Monday, August 29, 2011

Maddox the Kindergartner

Though school started (quite chaotically) for Madison and I last week, Maddox had a few extra days to anxiously await his school debut. Today his wait was over.

I was so happy that my principal arranged for someone to cover my classroom so I could take him to his first day of "real school". On our way, he told me that he was going to get good grades and not get sent to the Principal's office, I couldn't help but smile.

I could tell he was nervous, he was so quiet, his smile was held back, hands shoved in his pockets. We parked, and walked around the building (the way he would when grandma drops him off), found his classroom, and once I agreed to wait at the school until he made it into class he headed off to play on playground equipment with the mass of other children. He kept looking back over his shoulder to see if I was still waiting, giving me the thumbs up sign. Just as he reached the graveled play area he turned around and bolted back to me.

"Mom, I am just not ready to play yet, I need to give you another hug and kiss." So there we stood till the bell rang, holding hands and discussing his hopes (making friends) and fears (bullys). At the sound of the bell he grabbed his backpack and lined up outside his classroom door with the other kids. He kept waving me over to make sure I was coming in and would give him one more hug and kiss inside.

We made our way into the classroom, hunting for his name tag on the desks. He found it with out any trouble, sat down and grabbed a book from the center of the table to start reading, just like he knew what he was doing.

He had time for one more hug and mom's message of "you will be great," before he was ready to go it alone. As I walked out the door, with one last glance over my shoulder, I saw my baby sitting like such a big boy, completely ready for kindergarten.

My eyes remained dry, I remained strong... until I drove away alone.

I could hardly work today thinking of him at school, wondering if he was enjoying it, if he got on the right bus, if he had made friends.

As soon as I picked him up, I just had to know "How was your first day of school?" In the seconds, that lapsed like years, before his reply I held my breath. How he answered could easily set the tone for the next 12 years of school.

..."It was great mom!"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saying Good Bye

Today we said good bye to Brian's grandpa Bill. The memorial service was a beautiful closure for all of us, held at Carrie's, the Grand Mesa stunning as a backdrop.

The memories shared today were heart warming and eye moistening. My favorite... their first meeting...

Grandma's friend had been bugging her for a while about going on a blind date finally she agreed. Grandpa, of course showed up, but as the other girls date. As they all tried to pile into a 3 seater car, grandpa told grandma she could sit on his lap..."I told him I wasn't that kind of girl!" He was so taken with her that he showed up, unannounced, on her doorstep two days later, and the rest is history.

Carrie shared beautiful memories of her grandpa, "I met my grandpa on a hot summer day 37 years ago...I don't remember that meeting, but I remember him smelling of Kool cigarettes, and I remember his huge hands...The last time I saw my grandpa was a hot summer day." I loved her story of him being a prankster... On one of their summer visits she offered to buy him and grandma ice cream, and as they pulled out of the drive, he began inviting all the neighbors. When she said she didn't have enough money to pay for all of them, he told her she'd have to give up her ice cream in order to buy theirs... but when they got there he paid for them all, complete with an ornery chuckle.

Dillon shared about how wonderful it was to have grown up with his grandparents here, as they moved to this side of the mountain just after he was born. He shared how no movie night would be complete with out grandpa's glass of milk filled with popcorn, eaten with a spoon.

I had the privilege of reading for Amy {she didn't think she could get through it}, I didn't think I would have a problem reading her memories... memories of being pushed around on the floor mop in their used furniture store, memories of having to link arms and hold the old car door closed as they went around the corners. How her dad called her babies "little wheels" {because they are casters}. But I began to waver when I got to her sharing what a loving father he was, how he told her she was pretty, even when she wore glasses and had braces. Her closing line "I will miss you dad, and love you forever" got caught in my throat as I attempted to quench the sob that was rising.

Grandma Ruth did amazing today. I can't imagine having to say good bye to my husband and having to continue on with out him. She told Carrie, "No wife wants to see the love of her life for 62 years, suffer and live like that."

I think that's a good note to end on...

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Birthday Post...Thoughts on Growing Up

Celebrating my 32nd year happened with out much "pomp and circumstance", but I did not feel any less special or loved.

For the past few years, maybe since I have been running, I have celebrated my birthday with a difficult run, as a way to laugh in the face of age's ill effects, and this year was no different. Anne and I went on an 8 mile run in Palisade, the official kick start to our half marathon training. I absolutely love running in Palisade; through out the run we are surrounded by orchards, vineyards, quaint Victorian homes, and stunning mountains. It is so peaceful, an inspiring place to run.

After the run I headed to the gym with Allison, I posted about our work out earlier, but in short: I expected upper body, we did lower body, my legs cried...

Later that day Allison and I went out for pedicures and coffee, it was nice to be pampered a bit.

That evening Brian and I went out for sushi.(Allison watched Maddox, and Madison had soccer practice) Then he took me shopping for my present. I have been wanting some sort of e-reader for quite a while now, so we went to Best Buy where I could try them all out in one place. I ended up with the Nook, mainly because we have a B&N local, so I can go in there and get help if I need it. I didn't get the color because I really didn't want to be reading off of a back lit screen, just being on the computer for a bit makes my eyes cross.

Maddox kept asking when we were going to have my party, and when he found out we weren't having one he asked: "How are you going to get all your presents then?" He didn't like the answer that when you grow up partys and the barrage of gifts dwindle... he doesn't want to grow up now.

As 32 approached I became very reflective on what it meant to grow up, I mean I am now as old as my mom... you know that phenomenon when you become the age you remember your parents being when you were growing up... it's a weird place to be.

Now that I am an official grown up...{32 is the magic # i guess} I have come to some realizations.... the first and greatest.... is I really don't care what other people think any more. This is huge for me. My whole life I have cared what other people think, so much so that I don't think I really knew who I was, from the clothes I choose to wear, to the design styling of my home, or my opinions on politics, education, and religion; I am not sure if those reflect me or the me I created in hopes of being accepted. I have been so consumed being the friend, or daughter that I thought other people wanted me to be that I became lost in the mix somewhere.

Over the past few years I have been thinking and discussing this with my closest friends. I really thing that this stems from me HATING conflict, and I think that comes from fear of abandonment. I have thought that if I disagreed with someone, or argued with someone they would leave me, not be my friend anymore, not love me anymore.

For example on my 30th birthday we went to Ridgeway and Ouray with Vycci and Danny. One evening we were sitting have a nice talk when all of the sudden the conversation turned to a touchy topic. I completely withdrew from the conversation while B, Vycci, and Danny continued. The situation became so uncomfortable for me that, completely out of character, I spoke up and asked to change the subject saying I was uncomfortable with the arguing. All three of them looked at me a bit bewildered... "were not arguing, we are just having a conversation." It turns out that no one else felt the tension of the discussion except for me.

This moment has been pivotal for me; it helped me see that it is my own insecurity that brings tension to conversations. That everyone else {exaggeration I know} can have a conversation, even a disagreement, and it doesn't rock them emotionally into thinking their friendship or relationship is going to fall apart from it. In fact I have come to realize that having these touchy discussions, conversations about the deeper things or our beings {beliefs, persuasions, prejudices, culture} are what bring a relationship deeper, make it more meaningful.

I am no where near being comfortable with these situations, but I am at a place where I don't want to run from them. I am in a place where I feel I finally can embrace who I am, with out fear of rejection.

So who am I?
I am someone who longs to know God more, someone who can't imagine a life with out her husband and it scares her to death, someone whose heart feels as though it will burst with how much love and joy her children bring to her.

I am someone who needs friendships and time to cultivate them just as much as time spent alone.

I am someone who is competitive, creative, and thrives in academia, though I doubt the uniqueness of my perspective-what I have to offer.

I am someone full of emotion and feels them all with blazing intensity, it often skews my ability to be reasonable and think rationally.

I am someone who will give all of me, do everything in my power, give up anything, when called upon for help.

Learned? I am someone, who at 32, is finally coming into her own.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gym Day 7

I really need and want to post about our Idaho trip and my 32 birthday, but these posts take up a lot of time! Right now I MUST right down the work out Allison and I did, before I forget... I know it's boring stuff... but hope it will be useful to me later.

We did these 5 exercises 4 times each.

Plea Squat with vertical row (15 lbs)

Dead Lift, clean & Press, squat (I started with 10 lbs in each hand, but Janea made me increase it each time and on the last one made me use the 15 lbs.. sounds wimpy here but it was tough...again, that's why I hired her, she makes me do tough things.)

Lunges with Hammer curls (back lunge, front lung, static dips on each leg with 10 and 12 lbs.)

Tricep push ups with lat row (12 lbs)

ABS/Core:Pilates V-sit crunch and extension followed by Plank.

Learned: I am kinda sad to be finishing up with my trainer, two reasons: its means the end of summer vaca, AND I have to buck up and make myself do these really tough things.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gym Day 5&6

Day 5: Monday was a big day for me... I turned 32, and it was our first day back to reality after an amazing week in Northern Idaho {aka Heaven}, which also meant it was gym day AND the kick off to officially begin training for the half marathon in October. So after an 8 mile run I headed to the gym, I had been promised a day of upper body by our trainer, but she lied... you know how trainers are..."ok, do 12 reps", and at 12 they say "now give me 2 more." Or "only ten more seconds, go as hard as you can" and after 10 seconds they say "now back to normal for 10 more seconds". {I am really not complaining, the only reason to have a trainer is they will push you harder than you would yourself...} but today I was really looking forward to giving my legs a break and torturing my arms, chest, and back.

First circuit: (3 times)
Reverse lunges (with weights) off a step, same leg 16 reps then switch
Lateral Plyo jumps up and over the step, land into a squat.

Circuit 2: 3 times
Wall sit (1 min)
Calf raises (1 min)
Inner thigh (squeeze ball between knees 1 min)
Plyo Push up (push up head to head with partner clap opposite hands at peak of lift.

It seems like there was another circuit we did between these two but I just can't remember {old age}; do you remember Allison?

Day 6: Upper Body
First Circuit: (3 times)
Bench press (51 lb bar) 16 reps
T-bar (?? lbs) 16 reps - this one was working the back, you lay on stomach on this machine and grab a bar below you and pull it back, wrapping your shoulder blades around spine, then elbows up, and one final back squeeze.
1 min. Mountain Climbers

Second Circuit: Bosu Ball (3 times)
Stand on Bosu Hammer curl to overhead press to tricep dip/extension, and back down (12)
Bird dog: knees on Bosu, extend opposite leg and arm reach out and pinch up then tap hand and tow down (8,4,2 on each side)
Lateral Plyo Squat up and over bosu ball (1 min)

This was only yesterday but I may be forgetting something here to...

Learned? I only have 2 more sessions with the trainer {I have to go back to work} but I do think that I am getting stronger and firmer, Brian said he is starting to see some definition in my arms! Let's just hope I will keep up some basic weights after this is all over...