All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Damn Boobs

(This post has quite a bit of “TMI,” so feel free to skip it if you don’t want to read about boob issues.)

Why do our breasts need to be such a bother sometimes?  During puberty, they hurt, which is normal.  During pregnancy, they hurt, which is normal.  As we’re attempting to breastfeed our babies, they hurt, which is normal (even though the “breast is best” machine tells us that it’s not supposed to hurt).  Even after breastfeeding is well established, they can hurt due to mastitis and plugged ducts, which is… NORMAL (but needs to be dealt with).

When you’re 40 and done gestating and nursing babies, hurting breasts are “not normal.”  Breasts that have a discharge are, “definitely not normal.”  I have both on the right side.

I noticed it the morning I ran my half marathon, as I was getting dressed and before I ran.  My right nipple hurt, like it was bruised, but nothing else did.  I blamed the running I’d been doing and went on my way.  After the race and once I was back at my parents’ house, I thought about it again as I noticed the nagging pain.  My little sister said, “I bet it’s from running.  As long as there’s nothing coming out.  Is there anything coming out?”

I hadn’t thought of that.  So, we gave it a try and… yes… something comes out.

Damn it.

My family has a long history of breast cancer, and my youngest aunt on my mom’s side is going to die from it here soon (I just found out two weeks ago that it’s stage 4 and mutating rapidly, and therefore only a matter of time).  My sister told my mom about my issue and she became concerned and they both insisted that I call my doctor first thing on Monday.  One of my younger cousins had the same thing a while back and it all turned out OK, so when my mom told me that, I assumed that this really was no biggie.  So I did what any non-alarmist would do and sent an email to my doctor’s nurse Sunday night so that I didn’t need to bother anyone on Monday when the office opened.

She scheduled me for an appointment right away – first available appointment.  I found out that they move people around to make room for people in my situation.  Hmmm… I started thinking that maybe this is a big deal.  We discussed the symptoms and the doctor said it is not from running since I had a rest day before I noticed the pain and because I wear the same type of bra every time I run.  We were all hoping it was from running, so this discussion deflated me a bit.

The discharge was collected and sent to the lab.  I was then instructed to get blood work to make sure it’s not elevated prolactin levels because that would indicate a growth in my head putting pressure on the pituitary gland.  I was scheduled for the first available mammogram and ultrasound.  My head was spinning and I asked if she would be concerned if she was me.

“We are going down all paths at the same time to minimize worry.”

Not the answer I wanted, but she’s right.  And as she says, this is very likely nothing.  BUT – because of the family history of breast cancer and because breast discharge is NEVER normal, they need to investigate it until all paths are trodden.

I am not worried.  I was worried right after my appointment but I never cried.  When I had a bone tumor in my rib that they first thought was a breast lump and they had me scheduled with a breast surgeon immediately after my mammogram – that’s when I cried.  I wasn’t able to function back then when that was going on.  This?  Not worried.

I woke up today to no pain – which is great!  And my prolactin tests came back just fine so there are no growths in my head, also great news!  Still waiting on the lab work on the discharge and then I have my mammogram and ultrasound tomorrow morning first thing.  I will know for sure this week if this is anything to worry about, but I’m sure it’s not.

We will have done every test imaginable, put my breasts through lots of exams and discomfort, and caused my parents to worry (my dad is shaken, which surprises me) and it will be for nothing, which will be good.  But still… a lot of drama for nothing.

All I can think right now is, “damn boobs.”


My Support Team… My Loves

I ran a half marathon this past weekend.  It was amazing and such a great race for me – the best and fastest 20K/half I’ve ever run (this last race was #4).  Hitting a personal best, feeling as great as I did throughout the race and at the finish, and kicking off racing season with a bang was all great – but it doesn’t hold a candle to the highlight of my experience.

My boys came out to support me – in the pouring rain.

As they dropped me off close to the starting line, I blew them each a kiss and said I’d see them along the way.  Because of the rain, I wasn’t sure that I would see them.  It’s a pretty tall order to get two little kids out of the car multiple times to stand in the rain and wait for their mom to run by.  As I waited in the rain for the gun to go off, I felt emotional and even teared-up thinking about them standing along the race route waiting for me in the rain.  I knew they may not be able to make it work, but I was hoping they could.

And they did!

I gave Hottie a course map the night before the race with three general areas circled that would be nice points for the boys.  He said that they would do their best but that the weather could be an issue.  I agreed.  I honestly hoped I’d see them once.

They came to the first point circled on the course map, but I was running faster than anticipated and they missed me.  Shoot!  I had no idea until after the race that they were there, but my heart melted when Hottie told me.  I saw them around mile 6/7 as I came down a straight stretch, but they didn’t see me.  I shouted out for Matthew and they got so excited and had a hard time grabbing their little signs (in all fairness, they were also eating donuts)!  I really wasn’t concerned about my pace so ran up to give them each a kiss and it was just wonderful – I ran faster after that!

My phone/headphones started to fail at about mile 10.5 and I kept hoping I’d see the boys again so I could give them my electronics.  We had JUST bought the new phone the night before (not recommended) and here I was in the rain with it.  I was terrified I was killing it with the rain and just then… there they were again calling for me!  I ran over to kiss them (again) and hand off my phone when the boys said, “Mom!  We brought you oranges!”  Cut orange wedges are my favorite race food – I learned that 6 years ago when running Grandma’s Half in Minnesota.  Of course, Hottie remembered that and brought them for me.  How wonderful!  I sucked on one of them as Hottie fished my phone out of my running belt (my fingers were frozen and could not function) and then they sent me on my way after another orange wedge.  As I ran off (with no music), I heard, “Go Mom Go!  Go Mom Go!  Go Mom…”  Seriously – there is nothing more motivating!  I heard them in my head until the finish line… where they were NOT!

Once again, I was running faster than anticipated and I crossed the finish line without my support crew.  HA!  It was a very anti-climactic finish given the awful, cold weather with very few spectators there.  I wasn’t sure what to do!  I couldn’t get my fingers to work they were so cold and couldn’t even zip my coat or open my water bottle.  I walked back to the finish just to make sure I hadn’t missed them and I hadn’t – they weren’t there.  I went to the relief tent and asked for a blanket from the EMS table so I could warm up and then asked a gal if I could borrow her phone to call Hottie.  Her phone had taken it as well and my fingers weren’t working, so it took forever to get the call made.  Turns out, they had just gotten to the finish line, so I headed their way.

Matthew’s little face lit up when he saw me and he and Bryson kept saying, “great job, Mom!  You won the race!”  They were so excited!  I got a kiss from everyone and we headed QUICKLY to the car!  As I held Matthew’s hand, headed for shelter from the never-ending rain, he looked up at me and said, “I heard them say on the radio, ‘Courtney Donaldson from Urbandale.”  I was so happy – they were there for my finish (just not at the finish line, but getting out of the car), and my little boy heard them announce my victory!

Hottie, God love him, took me straight to his downtown office to take a shower to warm up since we had two bags full of dry clothes and shoes, and because I now had a “towel” in the form of the flannel EMS blanket I walked off with.  My boys continued to support me as they waited in Dad’s office (eating even more donuts) while I took the longest, hottest shower ever!  And as I was showering, Hottie came to the door and said, “2:04 was your finish time, I thought you’d want to know right away!”  He knows me so well, and loves me so much!  Because I’d given him my phone, I had no idea what my time was until he told me.  It was so fun hearing it from HIM, of all people!

It was the most perfect race… and it truly rained the entire time!  HA!






Mad Documentation Skills – HA HA!

Hi there!

I had round 1 of my “work done” today and I documented the process on my fitness blog.  It really should be documented here, but because I believe in transparency when it comes to how one looks and the other blog is about fitness and bettering my physique, I chose to put it there.  It was a VERY interesting experience and without seeing results yet, I would recommend it just based on the physical experience of the procedure.  I ran 5.0 miles 3 hours afterwards, and would have run right away if there had been time.

I’ll post progress photos as the weeks go by!

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Book Worm

Mommy: “The frog found a”

Bryson: “Lily!”

Mommy: “The dog found a”

Bryson: “bone!” **

Mommy: “The bird found a”

Bryson: “Tweeeeg!”

Mommy: “And the cat found a”

Bryson: “CONE!”

Bryson’s first ever pine cone! “Room on the Broom,” one of his favorite books, will now mean a little bit more to him thanks to a walk on the trails in Ames. 🐸🐶🐦🐱

** I know the cat comes before the dog in the book! 😉


Super Mom **

I got this text from a good friend today:

“Do you ever have complete meltdowns or are you always super mom?”

I laughed out loud, and then responded honestly. No mom is super mom, and I’m far from it. Hottie has been traveling the last two weeks and my kids are feeling the toll and stress that puts on me and my (very quick) temper. The last two days were not my proudest parenting days and today was only better because I finally got to run, drink diet Pepsi, and eat Chipotle. It’s the small things, ladies, that calm my nerves!

But being perfectly honest, if my kids had mobile phones, they’d post pictures to FB of me losing my mind at them and tag them ‪#‎worstMomEver‬.

I’m totally serious.

All moms have bad days. All moms have bad weeks. Parenting is not always lovely, in fact, it usually is NOT. What we see on FB are the good times, and that’s because public self deprecation helps no one. And I know that I post the good times so I have those to reflect on and remember when things are far from good.

Find the little things that help you survive, let go of the shame in needing those things to survive, and move on after you lose your mind with your kids. We all loose or minds… A LOT.


** (My latest post to FB after having one of those “desperate mom conversations” via text messaging.)



My good lord, I’ve been gone a long time.  Both of my blogs have been very neglected lately.  I feel like I have no time to sit down and really write anymore.  I figure I should be taking to the micro-blog Mondays as that would be a great first step to getting back here more regularly, but I’m not even sure that feels do-able right now.

Things are good here, just busy!  I am training for 3 half marathons scattered throughout a three month span (April 30, June 4, July 23) and that keeps me working out and focused.  I’m trying to lift weights and do PiYo at least twice a week to stay strong and loose.  I’ve painted another painting which will go in our bedroom once framed and I love it!  I’ve been selling stuff on FB the last 3 days so that I can do it all at once and then be done for a while.  Man alive, that takes a lot of time but is worth it – $975 in 72 hours.  It’s hard not to do it when there’s that kind of money to be made.  Hottie is traveling quite a bit right now which is fine but at the end of the day, I just want to sit and do nothing.

The boys are doing great!  Matthew is doing awesome with his speech and in school.  He NEVER complains about going to school, something that truly amazes me after 2.5 years of going.  Bryson loves school and also never complains, but that’s expected right now because it’s still sort of fresh and exciting.  😉  They are both signed up for camps this summer and Matthew is doing 8 weeks of it and I think Bryson is doing 5 weeks (he has to be 3 to go, and that won’t happen until the end of June).  We are potty training Bryson and if he’s naked, he does great.  There has not been a single naked accident even on the first day.  but if you put undies or a pull-up on the kid, he uses that.  It’s aggravating.  My deadline is his first day of camp in July, so there is time.  Matthew is into science and information in general, and Bryson is seriously into puzzles (I just ordered more from Amazon).  Everything is great on the kid front!

I’m scheduling things to succeed with my “Year 41 Plan” and now that I am 40 (oh yeah, that happened on St. Patrick’s Day!), that plan seems a little daunting.  HA!  But I’ll stick to it!  I’m excited about quite a bit of it, actually!

So that’s what’s going on.  Not a lot, just a lot of the same.  🙂  Life has leveled out a bit now that Bryson is approaching 3 and I hope it just keeps getting easier.  I know, I’m kidding myself 😉



Who Doesn’t Love a Little Dr. Seuss?

My kids love, love, love Dr. Seuss books!  We started them out young with a book my friend, Denise, gave us that her girls loved – the small board book version of “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.”  It’s a very special book to me because it was gifted down from her girls, it was the book that their mom read to them over and over again.  I love the rubbed edges that it came with and could get rather edgy if the boys tried putting it in their mouths or peeling the edges  🙂  I started reading that to Matthew when he was a few months old and then added “Fox in Socks,” “Oh the Thinks you Can Think,” and “The Foot Book,” – all in tiny, condensed board book versions.


When you finally acquire yourself a baby (I know not everyone births their own babies!), you get lots of books as gifts and I would say that 15% of them or more are Dr. Seuss books.  We have lots of them, but they can be tricky, and long, to read at the end of the day.  Matthew loves “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and asks for that year-round.  Both of the boys love “Green Eggs and Ham” and I wish I’d kept the second copy we received of that so we could have one in each room.  We have bought Matthew some Seuss-style books that on the cover, look like they were written by the good Dr. but a closer glance makes it obvious that they’re not.  There are some good ones of those, though, and he loves the Dinosaur one (I can’t remember the title).


On my way to my painting class tonight, I had to stop at Target to buy staples.  What an odd thing to need from Target.  I can’t just go into Target and buy the one thing on my list, so I picked up some paints for the boys and on my way to check out, there was an end-cap at the checkout lanes with heaps of Dr. Seuss books for $5.00 each!  This was a sign!  Why?  Because I was on my way to paint… THE CAT IN THE HAT!  I about cried when I saw the full versions of “There’s a Wocket in My Pocket,” and “Oh the Thinks You Can Think.”  Bryson recites parts of both of those books and it just melts my heart, and being perfectly honest, “Oh the Thinks You Can Think,” has always made me emotional* because of its really, really, REALLY great message (if you use your imagination, you’ll never be lonely).  I picked up two bigger-boy books for Matthew (“There’s No Place Like Space,” because that boy is obsessed with outer space, and “Seuss-isms”) and the two that made my heart skip a beat.  I’m super excited to read them to each of the boys tomorrow night!


Tonight’s painting was “Cat in the Hat,” and I signed up for it probably 5 minutes after Marcy (the teacher/artist) posted it on her site.  I am not 100% sure where this guy is going to go, and I fear there may be a little battle over who gets him in their room, but I’m thrilled to have him home and ready to frame.  Matthew was up when I came home so I showed it to him and he gasped with excitement.  That’s what I was going for!


He’s not my favorite painting so far, but he will be the boys’ favorite, which makes him pretty darn special!

*  I’m an emotional reader



Two Reasons

There are two reasons for doing the crafty things that I do.

  1. I really enjoy it!  If I can find the time to bake or do some cool craft project, I’m all in  🙂  (I’m painting again tonight!)
  2. When my kids act like assholes at school, I *sort of* hope that the teachers will remember that they can’t be all that bad if they have a mom who sends cake pop bouquets to them for Valentine’s Day (or spooky, decorated wood letters for Halloween)

Ha ha ha!



BIG Boy Changes

Bryson has been an amazingly easy kid to put to, and keep in, bed. He tells us when he’s tired, asks for naps and bedtime, and sleeps 10 hours each night and 1.5-2.5 hours each day. Hottie has been suggesting for months that we convert his crib to the toddler bed so that he can get himself out in the mornings and I’ve refused because, “why would we do that? He doesn’t climb out yet.” I said we’d convert the crib once it became a necessity.

It’s become a necessity!

Two mornings in a row, he’s shown up beside my bed asking to, “snuggle buggle in your bed.” I had him show me how he climbs out and he’s quite nimble, but I don’t want him slipping and falling off the rails in the dark (5:45, good god). So… I braced myself for hell and converted his crib.

No hell. No hell at all.

He napped there for 2 hours and went to bed tonight without a problem. At this point, the only problem I foresee is that there is no guard rail because I broke it today while putting it on. So, the floor is covered with pillows in case he rolls out. He stays pretty put at night, so I’m betting 50/50 odds where Matthew would have been 99/1 odds that he’d fall out (the kid has always rolled around all night long)! 😁

Hoping hoping hoping I’m right!