Backwards trick-or-treating

Have you heard of backwards trick-or-treating? If you haven’t, it’s OK. I just made it up this week. In the photo below are my kids dressed up in their costumes with our super groovy neighbor and friend. Earlier this week, Luke Skywalker and a witch made pumpkin spice cookie deliveries. This was a cookie recipe I got from a good friend. The recipe didn’t turn out as delicious as I remembered her cookies tasting. I’ll be attempting it again this weekend. I hope to make our backwards trick-or-treating an annual tradition. You should try it too!

Raquel, I promise I’ll do better with your recipe next go around.

For those of you who want to try the pumpkin spice cookies yourselves, here is the recipe.

One box of spice cake mix

One can of pure pumpkin nothing added

half a bag of your choice flavored chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Consistency will be gooey. Use a tablespoon to place the Dough 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 375.

Color of blindness

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in a painting class. This was more than just an ordinary painting class. This class was an emotional release, expressive, experiential painting process. Tonight, my painting along with many other paintings done by blind artists will be auctioned off at the Blindconnect Color of blindness gala. If you are in the Las Vegas area, I invite you to stop by the RTC mobility training center on Sunset and Decatur from 6 PM to 8 PM.

This piece of art was created without me even knowing what colors I held on my palate. I was surprised to learn that I created purple, when purple had not even been one of the choices offered. That day, I felt emotionally constipated. We had just put our house on the market. The stress levels were on overload. I had not run in five weeks. That day, while painting with my fingers, I found the emotional release I needed. That day, I found balance again.

To learn more about the color of blindness event, or Blindconnect Angela’s House, please visit http://www.blindconnect.org.

*** Please ignore any typos in this post, as it is another one being published from my WordPress app while I am cozied up to two very sick kids on the couch.***

October is here! This means pumpkin spice everything, and national meet the blind month.

image of a slice of pumpkin spiced roll on a white plate, next to a mug of coffee it’s fall y’all! I cannot be more excited. The mornings are getting chilly, and I am sitting down to a slice of pumpkin spice roll and coffee.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I mean, who wouldn’t love all of these things?

Fall festivals

Cooler weather

Halloween

Soups that fill the bellies and soul

Pumpkin spice everything

And best of all…

October is National Meet the Blind Month, and October 15 is National White Cane Safety Day.

For the entire month of October, I will be sharing some of my favorite blogs, books, podcasts, videos, and recipes from some of my favorite blind people.  I’ll also be sharing some awesome Meet the Blind Month activities and events you might want to check out.

If you would like one of your creations to be featured, please send them to blindmomintheburbs@gmail.com.

I would love to try one of your favorite fall recipes.

XOXO,

MamaRupp

Monday Musings, “Where do you go when you zen out and zone out?

Today is Monday, September 9th, and I am 26 days away from my next big race.  On October 5th, my guides and I will be running the St. George marathon.  Training for this race has been much more difficult than last year’s.  Between moving, kids, work, family vacations, coordinating schedules and finding guides to train with, I have been feeling a little nervous and undertrained.

When I am unable to meet up with a guide, I run alone in my neighborhood.  One full loop, that sort of looks like a capital B, equals 1.1 miles.  I’ve run the loop so many times with the Strava App letting me know exactly where I am when I get to another mile, that I’ve stopped carrying my phone with me altogether.  Running without the app, and running alone, has afforded me the solo silent space to just be.  No Thinking.  No doing.  Just being.  It’s a peace my mind and body appreciate so very deeply.

On a recent 16 mile run with one of my Achilles guides, I asked him,”What do you find yourself zoning out or zenning out on during your long runs?”  He said he sometimes finds himself watching himself  run in third person, as if he were on a run documentary with commenters in the background.  This helps him run with good form and pace.  I found that to be quite interesting since I was struggling with form and pace at the very moment as we were going uphill into the wind.

For me, when I’m zoned out and zenned out and getting in my miles, I am visited by my muse. My muse brings me clarity.  The run gets my blood pumping.  Together, a combination of creative juices flow, and my mind and body are again at peace.

Before I go pressing publish on this blog, here are a few things I’d like to end with.

find yourself struggling getting over that next hill, that next mile marker, that next midnight feeding, that next injection or IVF treatment, that next awkward conversation, that next task big or small?  Consider focusing on your ways of being not what you are doing.

I wrote a list of 26 ways of being to get me through my first 26.2 mile run.  A few of the words might change on this next marathon, but the concept is the same.  After all, we are human beings, not human doings.

Click Here to read the list. 

Lastly, tell me… where is your peaceful place, that place where your body and mind find the balance to just be, to zone out and zen out?

Blindness Doesn’t Stop Me From Doing the the Things I Love by Marley Rupp

Please allow me this proud mommy brag blog post.

Earlier this summer, my Marley was asked to be one of three student speakers on a panel at the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children meeting at the 2019 NFB National Convention. With very little coaching from her mommy, she wrote her speech on her Braille note taker,and gave an excellent presentation.

Photo of Marley writing her speech on her Braille note taker

I was not quick enough at pressing record and missed the first sentence or so. She began by saying, “my name is Marley Rupp. I am nine years old, and will be going into the fourth grade this fall.”

Here is the rest of her speech…

My home sold today, so why don’t I feel excited?

front photo of our home for the last 9 years

I’m writing this more for me than for anyone else. I need to figure out how to process my messy emotions. Usually, running works, but I haven’t allowed myself to run long enough to be able to silence the nasty gremlins that have been growing. The gremlins have gotten louder and louder each month that our house has been on the market. Those gremlins that shout, “Not good enough!” These are the gremlins that feed off of self-doubt and shame.

It’s interesting how trying to sell my home has triggered the self-doubt, not enough,shame volume button to be turned up. I work really hard to keep that button pressed locked on mute. I can’t seem to find theremote to lock it back down again. Perhaps it was thrown in one of the boxes and taped up shut. It could be packed away in one of the spare bedrooms at my parents house around the corner. It could be shoved under my bed with a couple of spare blankets, and guitar cases.

I’ve missed placed a few emotions along with that remote that controls the shame trigger too. Maybe when I finally start unpacking everything and get organized when we move into the new home, I’ll find excitement, joy, relief, and laughter again.

My Mother’s Day Blog Post

Rupp Family standing in front of a white ranch fence, with pasture and mountains in the background.

When I began writing Blind Mom in the Burbs, I was a stay at home mom to a 2.5 year old and 6 month old.  Through sharing my story I have been able to reach countless readers all over the world. Last year Blind Mom in the Burbs made appearances in the local news, radio and podcasts interviews, and was even profiled in Good House Keeping.  Just this week, in perfect timing for Mother’s Day I was one of many blind moms featured in Parenting Magazine.    Since that initial blog post just over 7 years ago, I can’t call myself just a stay at home mom anymore.  When asked the common question of, “What do you do?” I find myself replying, “Well… what don’t I do?”

3 generation family photo with desert greenery

I’m a marathon runner,, writer, motivational speaker, teacher, an advocate and leader in the blindness community, mentor, wife, sister, aunt, daughter, but most importantly, I am an engaged mom of a 7 and 9 year old, who lives actively and loves proactively.  I am who I am because of the strong, resourceful, creative, courageous, caring woman my sister and brother and I call Ma, and my super supportive hot firefighter hubby who is currently in the middle of a 72 hour shift.

2 pancakes with blueberry eyes and strawberry mouth

I’d love to create an emotionally moving Mother’s Day blog post, but my creative juices have dried up after cleaning up vomit, taking care of a sick kid, cooking smiley face pancakes, doing laundry, making sure my house is perfectly perfect in case a potential buyer stops by to take a look, and spending way too much time on emails on a day that I was hoping to do absolutely nothing.

Instead, I’m going to share a Mother’s Day blog piece I wrote for the National Federation of the blind a few years ago. Enjoy!  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, aunts, dad’s and every single other person playing a part in our village as we work to bring up kind and compassionate human beings.

Mother's Day Roses

 

“I’m Not Just a “Blind” mom. I’m a (insert adjective here) Mom”

I was asked to write a piece about parenting for the National Federation of the Blind Blog.  Below is what I wrote which was publish on Mother’s Day.  What kind of mom would you describe yourself, or your own mom as?

There are many different kinds of moms out there.  The crunchy mom who makes her own almond milk, the crafty mom who makes every birthday party decoration or teacher gift from scratch, the soccer mom, the yogi mom, the play group mom, the PTA mom, the new mom, the empty nest mom, the ___(fill in the blink)___ mom.  Me, I may be seen in my neighborhood or at my daughter’s school as the blind mom, but I’m so much more than just that.

I am no expert, but having been a mom for over six years now, I can safely say I feel comfortable writing about motherhood.  In the words of Malcolm Gladwell, “Practice isn’t something you do when you’re good at something, practice is something you do to get good at something.”  I use this quote on my six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son all the time when they complain about not wanting to practice reading, tying their shoes, riding their bikes, or the words to a song.

The same thing can be said about parenting.  Being a parent is tough.  Popping out a baby doesn’t make any mom an expert.  There is no manual that pops out along with that baby.  Social workers have no right telling a new mom that she’s unfit to take care of her baby because she may be having trouble getting her newborn to latch on.  Half of the new moms out there have difficulty nursing.  Motherhood is beautiful and scary for all moms whether blind or sighted.

When I first became a mom, I struggled like many new moms with postpartum depression.  I felt isolated and alone.  My husband worked long hours. He was sometimes gone for seventy-two hour shifts at the fire house.  I had no family in town to help me.  I had a baby that cried all the time, threw up all the time, and went from living in a condo in the city to a house in the suburbs.  A few months before my daughter’s first birthday, I’d had enough of feeling sorry for myself.  The self-pitying, self-loathing, frumpy, sad stay at home mom had to go.  That wasn’t the Terri my husband fell in love with, and that wasn’t the person I wanted my daughter knowing.  In order to change, I had to get up, get out, and get active.

I got up out of my smelly clothes, found a mommy meet-up group, started my own neighborhood mommy group, got back involved in the National Federation of the Blind, and I found the more I did, the happier I became.

Human beings are social beings.  We weren’t meant to be isolated in stucco dwellings, gated away from the rest of the world only to communicate through the internet.  Our mothers before us raised their children as a village, so we new mothers must make our own villages today.  Whether that village is a mommy group, a church, aunts and grandmothers, or our Federation family, we must support one another so that not only our children stay healthy and happy, but that we as moms are also healthy and happy.

That sad, lonely, mom version of me is long gone.  Today, I am a happy, healthy, outdoorsy, creative, innovative, assertive, nurturing, organized, engaging, silly, sassy, stylish, stay at home mom living the life I want.

What is Project Runstoppable?

Project Runstoppable is a vision, a dream that can be made possible with your help.

At this moment, Project Runstoppable is a YouTube video in the second round of the Holman Prize for blind ambition.

My vision is to create a running program for blind/Visually impaired children.  All too often, blind children are told that they can’t do something  or shouldn’t do something because it might not be safe.    With this program, blind children will not only gain the joy and freedom from the love of running.  They will discover that with the right positive attitude, determination, and simply by removing fear and obstacles from their path, they can accomplish whatever goal they’re imagination can dream of.

Here’s how you can help.

Please watch this YouTube video.

Click like on the YouTube video. (Logging into YouTube is required to click like.  Logging in with a gmail account will work.)

Share the YouTube video with your friends and family and ask them to do the same.

So much gratitude to you, my readers, friends and family for helping me make my vision of creating Project Runstoppable possible.

Conversations between Marley and me about bblindness 11/14/18

I sometimes say that I graciously shared my eye condition with my daughter. I have not written much about our Marley and me story lately. This one will be short. It actually took me a few days to share with my husband, and now I’m sharing it with you.

A few days ago, Marley randomly asked me, “Mom, are you going to lose all of your eyesight and be totally blind One day?”

I answered to her, “I don’t know baby. I do know that I have lost a lot of eyesight since I was your age. You can see a whole lot more than mommy can. It’s possible that I could lose all of it one day.”

Marley thinks about my answer for a quick minute and then she asks me, “Mom, am I going to lose all of my eyesight and be totally blind one day?”

My honest answer to her, “well baby, that’s a possibility.”

Just like that, my beautiful girl takes my response in stride, and continues on. I love that I am able to have these conversations with her. I love that she is able to ask me anything that may cross her mind. I hope this continues Ahn in our relationship as she grows.