might be different but we can agree that all three were and are definitely pioneers of music in their time. And incase you can't see it - yes he's wearing white, leather shoes with his powder blue pants (and jacket) and a black shirt. The evening's color was mostly BLUE. I like that he's very into black, and one signature color. (Usually yellow, blue or red - primarily speaking) ;)

Anyone that says ROCK N' ROLL is dead, has never been to a Jack White show! If you are even remotely into his music, do yourself a favor and GO. Run to the box office and get yourself a ticket! You will NOT be sorry!

Definitely a birthday gift that was WELL worth waiting for.  I was running on less than 5 hours of sleep yesterday but I'm finally feeling human again today!!!

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