Live, laugh, love.....
This blog will show you how I live, laugh, and love on a daily basis...remember, these are my views of the world. Please take them and use them as you will....it is my journey to make this world a better place.
One person at a time......
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
What do I do? Reach for my I-phone. I text Jim who I know just left and tell him we have no power...reset my alarm for 6 am and try to doze off....my alarm sounds at 6:am and I go wake Brooke up. The world is dark, the house is silent. It's actually kind of creepy. Brooke says she like to snooze so I hand her, her I-phone and head back to the quiet of my own bed.
I can't muster the power to pull my big butt out of bed and start my day. How do you do all that in the dark....finally I get up and find a flashlight because I hear Brooke moving around and bumping into things in the bathroom. I light 3 candles and set them around the kitchen, carry the flashlight to Brooke in the bathroom and once again crawl back into bed.
I am trying desperately to sleep and get up at the same time...I check Facebook on my I-phone and realize Holly is having the same dilemma - poor Holly and Carole...no way to make coffee. I sigh and think how am I ever going to get out of bed in the dark and without coffee. I heard Brooke getting her breakfast around, heard her go into her room to eat, and on her way out I convinced her to crawl in bed with me. If you can't beat em' join em' right?
As Brooke crawled into my bed with her flashlight shining in one hand and her I-phone securely held in her other hand...we laid there and she said to me "Man, I feel like we're Amish!" I said "Oh my gosh, me too...how do they drink coffee?" Then I said something like this "So, have you been on Facebook this morning?" and she giggled and said "Yeah, it's the only thing I have!" "Me too!" I said.
Right about then Jim walked in with my Starbucks.
Silly Amish Girls!!!
Monday, October 24, 2011
I am excited yet nervous. I spent this past weekend retaking my level 1 CrossFit Certification in Grand Blanc Michigan - CrossFit continues to amaze me.
What did I learn this weekend - maybe I should say relearn. There were many things I knew but you tend to let them slip and slide to the wayside as time passes on....my favorite line was:
Magic is in the Movement (Anyone can do them!)
Science is in the Explanations (Trainers - that's for you!)
Art is in the Programming (It's not easy!)
Heart is in the Community (For all the people we love!)
CrossFit as a WHOLE is a unique community. You see when you meet another CrossFitter it's kind of like a respect thing. You just know their capabilities - whether they just started or are well into their exploration as a CrossFitter. I love attending ANYTHING CrossFit because we are a group of people beyond comparison to any other groups of people.
CrossFit makes me happy - and sometimes I let myself be defined by what I am capable of doing as a CrossFitter! Is this Good? Is this Bad? I guess that is a matter of personal opinion - I'll let you decide....
So day 1 of my training for the Indy North competition just happens to be a rest day - this body is TIRED!! 2 days of certification training - makes me ready for a nap!
Another quote worth sharing - "Do not FEAR your workout - RESPECT it!" I did just that this time when they ran us through Fran at the end of a very long day. I respected her - she still kicked my ass and left me rolling on the floor like an infant - but I respected her. I suppose that means that this time, I'm not allowed to call her a bitch!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
As soon as I hit the enter button I felt it - the bile started rising from my stomach and stopped in my throat like a knot. I thought for sure I was going to toss my cookies right then and there. But it was too late - I had already made the commitment.
It's the same feeling I get when I start my CrossFit workout. I think for sure that whatever is sitting in my throat is going to exit my body - but I swallow hard and I push it down. I won't let it come up - I refuse to let fear engulf me.
It's fear - fear of the unknown and the unknowing. Fear of what could should or might happen. Fear of making a fool of yourself or messing up. Fear I will not let it engulf me. Fear that I might step out of my comfort zone.....
.....and then it settles as I start my workout the knot disappears and everything is familiar. My body knows what to do whether it's a kettlebell swing, a clean and jerk, a pull-up, run, burpee, whatever my body pushes through and performs.
And then it's over. What are you left with when it's over? It's an entirely new feeling...the bile is gone, the fear is gone, and you are PROUD!! Pride is a feeling of exhilaration and excitement and knowing that you accomplished something of that magnitude - where just minutes before you feared now you are proud!!!
I like Pride - I like that feeling!
Committing to the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational at CrossFit Indy North left me with that exact feeling of fear - I can't wait to turn that into pride.
Train each day to make yourself better than the last.......
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I did it. Finally. I disposed of all my negativity and today is day 1.
I have spent the morning forgiving those who have wronged me. I have cleared the word I can't from my vocabulary. I have taken the nonsense out of my head and placed it in the nearest trash can.
I will no longer succumb to my insecurities. I will no longer let my insecurities control me.
I feel like the looking in the mirror and saying, "I am good enough, I am strong enough, and damn people like me!!!" But I won't....
My point is this, I can't move forward with luggage on my back - it's too heavy of a load and I won't carry it with me any longer. I REFUSE!!
So, moving forward with a vengeance.....because I am good enough, I am strong enough, and damn people like me!
Oh Yeah - and I have some pretty lofty goals. So that means if you hear me in the gym using the word I can't I give you permission to punish me severely. Today was day 1....my goal was 3 rounds of double under's with no cussing. I did it.....cause I CAN!!!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
So this past Sunday I got the pleasure of driving to Fort Wayne to spend the afternoon with my parents. This task was originally assigned to me by my oldest sister Kathy who normally takes care of my parents the majority of the time. She needed some help and called on the clan to take turns feeding my parents Sunday dinner and spending quality time with them.
I originally treated this task as another get it done and check it off my list kind of an item. You see I was moving at such a fast pace through life that I didn't really take the time to stop and think about what is really happening.
My parents are older - I am the youngest of 9 children and my mom was 38 years old when she had me...with me living up north I have lost touch with what is really happening back home. It's one of those things I always warn Brandon about....just because you're not here in the everyday life doesn't mean that time is sitting still. I walked into my parents house with some thoughts that time was sitting still. Let me tell you, it's not!
My dad has Alzheimer's and my mom is showing signs of memory loss but more importantly she hurts physically. She has some back and hip issues and she loses her balance very easily. She gets along OK in a walker but really they are dependent on others now. Something I never thought I would see from the two people that spent their entire lives caring for others.
We had the kind of home where no one was a stranger - we could bring home strays - and I'm not talking animals here - and they were always accepted in our home. They were fed a nice dinner, talked to like part of the family, and if necessary had a bed made for them somewhere. With warm blankets and a good night kiss....it's just the way they rolled.
So I walked into Mom and Dad's home with bags of groceries ready to make it a good day. Now, Kathy had warned me that mom was a little "grouchy" that morning. So, I started unpacking the groceries and "testing the water!'' Telling mom and dad every little surprise that came out of my bag. I said "we have salmon", mom said "we had fish last night!" I said "and I bought some yummy sweet potatoes", mom said "I don't like sweet potatoes!" I said as I was pulling the yummy goodies out of the bag "but I bet you like cookies, we are gonna bake as well!" Hmmm, no comment here? I believe I am making headway.
So we started right off baking cookies. Now, let's go back a few plus years. My dad was an awesome baker. I have so many wonderful memories of being at the bakery and watching his mastery at hand. I could never get enough of going in to work with him and being a part of his day. My dad's Alzheimer's has left him at a stage where he no longer knows what things are called - but he was SO interested in what I was doing and he wanted to be by me and do everything I was doing. He wanted SO much to be a part of the cookie baking process and to experience the role reversal was almost too much for me to handle. It's very scary watching your parents age.
As soon as the cookies started coming out of the oven, we started munching on them. I will ignore the fact that my mother told me I burned them only because the best thing I ever saw was my father eating the cookies like they were going out of style. Our role reversal was now complete - I couldn't even muster the words "don't spoil your dinner!" because I didn't even care if he ate dinner at this point. He was like a sneaky little boy - every time he walked by the cookies 2-3 went in his hand.
As dinner was cooking dad took it upon himself to get our plates and utensils ready for dinner. When he was taking out the plates I told him there were 6 of us....he can't count so he just kept handing me the plates until I told him we had enough. Then he said to me "What are those things called that we eat with?" and I said "forks?" and he said "Yeah, I think so - how many of those do we need?" FLASHBACK to my childhood - setting the table and my dad counting the plates for me and getting all of the silverware out - we always had to wrap the silverware in a napkin like you were at a restaurant when we set the table. My dad sat at the kitchen table for nearly 10 minutes trying to make sure we had enough forks and wrapping them like a pro once he figured out we did. My favorite part of this moment was Brooke looking over at me and whispering "Mommy, look he's wrapping the silverware!" I said "I know, it's how we always do it!"
Well, to wrap up this event my mom LOVED my sweet potatoes and even called Kathy and proudly announced that she ate sweet potatoes for dinner. Kathy praised her like a child and mom beamed. Dad ate all of his dinner despite the grand amount of cookies he ate.
You see - what I didn't notice when I was running around in Mishawaka, Elkhart, and South Bend like a chicken with my head cut off - is that I was missing out on something so much more important. My parents when they needed me the most. The smiles, the hugs, the praise, the love, the grouchies, the memories that were made on Sunday along with the ones that were buried so deep in my heart.......
Thank you Kathy - this was not a task at all. Thank you for helping me realize that I was needed back at home. I love you and I love the great care that you are taking for our parents. I know it's not an easy job by far and I will be there to help anytime you need me.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Today as I was working I received an e-mail from Brooke at school - she had been assigned a project that involved writing 3 stories that could stand alone as there own story but if put together could make 1 story. She needed my help in finding a title. What I found was so much more than a title of a story for a high school language arts project.
The days, months, and years that I was going through my divorce are probably some of the most "selfish" days of my existence as a mother. Selfish in my mind because I spent a great deal of time reflecting on my OWN happiness. Don't get me wrong - I had spent endless hours sitting on a chair in a psychologist office telling him that I was willing to endure a life of misery to keep my children happy. But the reality of it all was my children weren't going to be happy unless I was. So came to life, the misery that I put my family through with the choices I made as a wife and mother.
I knew in "The End" that it would be OK - because I knew there wouldn't be an "END" until it was!!
Here is what my daughter wrote about - her pain is still very raw in my heart. I will do anything to protect my children from pain. But, in the end.....I have never been a prouder parent. My children are my world. They are the reason I exist. And if I sent this beautiful child out into the world today - I know that my job as a mother is pretty damn good. I am SO proud to share her story with my friends and family.
We were always one. One unit, one clan, one team, one cult. One family. We went together as well as a new born and its mother. We were the fabulous, fantastic five. My mom, dad, brother, Brandon, sister, Brianna, and me.
But one day, a hurricane came and swept us off our feet, we did not know what to do. The black hole of despair swallowed us whole into the darkness and emptiness of divorce. BOOM! Our entire world was changed.
Alone, that is how we felt. Alone, with no one to turn to. Alone, with nothing to grab onto. Alone, like a cub without his mother. Alone.
When the news came that we had to separate, it was a horror movie in our house. There were fits, as if we were five years old. There were screams, as if the world was about to end. But most of all, there were cries, cries of help, cries of hope, and cries of loneliness.
We needed help. We needed love. We needed God. We needed friends. But most of all, we needed each other, through the paths and struggles of divorce.
“AHHHHHHHH!” That is what was boiling inside me for the seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, and at point years that followed the horrendous news. I wanted to scream like a baby that can not be helped. I wanted to scream so everyone could hear me. But I didn’t.
I did not let out any clues about the volcano inside of me waiting to erupt. I was silent. No, not mute, but silent, about my true feelings. None of my friends knew what was happening, I was good at hiding my feelings. I acted happy, acted. Yes, at points I was, but at some, I felt on the verge of my eruption. But, I was silent.
My family was falling apart…. my mom moved out…. my sister was never home…. my brother and dad hid in their rooms…. my house was not my home. I felt alone. I did not have anyone to tell my feelings too because I was embarrassed of what my friends would think.
Then, I found him. I told him my feelings, and he handled my big eruptions. He listened, and did not interrupt. He was always there, wherever I was. He kept my hopes up through out the day. He did not give up on me. He lent a helping hand when I needed it. He was a miracle worker. He helped my family strengthen through this weakening travel. God was my listening ear.
Some may say that divorce never ends in a happy ending. That it is always a shadow lingering behind you. That no matter if you feel an endless supply of happiness, that shadow comes back to haunt you. Those people are wrong.
No, I do not think of divorce as delightful, but as a new beginning. We were all happy, there was no more screaming between our parents, we did not have to hide in our rooms, and we felt as if we could finally be comfortable in our house, even if we did not all live together. We all have had and still have our moments we wish we were still together, but we are also very grateful that we do not have to go through the pain of fighting in the house. Our clan seemed to become closer in a process that usually separates families.
In addition to our family becoming closer, I gained a new loving, caring, and reliable step-dad, step-brother, and step-sister. My mom got remarried to Jim, who had two kids already, and they feel like my blood-related siblings. From gaining these three new additions to my family, I also gained new life lessons. My step-dad taught me how to get closer to God, more then just going to church. I learned, from a bright, bubbly seven year old, to use my imagination, no matter what age. He also taught me to be patient, and to never give up when helping someone try to accomplish a goal. From the bubbly four year old, I saw what I was like when I was little. I also learned how to be a good role model and older sister for the two younger ones, since I was always the youngest of the bunch.
Divorce, a thing most people think of as separation, actually brought me closer with my family and complete strangers, who soon became my family. For me, my parents divorce brought a final, happy ending.