Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Marine Monday - Memorial Day carry over

I was pleased with all the wonderful facebook posts about Memorial day.  The different pictures, and links and shout outs.  It reminded me of what the country was like right after 9/11.  Do you remember?  We were united.  Everyone was feeling so patriotic.  Flags were everywhere.  It was truly a unique feeling that I don't know that I have or will ever experience again.  I hope so.  But I hope it doesn't take a terrorist attack or the holiday once a year to bring that feeling out in everyone.

For those of us who have loved ones serving in the military whether oversears, in the middle of the current conflict or even here at home, holidays like Memorial day, the Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem take on much deeper and powerful meanings.  We are stirred in our hearts perhaps more so than the average US citizen.  It means something to us on a whole other level.

When I checked Chloee into school late last week, her class was just getting ready to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The do it every day.  Every child participates.  I watched as Chloee quickly hucked her backpack in the general direction of her cubby so that she could quickly join them before they started.

I stood for a moment watching those sweet 3 and 4 year olds.  Face the American Flag, place their small hands over their hearts and together in unison recite:

"Ready begin.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  And to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible and with liberty and justice for all."

I looked at the faces of those little ones.  White, brown, black.  Eyes of different shapes and colors.  Hair of different colors and textures.  All those beautiful children were unique in their heritage and ethinic backgrounds.  However, for a few moments every morning, they are united in a single cause.  The cause of pledge their allegiance to THIS country.  To THIS, the United States of America.

These children don't care if their skin colors are different.  If they speak a different language in their homes.  If they have two mommies or two daddies, or if they live with Mimi and Poppa or Nana and Grandpa.  Those things don't figure in to their relationships.

I want to be more like them.

Today, those images in my head of watching the kids pledge their allegiance really stuck with me today as we passed flag after flag being displayed.    And cute Chloee, when we see a flag, she reminds us to place our hand over our heart.  She is extremely respectful and reminds us to be so as well.  I love that this is being instilled in her early.  She will go to Camp Pendleton prepared to become a part of a tight, united military family.

And then my thoughts turned to the children, wives, husbands, and families of those who have pledged their allegiance in the ultimage fashion.  Serving their country and giving the ultimate sacrifice.  Those were the ones that occupied much of my thoughts during quiet times in  the day.

I have often said how proud I am of Corbin and his decision to serve.  It has changed him.  It has changed me.  It has changed our family.  And all for the better.  We are more patriotic than ever before.  We notice the flag.  We notice those in uniform.  We pay more attention to what is going on overseas.  Our prayers include more often those men and women serving our country. We pray for those families who don't have their loved one come home. We pray that we will never be one of those families.

I hope your Memorial day was more than just dropping off a few flowers and having a family bbq.  More than just a movie out with the family, or even just a day off to do yard work or clean the house.

I hope that you allowed the message of what the day is truly about to sink in your hearts and soul.  That perhaps you felt a little more patriotic and that that feeling can carry on for more than just a weekend.

Semper Fi

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Family Day - Nice Day

Didn't need a special day to put our flag out - it hangs 24/7 -365

More on my feelings about the real meaning of  Memorial Day tomorrow on My Marine Monday

Today was about family and remembering those close to us that have passed on.

Took Chloee to Jill's grave to decorate.  Still no headstone, but there were flowers already there and we could see a small outline where the grass is almost completely grown together.  Another month, and the line will be gone.  I am hoping a headstone will be placed so that Chloee can always find her

Of course it was pouring!

She wasn't very interested in staying there very long, but it was raining and carrying the umbrella was pretty appealing after all.

We then headed to my brothers for a family BBQ.
I was told to bring my special crap, chips and chocolate
My special crap - BFF SIL is not a fan of seven layer dip.  I found a sour cream substitute and barely put any cheese on it.  The rest of the flavors overtake any yuckiness those would bring.  In fact, my "special crap" is a regular request at family functions - NGL - it's pretty dang awesome!

chips (excuse my jug of water)

and the chocolate.  Macey's grocery store to the rescue

And then it was all talking, chatting, catching up, teasing, eating and LAUGHING!

SIL's sister Carrie, Chantelle and her friend Lance

Me and BFF SIL

My girl Karalee!

Chloee with her cousin Alivia

Yeah, I am working that ketchup bottle

Splenda, Meina Bruder and mi Sobrina Brianna

Me and Meina Bruder

Whoa - what is this?  Splenda having some brown bubbles?  Mark this day down in history.  This will be maybe one of two days this year that he indulges.

Chloee's favorite treat - chocolate covered strawberries - thanks Carrie and Alan

Granny T with her grand and my grand - the girls having a good time!

It was a nice day.  I nice day to read fabulous fb posts about patriotism, military and gratitude.

Nice to take time out to help Chloee remember Jill. 

Nice day to be with family who are more than family - best friends!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Things that are making me smile

Lipstick on little girls - multiple colors

eating string cheese during t-ball baseball

On her way to school - stylin.....

Chloee and Liam finding spiders. 

Jumping off bleachers

Silently mocking some dude who kept wiping his dog's butt.  Again and again and again.  This is the kinda stuff Splenda sees while waiting for me to cross the finish line.

Chloee still in her jammies and patiently waiting for me to run with her.

That is a lady.  In Walmart.  Splenda pretended he was texting while following her around.  Nice tats on the back of her legs and apparently she was wearing some very short shorts.  Although, that is NOT what it looked like from behind.

What else is making me happy?

June 17, 2011

October 21, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Funny Bone Friday - things I may have heard, or said or just thought in my head

Please don't gargle the Sacrament water

The body doesn't do well with death

Lady in pool - "Wow, we really need to wax your back - that's just awful"
Man whom she supposed was her husband -  "Excuse me??"
Lady - *crickets*  "I.....thought....you....were....my.....husband"

Flat Daddy's gonna grab an M-16 and bust a cap on Mother Nature if she doesn't knock it off

Stab and scoop - Stab and scoop

When she gets a UTI - she is naming it Lisa

My sphincter was shy

When I start tasting pee in the back of my throat, we know we have a problem

How's about we don't make out with the dog.

You better believe I am all about opening the red blood cells.

How's about we don't make out with the rock.

It's all fun and games until my maple bar gets dropped.  Then it's death.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday's Wrandom Wrambling

This morning did not go well.  I completely slept through my alarm.  All 5 times it went off. 
Chloee and I didn't wake up until 8:10 and that is the time I should be dropping her off at school. 
Do you know what it's like to hurry a 4 year old  who likes to move on her own time schedule?  Yeah.
She finally got to school at about 9:15.

I stopped on the way home to get a big gulp and decided I would need the leaded diet coke.

Perfect concoction.  Delightful.  An hour later I couldn't figure out why I couldn't keep my eyes open.  My Big Gulp was almost gone, and still no kick.

Then it dawned on me.  Out of habit I had put caffeine free diet coke and not the regular diet coke.  Fail.

Sent the boy and his girl back to the sev for the real thing and the real thing they brought me.  Full on MAN-COKE!  Been years since I had a real man coke.  Calories be damned, it was good!

I've discovered the ease of Hulu.  Am now spending way too much time watching all the shows I want to, but miss and forget to ask someone to set the DVR since I don't know how.

I refuse to learn how to set the DVR.  Somethings the menfolk in my house can just do for me.  I wash underwear, they set my dvr.  Plain and simple.

Jordan was having a pretty wild dream this morning complete with heavy breathing, paw twitching and some weird noises.  Jack was a little freaked out.  Enough to the point that he scoochied over to her, sniffed and licked her ear, and then laid down beside her watching her and me to make sure she was okay.

I love my dogs.

Unless one of them craps on the rug in my kitchen.

But then the boy who lives at home realized it was pretty much his fault and took care of the rug.  Rice was in a cup to absorb a wet ipod.  Jack decided to eat the rice.  No bueno.

Same man-child spilled the rice in the sink and both he and I rinsed it down the disposal drain.

Apparently that is a bad idea.

Splenda wasn't happy with us as he tore the drain apart and unclogged it all.

My blood pressure is high.  Has been consistently high for several months.  Doc told me to watch it and then come back and maybe try meds. 

I don't want to try meds.  Instead I am trying a natural concoction from Splenda's work.  It's a powder you add to water.

It makes me want to gag.

Last t-ball  baseball game, all the boys on Chloee's team started using her pink bat.  She was cool with it and decided to use the boys bat.  Some parents weren't happy their boys were using a pink bat. 

They should get over it.

We passed a little girl wearing a snow white dress.  I mentioned to Chloee how cute that was.

Chloee informed me she wanted to dress like a skeleton.

I like that she marches to the beat of her own drum.

Except when we are late for school and her marching is slower than I need her to be.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Red Corner China Diner - and a GIVEAWAY!!

Tonight was Bonco's dinner night and our fearless leader always seems to find great places!  This time was no exception

The Red Corner China diner has been open a mere 3 weeks and it's already had a positive write up in the local newspaper.  In fact, it was this article that drove Debbie to change our plans from an old standby to venturing into uncharted territory.

We all like chinese food.  We've been to many a different place, and at each one, I tend to find a favorite dish.  When I opened the menu here - there were like 12 different options that caught my eye.  I'm always drawn to the ones with the red pepper next to them indicating a spicy dish.  Momma likey spicy!

We were getting seated and John was chitchatting with Yoshi one of our servers.  Yoshi asked where we had heard about the diner and John explained that Debbie had seen an article written about them and decided we needed to try them out.

Apparently that translated that we were there to write an article about the food, because a few moments later a tall chinese man approached our table asking about the article. He introduced himself as the owner and again asked about the writing of the article.   It took some time and some repeating but we finally were able to communicate why we had chosen their establishment.  He kept asking about the writing, so I told him I would write about him and his restaurant on my blog.  He graciously thanked me and offered a discount for our trouble.

Now, I was taking dinner seriously.

As we waited for the last couple to arrive we ordered some vegetarian spring rolls and some lettuce wraps.  Both were delicious!  On the table were condiments for you to add extra kick to any of the dishes or sauces that came out.  I'm almost wishing we had ordered more lettuce wraps since we really liked those!

The two servers were absolutely awesome.  They were the  most courteous and polite people I have seen in a dang long time.   Very friendly, and spoke English well enough for us to easily communicate with one another.  They were attentive without hovering and always so gracious and appreciative of us. There was a lot of slight bowing as they spoke to us, and quickly whisked away empty dishes.

In looking over the menu we finally decided to order two of the family dinners.  We turned it over to Debbie to choose, with my one request for something spicy and the rest of us went back to chatting.

First came out the soup.  We had a nice large bowl of hot and sour soup and another large bowl of egg drop soup.  I've never been a fan of chinese soup.  I tried a little of the hot and sour, and wasn't a fan, but my fellow diners raved over both of them.  Particularly the egg drop soup.

We had both fried rice and steamed rice brought to the table and both were great.  I particularly liked the steamed  It was nice and sticky, just as good chinese rice should be.

There were two dishes of chow mein that came out next and I liked the broad noodles.  The vegetables were cooked well.  Not mushy and not too crisp.  The set up of the restaurant allows all the tables to see the kitchen.  I like that.  I could see that our dishes were being prepared fresh as we ordered and not pulled out of a big pot and reheated.

With the two family dinners, we had 6 different entree's coming out and I particularly liked the pace of them.  Three all together, and then a lull.  That lull allowed us to fill out plates, enjoy those dishes with out feeling like all we were doing was passing plate after plate after plate. Once those three were done, the next three came out.  In my opinion, for a party of 8 it was perfect.

Garlic chicken with string beans

Mongolian Beef

Sweet and sour pork - the best I have ever tasted

Kung pao shrimp -delish!

No Debbie isn't wiping tears from the spicy - but rather laughing so hard. I think it might have involved something about a snot bubble. That's just how we roll man!

We also had mu shu pork, but I forgot to get a picture.
While I wasn't a fan, the others were and it came served with a flat tortilla and plum sauce so you could make a wrap with it.  It was hit around the table.

All the dishes were delicious - for me the Garlic chicken with string beans and the Kung Pao shrimp were my favorite!  I am literally reeking of garlic, but I am justifying it for the healthy properties of garlic : )

Sam, the owner was kind enough to pose for a picture with me

And then he took pictures of our group

Scooter, Debs, Debbie, Rob, John, Donna, Me and Splenda

We sat talking for a little bit longer, while Yoshi and the other server attentively watched and cleared plates, refiling water and diet cokes.

Soon Sam came back out and asked if I would help him.  He is trying to get a website up for his restaurant, and wondered if I wouldn't mind taking some pictures and emailing them to him so he could add them to his site.

Heck yeah I'd be willing to do that.

So we began posing : )

Sam with his very satisfied customers

Sam and his staff

When we finally gathered our things to leave, they were waiting at the door and handed each of us a fortune cooke as we left.  Such personal attention!
The bottom line is I had a good vibe from the minute I walked in. The colors are warm and inviting.  I love the red walls.  The staff is superb.  I watched as Sam's wife and children came in for dinner.  While the kids sat at the table and ate dinner, Mom went back into the kitchen area, put on a restaurant shirt and hat, and approached our table asking if everything was okay.

Sam and his staff were kind, polite and courteous to not just the customers but to each other.  I got the feeling that Sam is a kind employer.  We watched him interact with his staff and they were so respectable of each other.  They worked well together as a team which I find remarkable for being together for just 3 weeks.

Kudos to Sam, his staff and the Red Corner Chinese diner.

Now, for the fun part.  If you are local and are interested in giving Red Corner a try - I am hosting a giveaway!

Rules?  Pretty simple really.
 Leave a comment telling me what your favorite chinese dish is.  That gets you an entry.

Pimp this post out on your own blog (by linking back to me) and get others to come here and comment about their favorite chinese dish.  Make sure that they mention that YOU sent them.  That person will receive an entry and you will get another one.

That's it.  Just want to get the word out about this place. 

I'll take comments for one week.  Ending Monday the 30th at midnight.  All entries will be printed out, placed in a nice bowl and taken to Sam at the Red Corner.  He will randomly choose a winner and that winner gets a $20.00 gift certificate on me.  To be honest, that will pretty much cover your dinner tab.

So get the word out.  Sam is a nice guy just trying to work hard and make a living.  It's the small business guys like this that need our help the most right now.  And the one thing that sealed the deal for me with him?  He is closed Sunday's.  I dig that.

So - get on it friends.  Get the word out.  Let's win a gift certificate to a new fun Chinese place that is delicious and worth our patronage!

My Marine Monday - Graduation and ...what's this?

LCpl Catmull's diploma and a surprise award - The Mertiorious Mast  Award

It reads:
"For superior performance of duty while enrolled in the Small Arms Repair Course, Class #19-11 at Marine Corps Detachment, Fort Lee, Virginia from 17 March 2011 to 20 May 2011. During this period Lance Corporal Catmull distinguished himself in a highly exemplary manner by serving as the class leader. On a daily basis, he consistently demonstrated his superior leadership, initiative, motivation, and military skills. These qualities set him apart from his peers and contributed greatly to the success of his fellow classmates and the Marine Corps Detachment. Lance Corporal Catmull's professional attitude and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."

Is it a big deal?  I guess so...... read below (from a fellow Marine who also garnered this award in 2009):

A Mertiorious Mast has to be approved through the Marines entire chain of command, and it has to be unanimous. I didn't know anything about mine that I received while standing at attention for an awards ceremony. I thought my heart was going to explode. To a Marine there is very few honors that can compete with such an honor.

g. Meritorious Mast. Whenever the performance of an enlisted Marine is considered noteworthy or commendable beyond the usual requirements of duty or the Marine demonstrates exceptional industry, judgment, or initiative, the senior person who has observed the Marine’s performance shall make a report of this to the Marine’s Commander (battalion or equivalent echelon). These reports shall be given careful consideration and, if appropriate, a Meritorious Mast held.
(1) A Meritorious Mast shall not be conducted when the service or performance of the Marine is recognized through the awarding of a Letter of Appreciation, Certificate of Commendation, or a personal decoration.
(2) Commanders will use the Meritorious Mast (NAVMC 10935) form as a uniform means of recognizing efforts that warrant recognition. The form, which is a two-part set, is available through the normal supply channels (NSN 0109 LF-064-6500). Do not forward copies of approved Meritorious Mast’s to CMC (MMMA). A copy, however, should be forwarded to CMC (MMSB) for inclusion into
the Marines OMPF.

So proud of our son!  He admitted he got a little choked up when they presented the award, he didn't know it was coming. 

He was a born leader, and so far he is showing it.  He has garnered a leadership billet or position in every post or assignment given.  I am wondering if he shouldn't start thinking about Officer school and seeing if it would make a good career.

Either way, we are so proud of him and happy for him!

He is now back in California at Camp Pendleton and getting processed.  In 3 weeks, we'll be headed there and I can't wait to give him a big old Momma hug!

Semper Fi

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spiritual Sunday - Some random Sunday thoughts including Eminem

I'd love to say that we had a wonderful time at Stake Conference today. That the Spirit was strong, Chloee was reverent and we came away uplifted and energized for the upcoming week.
I'd love to say that - but it would be a lie.

We didn't make it to ANY session of Stake Conference. Splenda didn't go to Priesthood Leadership meeting either.  Instead, last night we took care of errands, stayed up late, slept in, I got 10 loads of laundry done, the house picked up and Chloee's room cleaned and organized.  (Cleanliness is next to Godliness right?)

Seems strange from one who bears her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ often and sincerely.  One who serves, teaches and tries to be a good example.  One who blogs about spiritual things and professes a regular religious habit.

I really am all that.  I'll never deny my faith.  I'll never deny what I believe and what I know in my heart is the truth.  I try to do what's right.

So what does it mean when I'm not perfect.  When I can't do it all.  When I make a purposeful decision to slack off
What does it mean?

I've been thinking about this very thing for quite some time.  It seems that people tend to ebb and flow with their testimonies and church participation.  As a member of the LDS faith, those ebbs and flows are usually more prominent perhaps than in other religions.  There are a lot of things that we covenant to do.   We serve in various capacities. Some more demanding of our time than others.  We have a moral code of ethics we strictly adhere to.  We have a health guideline that we follow.  It may seem, sometimes to someone outside our faith, that we have a lot of work and a lot of rules.  Does that affect our ebb and flow or is it something else?

For some people life circumstances or a major tragedy or struggle affects their ebb and they find that over time, it becomes a permanent separation.  They lose the light they once had for the gospel. 

For others, they ride along for awhile in the ebb until a good wave of some sort catches them and carries them back into the flow.

Some are lucky enough to just keep on in the same rhythm and cadence all their lives.

I've been thinking about the 99 and 1.  You know the parable where the Shepherd keeps careful eye on His flock to the point of searching out the one lost lamb and returning them to the fold.  It is taught that Jesus Christ is the Shepherd and we are His sheep and He cares enough about each one of us, that He will search for the "lost one" to return them to the safety of the fold.  Sometimes it's through the hands and efforts of another, but He finds us - my thoughts last week basically.
I am a Believer of this.

Lately I've been thinking.....What if that lamb didn't want to be found?  What if that little one was pissed.  So frustrated and full of anger and disappointment that they purposefully snuck away to seek his fortune alone?  And then, maybe that sheep hit the proverbial rock bottom and came back on his own.  Fought off his own wolves, climbed his own little barbed wire fences, forged rivers and hiked his way back to his Shepherd?
Is there something to be said for someone who works hard to get themselves back to what they consider their own good graces with God?  Not that it takes away from anyone who had loving friends and family to help them, but I wonder about those who battle back, for the most part, by themselves.  And don't we all have to do that to some extent. 

Splenda has always taught an important principle in our home.  'You are responsible for your own happiness'.    I also believe this to be true about or Spirituality or lack thereof.  You are responsible for your own.  No one can do the work, or maintenance but you.  And when you meet your Maker, no one will be there to answer for you - just you.  You are the only one that can make or break your relationship with God.  Just.you.

BUT - we are all in this together.  As a human family, and we have much to learn from one another.  Same religion, same faith or not.  There are things we have to offer each other and things we can improve in ourselves based on someone else's example.

Now, this is really gonna throw ya - Today I watched a link my son put on Facebook.  He has always been a fan of Eminem.  From his very beginning, which is admittedly very raw.  When the boys were young, I would look up the artists and songs they were talking about so I would know what they were listening to.  Slim Shady disgusted me.  I found him abhorrent.  But I kept my eye on him.  Corbin loved him.  At one point, and sometimes still, people tell him that he looks like Marshall Mathers and even his mannerisms are somewhat similar.  I have to agree.

Back to Slim - He was racking out album after album, gaining worldly accolades.  His private life was now public.  A crazy mother.  Abandoned by his father.  Horrible childhood.  I could see where his angry lyrics were coming from.  His movie 8 Mile hit the theaters.  I waited until I could my hands on an edited version (that would so piss him off), but his rhymes...... they started to intrigue me  - he started to intrigue me.  This was an obviously very angry, hate-filled, chip on his shoulder scrawny white kid.  But his talent to manipulate words into rhymes and tell a story was so compelling.  I wanted to understand him better and I found some songs that I really connected with.  Of course always the edited versions but I started a secret following of him.  Outside of my family and some friends, no one knew how much I really dug him.  Certainly not something one would bear testimony of at the pulpit.  Of how one of his songs inspired me to be better.  That just wouldn't fly so well.

So this link today?  His interview on 60 minutes.  His comeback story.  I knew he had disappeared for a couple of years.  His new album Recovery is amazing.  His story is inspiring.  He had a raw deal thrown him in life.  He made the best he could with the talent he had.  He made something of himself in the world that he knew.  Would I hold him to the same standard I believe?  Hell no.  He wasn't raised the same way that I was.  He probably doesn't even know what a Mormon is, let alone what we believe, so why would I expect him to hold to the same rules I do?  Sheesh, that's where I think we make mistakes. We assume everyone should be living just like us. 
So looking at how he was raised.  The life that he came from.  The life that he knows and understands, I can only base my opinion on that.  And I think he has an amazing story of inspiration.  Of how one can hit rock bottom, get help, get their shizz back together and then come out stronger with an intent to help others.  Does he still use some rough language in his raps?  Yes.  BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE KNOWS.  I can't hold him to a different standard when that is all he knows.  Just like I couldn't expect him to know my LDS terminology.  Does it make it easier to listen to?  Not if it's offensive to you.

So the beauty is, you don't have to watch this clip if you really don't want to.  It did air on 60 minutes so the language is what is allowed on network tv (basically jr high swearing)
But if you choose to, I hope you find it inspiring, and motivating to see someone who was really ebbing.  Ebbing in a way that few understand.  And by some good graces, got some help, caught a wave and for him, is now flowing. 

(won't let me embed)

So I guess to try and tie this all together.....  We all struggle.  We all have our ebbs and flows in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  At the end of the day though, there will be no excuses.  We will just have to answer for our own relationship with God.  But even though our own salvation is personal, we can learn from others.  Even others that are not of our chosen faith, not even close to the same kind of world as ours, but we can still learn from them.  Let their experiences enhance our lives and motivate us to better ourselves.  Even if it's just a small step.  As long as are moving forward with a good heart and good intentions and trying our best, feeling comfortable with how our meeting will go with our Maker, I think we are doing okay.

And for the record, I am not in an ebb stage.  We just took the weekend off.  No harm, no foul.  I either missed some great talks that would have inspired me, or I would have come home frustrated from having to keep Chloee quiet and occupied for 2 hours.  I won't know will I?  But I'm good, no ebbing here, just a nice steady flow for now.

PS - Don't let my Bishop know I like Eminem, he might re-think my calling with the youth  : )

And if you actually read this whole thing and are interested in eM's best song off his latest album

The most offensive lyrics have been edited out but again, the beauty is that if you are still uncomfortable with him - you don't have to listen.  And you don't have to read them.......
I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just lettin you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel like you've been down the same road (same road)

[Intro (during Chorus):]
Yeah, it's been a ride
I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one
Now some of you, might still be in that place
If you're trying to get out, just follow me
I'll get you there

You could try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay 'em
But you won't take the sting out these words before I say 'em
Cause ain't no way I'ma let you stop me from causin mayhem
When I say I'ma do somethin I do it,
I don't give a damn what you think,
I'm doin this for me, so ____ the world
Feed it beans, it's gassed up, if it thinks it's stoppin me
I'ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly
And all those who look down on me I'm tearin down your balcony
No if ands or buts, don't try to ask him why or how can he
From "Infinite" down to the last "Relapse" album
he's still _____, whether he's on salary paid hourly
Until he bows out or he ______ his bowels out of him
Whichever comes first, for better or worse
He's married to the game, like a_____ you for Christmas
His gift is a curse, forget the Earth, he's got the urge
to pull his ______ from the dirt, and _____ the whole universe


Okay quit playin with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap
I shouldn't have to rhyme these words in the rhythm for you to know it's a rap
You said you was king, you lied through your teeth, for that
_______ your feelings, instead of gettin crowned you're gettin capped
And to the fans, I'll never let you down again, I'm back
I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact
Let's be honest, that last "Relapse" CD was ehhh
Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground
Relax, I ain't goin back to that now
All I'm tryin to say is get back, click-clack, blaow
Cause I ain't playin around
It's a game called circle and I don't know how, I'm way too up to back down
But I think I'm still tryin to figure this crap out
Thought I had it mapped out but I guess I didn't, this _____ black cloud
still follows, me around but it's time to exorcise these demons
These muh'______ are doin jumpin jacks now!


And I just can't keep living this way
So starting today, I'm breaking out of this cage
I'm standing up, I'ma face my demons
I'm manning up, I'ma hold my ground
I've had enough, now I'm so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now! (now)

It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me
Admittedly, I probably did it subliminally
for you, so I could come back a brand new me you helped see me through
And don't even realize what you did, believe me you
I been through the ringer, but they could do little to the middle finger
I think I got a tear in my eye, I feel like the king of
my world, haters can make like bees with no stingers
and drop dead, no more beef flingers
No more drama from now on, I promise
to focus solely on handlin my responsibilities as a father
So I solemnly swear to always treat this roof, like my daughters
and raise it, you couldn't lift a single shingle on it!
Cause the way I feel, I'm strong enough to go to the club
or the corner pub, and lift the whole liquor counter up
Cause I'm raising the bar
I'd shoot for the moon but I'm too busy gazin at stars
I feel amazing and I'm


I am going to choose to be inspired by him and his will to not just survive, but now to offer his hand to help someone else who may be where he was. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I am a WOMAN of STEEL again - 2011 version - Diva style!

Remember when I first did this in 2009?
I was hooked!  I love a triathlon - and while I've yet to do more than a sprint distance, I love them!

Then last year, I talked my girls into doing it with me and remember what happened?  No bueno!  Couldn't even compare times since it wasn't the same event!

This year - it was touch and go there with the weather for a little while.  It's been raining all week, and we have all been watching the reports very closely.  It appeared there would be no precipitation, but the temps might be cooler than we had hoped.  It ended up being even nicer than I could have hoped for.

The plan was for me to get up at 5:20, grab my gear and get to Lisa's at 5:45. I woke up at 4 and was too excited/anxious/nervous to sleep.  I wrangled around from side to side until about 5 when I snuck out of bed only to find Splenda on the computer.

I loaded my bike, grabbed my gear, left him instructions and the one last mark up before walking out the door.

It's no secret how I feel about my "Diva's"  All girls who met through the gym, started hanging out, doing events together and found ourselves becoming besties.  I had already seen some encouraging marks on Ree's and Ana's feet bottoms, but I had a different idea.

I knew that once we each had our jump in the water, it would be unlikely that we would see each other again until the finish line, but I wanted them with me.  I needed their encouragement, and their voices in my head yelling at me to push harder.


Splenda did a fine job of the writing no?

Once we all gathered at Lisa's, we loaded the 'burb and off to American Fork we went.  A lecture on not throwing banana peels out the window, a quick food stop and the next thing you know we are looking for parking. 

As we were unloading the bikes, it has occurred to Ana that not only has she forgotten her bib number, but her bike tag, and her issued swim cap.  CRAP for her!  Next time, she sleeps over at my house or I go and pack for her in the morning.  Plain and simple.

We each found our transition staging areas, got body marked, Ana got her situation remedied and we headed for the pool.  Ree and I post in the 6 minute swim times and Ana and Lisa post around 7 minutes so we lined up accordingly.  The fasted post was 4 minutes, but I am here to tell you that there are some LYING women out there.  No way were you swimming a 4 minute/300 minute pace.  NO.WAY.

It took awhile before out time zone even got started.  As we waited, who shows up??  TIBURON!!  I had asked her last night if she would come and be our paparazzi.  She was the missing Diva and I really wanted and needed her there.  Apparently, she had been planning on surprising us all and showing up, but not only, but each of the other girls had also texted and asked her to come.  Do we think alike or do we think alike??  I even got the sting in my nose like when you are gonna cry, when I saw her.  We chit chatted, she got some pictures and then positioned herself to get us all as we came out of the water.

We finally got to the front and then it was my turn to jump in.   And of course, as Stuart one of our swim coaches warned me, I came out too fast.  I realized it about 25 meters in and tried to slow down.  However, Ree was behind me and she swims a little faster so I had to keep a certain pace so I didn't get in her way. 

Soon enough, I had found a good rhythm and was settling in.  Next thing I know, the lady in front of me has slowed way down and not willing to move out the way.  I am not willing to slow down and wait for her since it will just create a log jam.  I'm not seeing anyone coming right away down the other side so I make a move and end up literally almost swimming over the top of her.  Sorry whoever you are.  Should have put yourself in the right time zone.

Another 100 meters and I can feel Ree on my feet so as soon as we hit the next wall, I pull up and tell her to go ahead.  She can maintain a steady speed, whereas, I am sprint, slow, sprint, slow.....

The last 10 meters, I happened to take a mouthful of water and can't blow or breathe so I just stood up and walked the last couple of steps to the side.  I was thrilled the swim was over, feeling pretty good about my pace and off and running to the transition area.

Transition 1 - I should have had a towel at the gate by the pool and been drying as I ran to my bike since I was still soaking and had to take the time to dry off.  I ripped off my swimsuit (sports bra and bikini bottoms underneath), dried as much and as quickly as I could and threw on my t-shirt and running shorts.  I also had to get socks and shoes on and when you're a little damp, it takes a skill to do it and fall on your butt when your hurrying.  I swallowed a big swig of water, put on my helmet, gloves and sunglasses, grabbed my bike and ran for the OUT gate.   I felt good about the T1 time, but knew I had wasted precious seconds with a wet body.

I mounted my bike in time to see Splenda and Chloee there at the gate cheering and taking pictures!  YAY!

 I knew the course and knew the best way to work my gears and pace for this portion so I felt very prepared to tackle it as hard and fast as I could.  It was great.  The sun was up, my adrenaline was pumping and roadkill after roadkill was happening.  I spent the entire bike portion calling 'left', 'on your left', 'coming up left'....etc.  Now THAT is fun.  It was also a chance to GU up, and on the flat's and downhill, and catch my breath.  I thought about drinking some water I had on the bike, but didn't want to have to slow down.  There was another lady I kept leap frogging with and I wanted to keep her in my sights.  Besides, I knew I could drink on the run.  It was also an opportunity to look at my arms and wonder where and how my Diva's were doing.  I hoped that Lisa didn't panic in the pool.   I hoped that Ana had made her transition okay and was comfortable in what she was wearing.  I hoped that Ree was killing time on the bike since the run was going to be hard for her.  I was thinking of cool it was that Tib made the drive and hoped I would see her again as I made the second loop.
The rest of the bike portion was fairly uneventful.  I was able to catch up some time, dry off a bit and enjoy seeing so many ladies attempting such a hard thing.

Transition 2 was much faster, I just had to rack my bike, switch out my helmet and gloves for my hat and water bottle and off I went.

 It always takes me a while to get my legs after riding the bike into the run.  This time was no exception, maybe even a little longer.  It doesn't help that you start off with a pretty good hill a block or so into the run.  But before getting to that beast, just as I turned the first corner, there was Chloee and Splenda.  Chloee took my hand and ran with me for a little bit

 How fun!  I knew I was losing time, but I didn't care, I just loved that she wanted to be a part of it!  I thanked her and continued on with an odd trot trying to get my legs to work right.  Finally, at about the mile mark, I found them, kicked it up a notch and started a steady and quick pace.  My problem now was that I had to pee.  BAD!  I wanted to hydrate my muscles since the water in my bladder wasn't doing them any good, but I also didn't want to add to the bladder problem.  There aren't any Honey Buckets along the route, so I basically told myself that I could either pee my pants and hope no one noticed since most ladies butts were still wet from the swim or push through and talk myself out of the discomfort.  No brainer.  If I had peed myself, Chief would have NEVER let me hear the end of it.  There would be facebook mocking on a daily basis until the Second Coming and there was no way I was gonna live with that, so I held it and instead concentrated on my running form.  Again, knowing the route was great since I knew that if I could hang onto this same pace until I rounded the corner, the rest would be downhill, and I could move even a little quicker.

The run is always my favorite.  It's what I am most comfortable with.  Maybe because it's the one that I feel I have the most control over.  It's just me and my legs.  Nothing else.  I love to watch the other participants, I love to look at their ages on their calves, their bodies and wonder what made them choose to do this.  I know my motives and they are mostly very selfish.  I love to compete.  I love to accomplish hard things.  I love to have the satisfaction that comes from a physical feat.  Were these other women the same?  This particular event is awesome in that, there is every size, age and body type competing.  All women.  Some, it's obvious that they are very physical, that they do a lot of running, or biking or both. Some, it's apparent that they struggle with physical activity.  And yet, here there are, busting butt to show to themselves (I think) that they can do it.  I love my thoughts as I run.

On the down hill side, I could at last see the turn into the final stretch.  I wanted to sprint, but didn't want to start the sprint too soon.  I waited until I hit the grass and spotted someone ahead of me.  I poured everything I had into my legs and lungs and jetted for the finish line.  She heard me coming and wasn't about to get passed in the final seconds so she turned it up and we both sprinted as hard as we could through the line.

Ex.hil.a.rating!!!  First off, as I come into the grassy area, there is Splenda, Chloee and Tib cheering and taking pics.  Then as I cross and am grabbing a water, I hear my name and look over to see Debbie (Ree's wife) cheering and taking pics!  Nothing like getting love from the start to the finish!

My first question was for directions to the diet coke.  After grabbing one, finding my fam and friends I headed straight for the port-a-john!

I watched with Tib and Splenda while the rest of my girls came in.  And then we all stood around and re-lived the race. I love that part.  I love comparing stories.  I love hearing what went well for them, what they might have struggled with, what made them push hard.  It's just the greatest.

(run Ana run!  for the record, I couldn't keep up with her sprint!)

They were starting to post results and for a few minutes I was actually 3rd in my division.  Sadly, that didn't last.  I waited until tonight to get the final results for now, we were basking in the endorphine high and euphoria that comes with every race finish.

and yes, I DO have a diet coke in my hand!

Splenda and Chloee headed home.  Debbie took Liam and went home as well.  Tib gave her goodbyes and left.  The rest of us went back to the transition staging area, gathered our gear and bikes, and headed back for the 'burb.

After a quick stop at the Iceberg for my most favorite milkshake in the world (that I can now no longer have - but that's a whole different story), we were home.

So how did I stack up this year and how did it compare to 2009?

Final stats:
Swim - 8:34
T1 - 4:28
BIke - 43:41
T2 - 2:31
Run - 27:37
Overall time:  1:26:54
10th out of 49 in my age group
203 out of 740 overall.

2009 stats:
Swim - 9:11
T1 - 5:16
Bike - 46:36
T2 - 2:37
Run - 24:24

Other than the run - I have improved.  That makes me happy.  What's up with the run?  The only thing I can think of is back in 2009 - all my events were 5 or 10k's.  Short quick runs.  Since then I have added distance and that training alters your speed.  At any rate, I'm okay with it all.

 Improvement is good.

 Finishing with a decent showing is better.

 Doing it all with your Diva's is the BEST!