Have you ever been brave enough to be last?

BFFs, have you ever raced? In high school, college, or as an adult? Have you ever pinned that bib on and stepped up to the line? If you haven’t, I can’t even describe to you how it feels. You’ve done the workouts, followed your plan (hopefully), made sacrifices, and on race day…you get to reap the benefits from it all.

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Hey, do you think this pink tutu is going to make my butt look big?!?!?

I’m lucky enough that I get to put on my tutu, strap a helmut on, and race tomorrow. But it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I had to weigh the risks vs reward and that’s so hard to do when you know you’re fighting for not-last-place. There isn’t a podium spot for someone like me. Mountain bike racing doesn’t hand out medals for finishing, so I know in advance that there will be no hardware to take home. As I timed my practice laps and compared those times to the racers from the year before, it became pretty obvious that I will most likely get last place. As in the very last person who finishes the race kind of last place. 

After giving into my doubts and fears and declaring on Facebook that I “needed more trail time” and I wouldn’t be racing, I decided that I’m going to race anyway.

And as my new best friend I have a few things to say about being last:

“Last place is so much better than no place. You see, at “no place” you’re still on the couch and only dreaming of the things you *might* be able to do. Don’t be afraid of last place because in every race there is a last place, but not everyone is brave enough to race. Not everyone is brave enough to dust themselves off after an injury or two, a broken heart, or what ever life has to offer them. But you, my very best friend…you are exactly brave enough to get back out there. You are brave enough to fight for what makes you happy. You are brave enough to work hard, even when you don’t want to. You are the mother freakin’ definition of brave. Get out there. Be brave.”

And so I will. I’m getting up tomorrow morning and heading to my first mountain bike race in FIVE years.

I am brave.

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It’s just like riding a bike, right?

I don’t know if you’ve ever blogged before, but if you have, you’ve probably taken a break for some reason or another. Maybe you were doing something cool like writing a book, having a baby, or being a contestant on the show Survivor and you didn’t have internet access. But sometimes bloggers take breaks for no apparent reason. Or maybe it’s a reason they don’t want to talk about.

Or maybe…just maybe…they take a break because their blog no longer seems to fit them.

This morning, I re-read my very first blog post. It was all “I AM PRINCESS! HERE ME ROAR!” and I can’t help but feel a bit….sad? This whole blogging, Facebook, Internet Personality, Bigger Than Me “thing” used to be so awesome.

I remember when I hit 100 fans on Facebook, then 1000, and eventually over 8,000¹! It was cool to reach out to so many other people and brighten their day, give them hope, make them smile, or have them laughing out loud at me with me. I smile when I think of the very first MFP BFF, Katie. And I feel like I did some pretty cool shit: Not Top Chef challenges, Mountain Bike Racing, Ragnar, Rock Band Parties, dyed my hair pink, made it to the top 8 on Blogger Idol, shared my love for Curlformers, and had a kick ass birthday give-away bash, just to name a few.

Then life slowed or stopped while I went through some heartbreaking family and friend stuff. Then had ankle surgery…twice.

So here I am. My ankle’s fused. My hair is brown. I’ve gained forty pounds. I’m out of shape. I wear nothing but pajama shorts and sports bras. I’ve disconnected from my blog, Facebook page, and even “real-life”.

Things will come along, like training for a 5k or 10k and I’ll feel a bit of excitement, but then I’ll get sick or whatever. Training will be put on hold and I go back to sitting on the couch. I’ve even gotten on the bike once or twice and tried practicing my skills:

I’ll get excited over new companies I’ve found, but then drop the ball when other people fall in love with the company too. Friends will ask me to go hang out or go dancing, usually I cancel at the last minute, simply because I don’t really think I’m that much fun to be around.

I might even put on make-up and wear real clothes for a week or two, but most of my clothes are too small for me and I don’t want to spend money on clothes that never seem to fit right. I’m too small for Lane Bryant and Catherine’s but to big for Target and Kohl’s. Plus, I’m not really going anywhere, so what’s the point?

Here I am, staring at the computer screen and my blog.

Wondering if I’m even a freakin’ princess anymore?

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¹At some point in time I decided I was no longer The MFP. I was going to be a “real” writer and I convinced Facebook to let me change my page name to Kimberly M. Olson. That was a mistake. Far too many people started to “dislike” me as my real name. So…..a new MFP page and back down to 1000 fans that I’m sure have forgotten me and I continue to ignore. Plus, I’m not a “real” write so there is that.

 

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Need not apply.

I’ve been considering getting a part-time job, but with all my recent health issues it’s probably not a practical thing to do.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned my *new* health concerns? That’s probably because I don’t have any great answers yet. Both my family doctor and my orthopedist told me to see a neurologist. The neurologist said that he thinks my back is causing multiple sclerosis type symptoms, but he’s not convinced that I have MS. So we’re hitting my back with a variety of treatments with the hope of getting me some much needed relief. (I’m typing this post right now with mostly numb fingers – yeah, I’m freakin’ awesome like that.)

Anyhoo…Let’s get back to that job thing.

MFP-sleep-over-shots
See?!?!?! I can totally do shots!

Earlier this week, I got an email from Noah at okdork.com. He also runs Sumome.com which offers FREE tools for you to help you grow your website traffic. Sure, it was a “form email” that he probably sent to everyone on his massive email list, but it intrigued me. Basically he’s looking for rock stars to add to his already amazing team. You don’t have to have a college degree, but you do need to like tacos, drink AT WORK, and be able to use the word fuck in casual conversation¹.

OMG…It’s like I was born for this job.

I hit the CLICK TO APPLY HERE button and started typing up a summary of my awesomeness. (By the way, go ahead and apply if you think you like tacos, drinking, and swearing more than I do.) Then I got to thinking and I realized that with my current medical shit it would be unwise to get Noah’s hopes up that I could actually work for him. I just couldn’t hit the send button, but I think it’s a pretty good summary about how cool I am, so I’ll share it with you:

“Hey Noah! I just wanted to send you a quick note letting you know that I love tacos, as long as they’re not too spicy, and there are days when I say “fuck” more often than a homeschooling mom should. I also love to write and find traffic growing very seductive. (Don’t judge – we all have weird fetishes, right?) While I have no formal education, I tend to lose myself in books like:
“Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”
“You Everywhere Now”
“The Slight Edge”
“Content Rules”

Here’s where I’d like to tell you that you’ll find me brilliantly incredible and you should take a HUGE chance on an unproven blogger and Facebook addict, and that you’d never regret rescuing my family and I from the cold tundra of Minnesota to the beautiful (and fucking amazing) Texas, but…I hate bugs and other creepy crawly things. I’ve heard stories of ginormous spiders and scorpions the size of small cars attacking innocent people who live in Texas. I just can’t do bugs or the thought of bugs. If you need proof, you can read an entry in my blog: http://themfp.com/insectaphobia-i-have-it/

Obviously there is no fucking way I could move to Texas, but I hope you find people who will appreciate your in office bar as much as I would: http://themfp.com/and-this-is-why-i-cant-send-my-kid-to-school/

And yes, I know my blog is a fucking mess, but you have a some what broken page on your site. I figured this made us even. What page you ask? It’s your FAQ. There’s no way to get back to your home page from there: http://help.sumome.com/

If you’re interested in a telecommute option, I promise to spend all the money you would’ve invested in relocating us to keeping my liquor cabniet stocked and I’m not afraid to do shots during office hours via Skype.”

I’m fairly certain he would’ve hired me within minutes after reading that and he might’ve even been able to convince me to move to Texas, but the timing just isn’t right. *le sigh*

I guess I’ll just have to stay here and continue being the mother freakin’ princess that I am.

 

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¹Okay, so there’s way more to this job search than being a kick ass, taco eating, booze drinking, foul-mouthed, internet super star. Noah’s looking for people in the following positions and if you think you’d be a good fit, you should apply:

1- Web Designer: HTML5, CSS3, responsive / mobile design

2- Content Marketer: Writer, Editor, Organizer, Traffic grower

3- Developer: node.js, javascript

4- Sales: Money, Money, Money

5- Acquisition Marketer: PPC, SEM, FB Ads, ROI

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Top 9 Ways to Wrap Christmas Presents!

FullSizeRenderOne of my favorite things about Christmas is… the presents.

I know.

It’s wrong, right?

But just hear me out.

I think our gift wrapping shenanigans started with stories Nathan would tell me about his mom’s Christmas present wrapping. There were tales about presents with no names, just numbers, so the kids had no idea who’s present was who’s, and then there were the ol’ double wrapped presents too.

As parents, we learned quickly that this whole trickster wrapping thing not only made the gift unwrapping experience last longer (Seriously, I spent *at least* 5 minutes wrapping the freakin’ present, can it take a little longer than 10 seconds to unwrap it?!?!?¹), but there’s also just something spectacular about watching a thirteen-year-old being tortured on Christmas morning.

I thought a few of you might like to join us in our gift wrapping naughtiness and I’d share a few of our ideas with you:

1. First of all, don’t put all your gifts under the tree at once. Try one a day and if you have more than one kid at home – you don’t have to put one for each kid out. It’s okay for them to watch their siblings get a gift under the tree and wait a day or two for their’s to show up.

2. Double wrapping gifts is so 1982. Try wrapping the gift, then putting it in a new box and re-wrapping it, but put someone else’s name on it.

3. Wait! Don’t stop there! Can you get that gift to go all the way around the room and end back up at the original gift opener?!?!

4. Another take on double wrapping: Wrap the gift, then look for something laying around your house – preferably something heavy. Wrap that too and place both gifts inside a larger box to be wrapped. (Make sure they open the fake gift first.)

5. I still love my mother in-law’s idea of only using numbers to label the gifts. This works great if you have more than one kid at home still.

6. Take #3 to a whole new level and SWITCH the numbers on the presents! Just make sure you’re keeping track of the real numbers/names.

7. Speaking of switching present labels, maybe the number thing is just too much for you or you’re like us and only have one kid at home. This year I’m picking out a present and switching the name tag out every day until Christmas. We’re talking TWO FULL WEEKS of fun for us parents!

8. Kids love to shake their presents and a lot of the time it’s something that’s fragile. Make sure to pick up a set of pajamas or other clothing for your kiddo. Wrap it in a nice looking box and throw a little change in there, with TONS of paper to fill the box out. When the kid asks if it’s fragile you can say, “I don’t think so.” Then chuck that present down the stairs¹! *priceless*

change of shift - easter-bunny and Santa Claus

9. Present Treasure Hunt: Finding their presents under the tree is for two-year-olds. Leave clues to the whereabouts of a couple presents on the tree and make sure those presents are hidden extra hard. It’s like Christmas and Easter all in one!

How about you? Do you have any gift wrapping tricks up your sleeve?

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¹Now I probably spend more like 20 minutes or more wrapping those presents, but it’s totally worth it!

 

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