I was that girl in high school. You know. The sweaty one. It’s true- I weathered that perfect storm of pubescent hormones and anxiety that left me with sweat swirls under my pits the size of a gulf coast hurricane.  I wasn’t just sweaty when I ran cross country….I was sweaty everywhere: in  math class, the hallway and everywhere. I was a tall banged (it was the eighties ) walking talking  humidifier. I could have grown tropical plants in there. Just sayin.

I tried everything:

  • Rolling up my sleeves and shoving them into my pits to act as pit guards.
  • Layering  my roll-on deodorant/antiperspirant and drying between the layers with my hairdryer.
  • Antiperspirant so strong, it burned my poor pits to bits. (I still burn with pit-felt hate for: Mitchum antiperspirant- I’m allergic- hence the burning pits of doom..)
  • Thinking “dry.”
  • Multiple showers a day. (yeah… more water-that will dry me out.)
  • de stressing techniques. (Which just stressed me out and made me sweat more. )

Nothing worked. In desperation, I resorted to keeping may arms clamped to my sides. (A great way to make them: more sweaty. Grand.) I did not raise my hand for 3 years. (I talked in class- of course- I was just the rude-sweaty girl who didn’t raise her hand.. When I absolutely HAD to-I raised it from the elbow to wrist… teachers had to really look to see my hand are ear level.)

Eventually, hormones and life settled down, and I outgrew my sweatyness. But- the shame and embarrassment lived on. I took the term: “never let them see you sweat” to whole new levels. I over compensated and tried to portray a cool calm an collected appearance- at all times. I determined never to be that sweaty chick again. And just to be sure?  I kept people at arms length- in case I did get a bit moist… no one would be close enough to know.

And then I became a mother. I got involved in a MOPS group. I became a leader. I had to stand up and talk in front of groups of women. I figured i’d be ok…after all- I was past my sweaty phase. I had it all together, now, didn’t I?  No one would ever see me sweat, again. I wouldn’t let that happen. All they would see is the put-together me. The cool one. (more…)

What is a “twitter party” anyway?

A Twitter party is a planned  time and virtual place to meet and discuss in realtime the MOPS event that coincides. ( there are other types of twitter parties too… but I’m focusing on MOPS today;)

Why bother?

It’s a way to connect with both MOPS International (via our MOPS social media connection- they may have questions for you to answer via tweets!) and with other moms who are either attending the event in person and online or participating in the conversation at home. I love that Twitter gives us an opportunity to connect with Moms from all over… we really are : MOPS International!  This is a way to put into practice immediately our desire/need to be wired for community!

How do I attend?

First- by creating a twitter account. You can do this on your smart phone, by downloading the appropriate twitter app (free) or on your computer.(also free ;) All it takes is an email address and about 2 minutes.

You attend a Twitter party by “following” the twitter party “hashtag.” A hashtag is a word or phrase used by twitterers to find and join in conversations around a central subject. The Summit hashtag is: #MOPSsummit

How Do I “Follow” a Hashtag?

You enter the hashtag in your search bar. (Top of your Twitter page- left hand side- kind of hard to spot as it’s in a dark area- see the screen shot) If you have streaming enabled- all the posts (whether you follow- or know the poster or not) will show up in your stream! It’s connection magic! (Well- it’s pretty cool, anyway.)

Here’s a screen shot from my computer to show what this all looks like: (click to enlarge)

How do I know who I’m taking to, and (more importantly…) is it ok to just jump into conversations?

…. you can introduce yourself like you would if you saw another mom standing in line with a MOPS bag at Target. You can also click to view her “profile” and see what you may have in common..and then join the conversation. Or- you can just jump in. Twitterers know their conversations are public and expect people to join in.. it’s half the fun! (And something to keep in mind… if you don’t want anyone to hear it said.. you shouldn’t say it on twitter..) You do not need to “follow” everyone who participates… but- you can- by clicking the “follow” button on her profile.

Is there a way to find other MOPS moms on Twitter?

Yes- I’ve been working on a Twitter-list of all the MOPS moms I find on Twitter- You can click here to see the posts by moms on that list- and you can click at the top of the list to “follow” the list as you would a hashtag…it’s a lot of fun to hear what other MOPS moms are doing between events! If you’re on twitter and would like to be included- on the list- just message or tweet me: @traceysolomon And I’ll add you!

Additional tip: I sometimes search for the word “MOPS” and click to follow anyone who’s mentioning it…;) That’s how I found many of the moms already on the list!  Here’s what the list page looks like: (I’m visual.. screenshots help me:)  

Are there rules for Twitter parties?

Not really- but, I try to treat twitter- people  and conversations the same as I would in real life. It’s not a place to pretend to be Simon Cowell and rip apart the leaders working hard to train and serve you… they are real peeps- not just tweeps:)

The bottom line? Be respectful and have fun!

If you have other questions- you can reach me by email (in my sidebar- I’m a Community Networker, here in Michigan) or in the comments…Can’t wait to “virtually meet” you tomorrow during the Twitter party!

The 78th mile was not the most difficult to run/walk.

I’m not talking about running a straight 78 miles. That would be insane, and I’m pretty sure, in that case, the 78th mile would be the hardest.  Anyway…

My 78th mile took a month to arrive, I’ve been building up to it one step at a time.  It wasn’t what I’d expected.

The 78th was far from the most difficult.  The most difficult mile wasn’t even in the first 5 miles.  Or the first mile.  The most difficult was the distance from the couch to my front door.

Now- I’m not so bad that I was wheezing by the time I got to the door… I just had a really difficult time making myself do it.

I kept making up excuses:  I’ll hurt my back, I don’t have time, It’s too cold, It’s too hot, I’m too fat to be seen running in public.  I’ll embarrass myself.  I’ll hurt myself. What if I can’t do it anymore? The list was endless.

I decided to just do it. (Nike owes me now. I’ll take payment in shoes, kthnxbai)

In the past, I’ve dieted and exercised to lose weight.. and I’d like to see that as a by-product now… but this time, there’s something more.   I want to see how far I can go. I want to see what I can do.   I want to run a 5 k this summer.

Why?  I don’t know.  I like challenges and growth?  We’ll chalk it up to that. But, I also think there is the whisper of God in my ear… reminding me of who I am and who he is making me into…

I’m learning a lot as I run. I forgot how much stress is relieved by exercise.  I forgot how much better I feel when I exercise.  (well.. when I’m not hurting, that is..) Somewhere along the line, I forgot that I actually CAN run and can even enjoy it. The sunshine feels amazing.. even when I’m sweaty.

My goal right now is to see how far I can go.  This morning I walked/ran 5.2 miles.  It took me an eternity. (Ok it took 1:29 minutes, but still.. I did it!)  I’ve been slowly building up distance for a month…started with 2 miles… I’m going to keep going…

I’m not a sprinter.. I’ve never been.. but somewhere, under all that has become me.. is the distance runner I used to be. A long, slow, distance runner. Someone who doesn’t quit, even if the road gets hard and changes and it takes me forever. Someone who finishes and stretches and goes further than she thought she could…

I’d like to find her again…

Maybe not just on the road…

It’s part of my journey.

So where are you at?  Are you facing challenges?  Do you wonder how far you can go?  Maybe it has nothing, or everything to do with exercise.. but I’m curious…

I’m at the 78th mile.. and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be:)

“MOM!  DAD! I’m ready to take my training wheels off!”

I was not ready to hear that.  Noah, however, was apparently, ready to do it.

While I was still sifting through my emotions, my husband sprang into action.  He grabbed his toolbox and headed outside, funny how Dad’s approach these things differently than moms…..

As the shock wore off, I decided I better grab my own toolbox: AKA: the first aid kit.  While they were happily removing training wheels, preparing for a celebration, I prepared for potential disaster. I did a quick first aid kit inventory check: Band-aids? Check. Neosporin? Check.  Butterfly closures?  Check. Emergency phone numbers?  On speed dial.  Defibrillator? (for me, not Noah.) Check. (Ok, maybe not an actual defibrilliator.. but I did wonder if I would need one.. my heart was pounding!)

“Hurry up Mommy, we’re ready!” Noah yelled, from the front porch.

“But, I’m not.” I replied under my breath.

As I slowly (Why yes, I was stalling, you noticed that?.) put on my shoes, I envisioned all the things that could happen: broken bones, concussions, bruises, lacerations…..

I swallowed hard, trying to shove the fear back where it came from. I reminded myself:  “It’s a rite of passage… he’s ready. The older boys learned, he will too.

I’d stalled as long as I could.  I went outside.  I saw Noah’s face. He was lit up like a Christmas tree.  He was excited and mostly likely a bit afraid. He (and his dad) glowed.

I smiled.

I watched him tighten his helmet like a Wright brother preparing for take-off.

I watched his dad, steady the red “Lightening McQueen”  bike  as he climbed up onto the seat.

I watched my husband start to run along side of him gently pushing the bike.

I watched Noah start to pedal.

The bike wobbled.

“You can do it!” his daddy encouraged.

Their faces glowed with excitement and fear.

Noah pedaled harder, he countered the wobbles with his weight, he was learning to balance. (more…)

Like water

Like water

A re-post as true today as the day I wrote it, and my prayer as I get ready for MOPS International Summit... Leaving in just a few hours. Can’t wait!

Like water…

I want to blow with the wind of His spirit.

Like water, I want to refresh and renew.

Like water I want to erode away boundaries and create new water ways.

Like water, I want to be deep and still.

Like water I want to be still when he calls “Peace”.

Like water- I want to toil and find power.

Like water, I want to bring cleansing to everything I touch.

Like water, I want to magnify the light that comes from you.

Like water, I want to bubble with joy.

Like water, I want to bring oxygen and air to fish struggling to breathe…

Like water.. God make me like water… Let me drink in your presence and pour out your love.

Like water.


It’s a crazy busy week here- getting ready for MOPS International Leadership Summit – which is this weekend!  I’m packing up prizes.. prepping a talk and gathering supplies:)  Can’t wait to see everyone there!

Between prepping for Summit- homeschool and driving duty.. I’m working on this:)

It’s my second attempt at the Aeolian Shawl from Knitty.com.   I have one in a gorgeous peacock blue color..just past the transition chart..  but it’s in time out and we are not speaking currently.  No clue how I mucked it up– but I did.  I started over with Zen String Plum lacewt… on US size 1 addi lace needles…

Hopefully this one will turn out:)

“Dear Clothing Designers, please get a clue”  Had nothing to do with the release of “More Big Girl Knits” .  But, it could have.  I now have copies of both BGK and MBGK.  The books are worth the price just for the shaping and pattern choice info alone! MBGK cover

Amy and Jillian offer candid information on how to make the most of your “B’s” (Belly, B ** Bs and B ** t) The designs are varied and flattering.  The sizing is good, and information on “doing the math” for an even better fit are easy to understand.  (Even for a math flunkee- such as me;) Many of the issues I complained about in the prior post- are specifically answered in the combination “library” of both books. 

There are hoodies that flatter without making you look like a football player.  Tanks that skim without showing every lump n bump (lovely lady or otherwise;) There are accessories that are proportional and stylish.  All in all- a great new book as well as a terrific set when you have both. 

I am in the “Netherworld” between plus sizes and misses… this book will help me fit my body but not look like a hag.  SCORE.  One of the biggest pluses to knitting- is the ability to produce truly custom fit designs. Custom fit clothes would otherwise be outside my budget;)

Now- If I could only knit faster….. And decide what to make first!

This weekend is busy, busy- I am helping host the MOPS International Leadership Summit for our area- so lots of little talks to finish up details to attend to and such.  Looking forward to a great and challenging day… I hope you attend if there is a Summit in your area- walk-up registrations are welcome! Yes- a Satellite Summit for Mothers.  AWESOME;)

Sunday- I’m planning on attending the More Big Girl Knits Book Launch at Threadbear in Lansing.  Jillian and Amy will be there- complete with cupcakes and the samples from the book;)  Can’t wait to try on and see what will work best for me! 


 In honor of the new book release- I’ll be giving away a copy here on the blog!  In order to enter- you’ll just need to either leave a comment on the blog or PM me on Ravelry (TraceyinMichigan) !  Good luck- contest will be open until April 17th at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time:)