Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Well lookie what the Swede's dragged in!

A lot packed in a few short days.

Mom and John made a quick jaunt from their mission in Sweden to hit up the youngest sisters wedding.  That means a lot of family, in a short period of time.

We all survived.

First, my brother, his wife (my BFSIL), me and Splenda Daddy took them out for dinner to celebrate a late Mother's day.

Let's get a picture of me with my Mom
ummm..that's too dark - try again

a little better, but still too dark - try again

MY EYES!!  MY EYES!!!  (said in my best Phoebe from Friends voice)

I could tell you a lot of funny things about dinner at the Roadhouse.  Because seriously, if you put me and BFSIL in the same room it gets dicey.    Add in the fact that my mom giggles alot, and well.....that doesn't help.  It encourages us.

I don't think Thomas our server will ever be the same.
I may have accidentally said "Cherry me" when asking for a diet cherry coke.
I may have been obnoxious when fishing out THREE different maraschino cherries from said diet coke.
I may have been my usual difficult order.  (I have to add and subtract a lot of things from my special menu thus inducing a lot of eye rolls)
The following conversation may or may not have happened:
Mom: "I remember when a was younger a friend told me that she wasn't allowed to play with me any more because I swore too much"
Me: "How old were you Mom, like 6?"
Mom: "NO!  I was older.  I think I was 9 or 10"

Yessssssss.......I knew I came by it rightly!  Made my entire night.

Saturday, we all jaunted up to Logan for the wedding festivities.
Warning - Picture overload.  Ignore if you want, just there for my fam.....
(for the record, my camera got dropped and it no longer provides spectacular pictures.  Some of these are a tich blurry)
Simple quick ceremony with a cool candle lighting thingie at the end

Johnny (Michelle's son) as the ring bearer.  So damn cute!

Trying to light the candles.  Note:  don't let the Mormon missionary couple who have probably never used lighters before in their entire lives, be in charge of lighting a candle.

Michelle was a beautiful bride

Me and BFSIL

Sister Mindi and hubby Charles, Chet,........

The wedding party.  Richard's friend, Richard, Michelle and Michelle's friend (I don't really know them obviously)

Me and Michelle.  Of all the siblings, she and I look the most alike.  The other two might have been adopted.  Or me and Michelle were.

Brother and BFSIL's family minus a couple of sons

Savannah, me and Chantelle

Great niece. In both ways of great.  I let her have my camera for a little bit.  I think she has a future in photography

Michelle and my new BIL Richard

More of great-niece's amazing skills

A few of my Logan family

Some more of them

Might have gotten a little goofy with the flower petals

 Lessons learned from the ceremony, brunch and ensuing reception.
1.  Multiple members of my family together in one room can lead to a lot of laughing, some mild inappropriateness, and a lot of diet brown bubbles.
2.  When I tell mi Sobrina not to actually pull the lever and pour the water in my mouth while we take silly pictures, I mean it.
3.  Mi Sobrina is an extreme germ-a-phobe and may have had a slight melt down when I spit the water that I asked her not to pour in my mouth, back at her.
4.  Mi Sobrina and I still love each other.  From a distance.
5.   Cameras left on the tables for guests to take pictures are a bad idea with my family.  I hope they get developed and actually turn out.  I would love to post them.  Gang signs, nostrils, hairy ears, warped faces in water jugs........*shakes head*

After leaving a wake of destruction we headed over to my OTHER sister's house in Smithfield for a little chillin and relaxing since some of the cranky babies needed naps.

And so did the little kids.

Since none of us had eaten all day and were STARVING (sarcasm), we felt it necessary to hit our favorite spot in all of Cache Valley......

The Firehouse!!
John, Mom, Bro and BFSIL (who looks like she has flames coming from her head - awesome)

Great niece and Logan fam

Me and Sis

More family and yet another scarred-for-life restaurant server there in the background.  I should come with a warning sign is all I'm saying.

The Newlyweds, who are now as we speak, in the Bahamas.

I'm not jealous at all.

Thanks for the fun week fam!  The laughs, the pictures, the food and the love!

We need another wedding soon since we have proven yet again, we can survive all in the same room at the same time, for more than a few hours and leave the place still standing and intact.

June 25th anyone??

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear TSA

Does this man LOOK like a terrorist?
Poor guy removes his belt, empties his pockets sans a pack of forgotten chewing gum.

He stepped into the scanner and was told to raise his arms, he spread his legs a little bit to keep his pants from slipping down, and THEN YOU TOLD HIM TO PUT HIS FEET TOGETHER!!

You began the pat and................


Those britches fell right down and the poor man was left standing in his skivvies.

And that my friends, is our tax dollars at work.  Protecting the masses from wise, kind, elderly gentlemen who like to carry gum.

I am all for profiling.  Bring it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday's Wrandom Wrambling

So much rambling, so little time.

Summer is almost here.  I can feel it.  I love when I can walk out to my car, and it be an OVEN inside.  I can feel the heat soak right into my bones.  Ahhhh.....happiness

My mom is here from Sweden.  They have a small mini break to be able to come to my sisters wedding.  Splenda Daddy, me and TNT will be taking her to dinner for a late Mother's Day.  Kinda fun when you haven't actually seen your mom in like a whole year.

Yeah, so my youngest sister is getting married.  I'm so happy for her!  Dude is a great guy.
Funny thing....she is a practicing Wiccan, so I like to say that the witch is getting married.
She's a team player for having a great sense of humor.
I won't lie, I have called upon her help in the past.  
Once the Thanksgiving Turkey wasn't cooking fast enough.  We asked if she could cast a spell.
Another time, my son was dating a girl that I detested.  I asked for a charm or something.
I've learned a lot about that religion.  I need to learn more.  I like that she allows us to respectfully tease her.  Just as I can take some respectful mormon hassling.  It's all good.

I love diversity.
Especially in families.
Cookie-cutter is boring.

In less than a month, the SoCal kids will be here!   EEEPP!!!  I canNOT wait.  The thought of getting each one of them in my arms and squishin 'em makes me smile.  So many fun things planned.  So many celebrations.

You know you're an empty nester when you have to toss expired milk. Among other expired food items.  And when you look in the fridge and there really isn't anything to eat because no one is begging you to go shopping for food or pestering you for daily sustenance.  Or when you can go an entire week and never walk downstairs.  And rarely using the dishwasher.

So strange.  You'd think after 8 months or so, we'd be use to it.  
Not so much.

It's been two months since we lost Tracy.  I still have her phone number in my phone and oftentimes, see it as I scroll through looking for someone else.  It causes a pang in my heart.  Facebook keeps suggesting I "poke" her.  That hurts.  I finally took down my little slip of paper with my visiting teaching assignments that had her name and phone number to replace it with a new one and new assignments.  My heart ached.

Life is a wonder isn't it?  Full of up's and down's.  Good and bad.
I thank God every single day that I am surrounded by friends and family to celebrate and/or to trudge alongside with.

Especially grateful that summer mostly here!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ogden Marathon 2012- I'm in love and a little hate at the same time

Lesson learned....never attempt an early in the season marathon without sufficient training.  If you do, you are an idiot.  Whose name rhymes with shmem-shmat

I am extremely grateful for a running buddy who gave me his bib.  When this particular marathon opens up, it fills within hours.  It's that popular, so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it fully prepared that I wouldn't post a stellar result.

That doesn't stop me from hoping and dreaming.

From day one of bib transfer, it was a nightmare with the race director.  Confusion, understandably, dominated every aspect.  I thought we had it all worked out, so I didn't give it another thought, instead I started thinking about the race itself.

As the day neared, more and more customers were coming in for last minute fuel and race day necessities so I started to get more insight on the course.  I knew it was mostly down hill, with only one significant climb at mile 14.  I knew it was a fast course and an easy one to BQ on.  I knew that a gazillion people would be running it, but that it was a well run race and that everyone I ever knew or heard from had a positive experience running it.

All good mojo.  All good zen, energy and chi.  I still approached it as a long training run, and to simply finish sub 5.  As Saturday got closer and closer, I got more and more amped for it and the fun I anticipated.

Yes, I said FUN when discussing a marathon.  You should be used to that by now from me.

Friday, after I left the Intermountain Running Lab (more on that later), I picked up Sheri and we made the drive up to Ogden and the expo to pick up our race bibs and packet.  I quickly found my name on the chart, got my bib number and went to the appropriate desk.
No bib for me.  I returned to the chart, even took a pic with my phone, and returned to the table.  No bib.  I was referred to an information desk, who then referred me to a solutions table.  At the solutions table the gentleman found my bib but explained that it had been cancelled.  We attempted a sensible communication about the steps taken to transfer etc, but didn't really get anywhere with each other.  He decided he needed the race director.  The race director approached me with my bib and asked what the problem was.  I quickly tried to explain it to her, at least what I understood, and she clarified that there was no problem at all.  Held it over the laptop, activated it and explained that I was good to go.
Whew!  I was really glad that I made the decision to pick it up myself and not have someone else do it for me, that would have been frustrating for them since it was for me, and I knew what was going on!

Sheri and I wondered the expo briefly before heading back home to finish prepping and getting to bed early.

At 3:10am, my alarm went off.  At first, my thought was "I'm gonna skip the gym this morning" and then a nanosecond later, I sat upright realizing that my ride would be there in 20 minutes and IT WAS RACE DAY!

Since everything was basically already set out and good to go, I slipped into my clothes quietly, gathered my gear, grabbed my chilled Monster and waited at the window watching for the car that would creep through my darkened neighborhood street.

My friends pulled up, I ran out and jumped in the back seat ready for some positive talk and energy.  They did not disappoint.  After a quick stop at the Sev for gas and a maple bar, we made the drive with one small detour to pick up another runner.

Sheri knew about the buses and explained that if we waited long enough we could get a comfortable Le Bus, instead of the rough, yellow school ones.  So after some strategic placing of ourselves, we made it  on to one of the coveted luxury rides, sat in the front seat and prepared for the long drive up the canyon.

I hate that drive.  Only because as you watch the scenery in the early morning light, you KNOW that you will be running the entire thing back down, and it seems sooooo loooooong.

As the bus began to move through the darkened streets of Ogden and make the turn east, some movements of the bus driver caught my attention.  Wow, he was really rocking out to his tunes.  I looked closer.  He didn't have a radio on, nor did he have head phones.  I watched a few more minutes and then realized that the gentleman had strange head tic movements.  Clearly our bus drive had something along the lines of Tourette's syndrome.  Suddenly Sheri's joke that the front seat gave a great view when we careened over the cliff seemed that much funnier.  He was a very nice man, and very good at what he did, but I have to say, that I was not only distracted but also subconsciously crossed my fingers that we would make it unscathed.

At the start line there were some smoldering fires and huge lines for the bathrooms.  Since we were one of the last buses, the first priority was the potty.  I had my blankie wrapped around my bare legs and a hoodie over my head and as we waited we made small talk with people around us, and stamped our feet, moving our legs in attempts to stay warm.  

After the pre-race bladder evacuation, we made our way to the drop bag trucks and it was time to remove the warm, soft, accessories I had been enjoying.  Oh shitake mushrooms it was cold!  Ran into a few more friends, wished everyone luck and then walked with Sheri to line up.  I had in my mind a sub 5, but after hearing so much about the course, I started to believe maybe a sub 4:30 or close could be realistic.  Sheri and I lined up together with the 4:30 pacer and before we knew it, runners in front of us were moving and we were off.

I started my watch right as I crossed the start line and looked up to check out the scene.  Runners everywhere.  Do you have any idea how that feels?  There is truly something that one feels that is beyond description.  Surrounded by beautiful canyon, with HUNDREDS of people in front of you, behind you, beside you, all with the same goal of running.  Some with dreams of PR's, some with hopes of a BQ, some with hopes of a respectable finish without injury, and some with the nerves of doing their first marathon ever.

I started off feeling fantastic.  It was a nice downhill and watching my heart rate monitor, I settled into a very nice, comfortable pace.   I quickly passed the 4:30 pacer.  Huh.  Okay, well, if I stay at this pace, I might be able to post a decent time.  A mile or two later, I came up on the 4:15 pacer.  Wha?  Really?  Maybe the pacer was holding them back through the any rate, I still felt good so I kept going just as I was.

I lost a packet of Sports Beans out of my belt, but when I stopped to pick them up, I realized that I was posing a significant danger to myself and the runners behind me.  Oh well, I'll catch more fuel at a water station.

After a potty break at about mile 8, I came across a runner friend/customer from the store.  I know he's faster than me, so I felt good to be at his side for the split second that I was.  He was soon out of my sights and far ahead in the distance.

At about mile 10, my adopted work son came up behind me.  Wha?  He must have started WAY at the back of the pack, cause this kid is FAST and had already caught up to me.  He had been stuck in the bathroom lines, but he was on track and looking good!  Before long he was also a speck in the distance ahead.

At this point, my watch started losing my heart rate.  And everytime it did, it stopped the time.  CRAP! I was doing everything I could to get it going.  For the next three miles, I fought with it.  Sometimes working, sometimes dead.  Frustrated since I now couldn't rely on the my watch for a timing purpose.  I vowed to toss the thing and finally invest in a garmin.

Mile 13, I pulled off, applied some Dr Hoy's and texted Splenda to let him know I was half way.  And then.....dun dun dun.....mile 14.  The hill.

It actually wasn't as bad as I thought, but I was definitely started to feel a struggle with my body.  I had been fueling and watering at every break, but my stomach wasn't feeling great and my legs were hurting as if I was at mile 20 and not 14 or 15.

I pulled off a couple of times to stretch thinking if I got some tightness out and blood flowing that it would help, but everytime I started back up running again, it seemed harder and harder.

Finally, all at once. I stopped in my tracks.  There was no moving forward.  My legs simply would not listen to my head and work.  I made my way off to the side and stumbled forward wondering what the crap was going on.  My stomach seized up as hard as my legs and I really thought I was done.  

As I shuffled forward, I came up on the mile 18 marker.  Really?  I bonk and hit the wall at mile 18?  I usually struggle at mile 20 and even then, once I get to mile 21, I'm good again.  Seriously?  This early into it and I BONK?!?!

Tears crept into my eyes as I seriously contemplated whether or not I could continue.  I looked around me at  all the runners passing me and my frustration grew.  I expect so much of myself, and as badly as I wanted to create excuses (lack of training, poor diet last week, not enough water on Friday), I couldn't accept any of them.  I had failed.  I had failed myself.

I walked/shuffled a little and then would attempt to run again for a few yards.  I watched Sheri pass me and the thought crossed that I should try to catch up.  There was nothing in me.  I watched her go, and while I was so happy that she was going to make her goal, I felt more discouragement in myself.   I did this until I hit the mile 20 mark and then, I don't know what happened, but my legs seemed to come to life.  Probably the advil I took, or the thoughts in my head of letting myself down, my husband down, my work, and even my friend who gave me the entrance.  Failure just could not be an option.  And I WOULD run.

I picked it up again and found a steady, albeit slow, pace for the next several miles.  I fueled and drank at every opportunity and by now the spectators were gathering.

Never underestimate the power of a cheering crowd.  Either literally, or figuratively.  Sometimes just knowing there is someone out there hoping you succeed is just enough fire to keep you going.

During the last 3 miles of the course, we actually run under a couple of bridges.  I seemed to lose my equilibrium a little and feared I was going to topple over.  Thankfully they were short.  At about mile 22, behind me comes my adopted work son.  What the wha?  He had blown past me hours before.  I asked him what had happened.  Poor kid had been in the process of passing someone and stepped off the ledge of the asphalt and tweaked his knee.  Since then he had been running/walking/limping.  My heart hurt.  This was his first marathon (boy is a speed demon track star) and I so badly wanted him to sub 4 it.  We joked that we would finish together and chatted a minute or two before he stopped to walk again.  Since my legs were still working, I kept going knowing that once he recovered and started running again, he would easily catch up to me.

By now, the runners around me were the ones that were clearly going to finish together.  Some small chit chat and cheering of each other on as the crowds got bigger and bigger.  Finally the big white balloons of the finish line were in sight and the 26 mile marker appeared.  This was it.  .2 left.  That's it.  A measly .2

Those are the hardest yards ever!  I knew I had to keep up my race tradition of sprinting in, so I picked it up and did the best version of sprint that I could muster.  I knew I was leaning to the side, but I didn't realize how badly until I looked at the pictures.  And as I looked at the clock as I crossed I saw 4:38 and some change.  Part of me felt happiness in that I was clearly a sub 5, and part of me felt disappointment and frustration knowing that I was originally on pace to post a great time.  Miles 18 - 20 filled my head and tears crept back into my eyes. 

 I shuffled through, and calculated how far behind the gun I guessed myself to be so that I would have an idea of my actual time.  I walked around a bit catching my breath and processing the fact that I was done.  Then it was time to watch for Andy.

No way was I NOT going to be at the finish for Andy, my adopted work son.  So even though the volunteers were trying to shuffle the runners through, I kept dodging them and watching for my boy.  I was worried that he wasn't closer behind me.  I was praying that his knee was really okay and that he wasn't completely blowing it out.

 I finally caught sight of him, and volunteers be damned I made my way forward screaming and yelling while cheering him on.

Again, never underestimate the power of cheerleading.  Either someone for you, or you for someone else.  It brings energy and love to both of you!

He crossed, we hugged, his knee was killing, I said swear words for him (He's too good a kid), and we made our way to the medal hander-outters.

We meandered through the chute kinda soaking it in.  I saw a neighbor and fellow running friend.  Rob had KILLED this course and got an excellent time.  Not sure if it was a PR for him, but certainly a BQ. I'll have to ask him later.  

Andy and I kept moving forward, getting bread, water and looking around for people that we knew or were waiting for us.  A quick hello and congratulations for Sheri who beat her goal,  a phone call from Splenda trying to meet up all while Andy and I wandered around looking for the Wasatch Running tent.

Once we realized it wasn't there, we found his real mom, grabbed a picture and then off to find our drop bags.

Of course, nothing with this race could be smooth, so my bag was nowhere to be found.  I had put it on the U-haul truck myself, so I know it had to be somewhere.  We wandered looking.  Asked a few volunteers.  Checked a few bags.  Mine was a bright green one, so I knew it would stick out.  Finally after about 20 minutes, we located the bag in an area completely different than where it belonged.  At this point, although frustrated, I just didn't care. I was glad to have my bag, and get my traditional marathon gear back.

We stood in the shade for a few minutes so I could stretch before walking the few blocks to the car.  Splenda's mom had come with him, and I really appreciated the extra support.  I'm not sure that she has ever been at a marathon finish line, and truly, everyone should experience it.  It's something unique and completely different than our every day lives.  I hope she felt it.  I was certainly grateful for her support.

I stretched out in the back seat and called my besties all the way home to rehash the run as well as hear about the events they had done that day.  

At home, I hit the ice bath, took a nice warm shower, got dressed and drove straight to the store for a pair of compression tights.  I wanted every recovery tool I could get my hands on.  Some peanut butter, some naproxen and laying in my bed was the rest of my afternoon.  

I dozed a bit while Splenda worked hard in the backyard.  When I woke up, I immediatley hit the marathon website to see what my official time was.
What the wha?  I didn't exist.  My name wasn't there.  My bib number didn't exist.  It was as if I didn't even run it according to their stats.  I checked a few other friends to see if it was a glitch, but they were all there.  I tried three more times, three different ways and finally concluded that although I was told I was set to go, it was pretty clear, that my bib  chip was never activated.  There was a place for me to email my problem to and I did so, but I have a feeling there is nothing they can do for me.  

I ran it.  I struggled.  I cried.  I walked.  I limped.  I bonked for two solid miles.  I watched my goals race past me.  I crossed the finish line.
But according to their official times, I didn't exist.  So, so discouraged.  

Again, I did the calculations.  I couldn't rely on my watch that had stopped multiple times for who knows how long, so I checked with Sheri.  We had crossed the start at the same time, and she had us a minute behind the gun.  With that in mind, I can safely say that my time was
4:37 and some change.

Not stellar for that course.  That course is fast and I should have and COULD have done better.
I have tried not to beat myself up about it.  I've tried to acknowledge the success for what it is.  I am not allowing any excuses to creep into my head, because they are just that EXCUSES.  And I hate excuses. 

It is what it is.  I didn't do as well as I could and should have.  But it's done and over now.  There is nothing I can change about it.

That being said, I am sure as hell going to do it again next year!  I loved the course.  Even through the horrible miles at 18 - 20.  The course is stunningly beautiful through the canyon.  It's fast and has everything a marathoner could hope for.  The aid stations were well run.  There was organization at every turn.  Local authorities kept us safe, volunteers kept us watered/fueled and the spectators gave us energy to finish.

Speaking of aid stations I have to note that my two favorite ones were the one manned by adult special needs people.  Their enthusiasm towards the end was exactly what I needed.  The other one was the station manned by US Army staff and their children.  My heart always loves a man/woman in fatigues and the sight of them, made me think of my son and that made me think of running with him later this year, and that made my heart happy and light for the next couple of miles.

So while, I have given myself almost 24 hours to "get over it", I am going to chalk this one up as a "FINISH" and call it good.  It's a success just with that.  And I WILL learn to be okay with that.

Thanks Greg Green for giving me the spot.  Part of my disappointment was letting you down with a crappy time.

Thanks Sheri and Don for the ride up and encouragement along the way

Thanks Andy for letting me adopt you, love you like my own, and letting me cut loose with some swear words on your behalf.   I don't know about you, but it sure made me feel better!

And finally, thank you Ogden Marathon for putting on a fantastic event where me and a few thousand other freaks like me can come push our bodies and see what we are made of.  Despite the glitches with the registration, my bib and my timing chip, I still love you and will be back for redemption next year.

PS - never underestimate the power of a cheerleader.

Be one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An open letter to Amy

Dear Amy,
  You came in today near the end of my shift, and though I wasn't excited about starting a new fitting when I was so close to leaving, something drew me to you instead of the man standing at the counter.

As I offered assistance you turned and looked at me with a smile.  I knew right away, this was going to be a fun fitting.  I could see it in your eyes.  You told me that you needed to replace your running shoes, and that you loved the ones you had always been in.  You looked down at your feet, thus drawing my attention to your shoes as well.

When my eyes were met with your prosthetic leg and foot, I had a moment of inward hesitation.  Self doubt about my abilities crept in.  Would I know how to adequately take care of you?  Did I know about any special needs or differences in this type of shoe fitting?  I felt out of my league until you spoke again.

Your voice indicated that you had no doubt about me.  You were confident in your shoe choice and you were confident that I could take care of you.  Your smile put me at ease.  Thank you.

I invited you to have a seat, take off your shoes and we began to chat.  You briefly shared your story.  Your running foot had been approved (I assume by insurance) and you were getting it next week, meaning that you could now get back into running.  

You haven't been able to run for two years following your accident.  The excitement you exuded to get started again is positively infectious!

I headed back to the shelves and brought out every color option we had for your shoe.  As you decided which ones to try on, I tried to figure out in my head what to do with the hard, prosthetic left foot.  Were you going to take it off?  Would you leave it on?  What does one do?  Since you had a shoe on that foot already, I figured it wasn't going to be a big deal.

I was right.  You are amazing.  I put the shoe on your right foot, laced it up nice and secure and then began loosening the left shoe in preparation to put it on.  As I did so, I did my usual questioning about how the new shoe felt on the right foot.  I try to make sure there aren't any immediate issues before we even venture to the other foot.  
We started with your left and as I began to struggle getting the shoe on, you very kindly said, "It's okay, let me do this one, it's difficult since there is no flexibility"  and then you giggled.

As soon as you got that one on and I laced it up, my usual script came out of my mouth, "So how does that feel?"  Again, you giggled saying, "I can't feel anything since there isn't anything there,  so it's all good"

Your mother sitting next to you started to laugh as your giggling turned to laughing as well.  I looked mortified and apologized but you were so kind to me!  Your wise mother inserted "We HAVE to laugh"

You walked around in the new shoes giving them a nice test walk.  You couldn't run, since you didn't have the running foot yet (which is different than the every day prosthetic foot) and I watched you in amazement.  Not only were you completely and self sufficiently mobile, but more importantly, you are HAPPY!

You came back and sat down and then the hard part began.  Which color to choose?  We checked the soles as you explained how the running foot is built and how they make it work in the shoe.  You described how they match certain things to the running shoe you use.  Stuff like that.  You showed me where your prosthetic leg began and where your actual limb ended.  I asked if you minded telling me about the accident.  You explained that you had been hit by a car while you were out running two years ago.  Initially, they reattached your foot, but it didn't work out and they ended up removing it again.  There was no sorrow, pity or anger in your voice as you told me the story, you just explained it very matter-of-factly.  I was impressed with your open heart.

You finalized your color choices to two.  It was hard to decide, so after some talking it through with your Mom, you decided to get both pair.  Both are GREAT looking shoes and since they are the same ones I run in, I loved them even more for you!

As I was putting them back in the boxes and tidying up while you put your old shoes on, we continued talking about the wonderful blessing of being able to run again.  As I saw and felt your happiness and gratitude, I was overwhelmed with an emotion that I can only describe as "pure and simple joy for another human being."

We chatted some more at the cash wrap while we took care of the business end.  You told me you wanted to come back when you got your new running foot and show me how you can run.  I told you that if you come on a Thursday night and join the running group that I would run WITH you. 

Deal.  Pinky swear.

I admit, I was a little choked up watching you and your Mom walk out the doors.  I might have had to go in the back room "for a drink".  I might have had to wipe some mascara.  

Thank you for coming in Amy.
Thank you for letting me help you.
Thank you for your positive attitude in the face of a difficult physical and emotional challenge
Thank you for inspiring me to be more grateful even in the middle of adversity
Thank you for letting me hug you.
Thank you for being you, because YOU are awesome!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Me, My Moms, and I

(I hope I can do this when I'm that wicked old)

Actually, I tried hard to get a pic of Splenda's mom while she was holding Ella, but my stupid camera wouldn't cooperate.

I can't get a picture of my Mom what with her being in Sweden and all.

BUT - since we will take both of them to dinner at a later date this month, pictures of them will be forthcoming.  For now, it's all about ME!

Okay, not really.  It's more about my kids and Splenda who did a fantastic job of making me feel special on Momma's day.

Mother's day is usually a hard one for me.  I hate going to church and hearing all the talks about how wonderful mothers are.  All butterflies, kittens and unicorns pooping rainbows.  I would sit there feeling like crap since I was none of those things and likely had yelled at the boys while getting ready for church and may or may not have threatened bodily harm in the process.  So sitting and listening to how wonderful all the other Mom's were was just one big fat guilt trip.  There have been Sunday's where I totally ditched church altogether.  It was that bad.  Besides, ya'll know how I feel about cheesey, lovey dovey crap.  Ick.

I think this might have been the first year that I didn't feel any of that!  Last year I was concerning myself with Chloee and her feelings, and all the years before that I allowed myself to feel responsible for my children's trials, challenges or unhappiness.  Oh how I don't miss that load of BS.

It was a beautiful, low-key kind of day.  Woke up early.  Totally broke the Sabbath and went to the Sev for a low-carb Monster.  Went to church and actually enjoyed and laughed at the talks.  Ate my huge pink frosted sugar cookie they gave to each of the moms, while we sluffed Sunday School and chatted with friends in the primary room.  Hung out with my YW for an hour and then back home to change into comfy clothes and chill for a bit.

Talked to Corb and Kar on the phone and Kar sent me a picture of their gift to me.  They hadn't gotten it sent yet, but I got to see what it is!  eeep!  I love how they know me so well!  It goes right along with the Marine Mom shirt that Tuffy and Montana brought me back from Chloeefornia on their visit.
(yay!   And a great pic of one of my favorite Moms!!)

Luke came home (I dig the fact that he has early church now - just means he gets to our house sooner and can spend more time on the weekends that he comes home), we gathered some things for Splenda's mom and headed to his sister's house where she lives for now.  Other fam was there so it was a great chance to catch up and visit.

After we left, we talked to  Tuffy and 'Tana and met at Jill's grave.  Since Chloee isn't here to place flowers like she did last year, we did it for her.

The video doesn't catch my voice very well (thankfully, since it makes me sound like I have a lisp), but in essence I am telling Chloee that since she couldn't be here, Mimi and Poppa were putting flowers on Mommy Jill's grave for her.  I explained that we picked the colors and the one with the flag because it reminded us of Jill and how proud she was of Corbin after he joined the Marine's.  And that it reminded of of Chloee and her military life right now.  I think Jill would have liked them.  I remember after Corbin graduated from boot camp, she came over to see him and talked with me awhile and told me how she was so proud of him and impressed with him and that she was so happy that he had found something so meaningful to him.  Yeah, I think she would have liked the flower choice.  In a couple of years, when the kids move home, Chloee will be able to pick them herself.

Got a pic of all of us together and then headed back to the comfort of our own home.
Montana, Tuffy, Luke and me- missing our Jillie

While Splenda fixed dinner, the boys, 'Tana, the dogs and I all kicked it in the back yard.  Nothing like soaking up the warm, late afternoon sun.  Love, love, love it!

Dinner was perfection!  All I wanted was 7 layer dip (which is really 6 layers for me).  Nothing else.  Just the dip.  I figure it's a fairly well rounded meal.  Protein, dairy and veggies all in one!  For everyone else, Splenda grilled some chicken and steaks and everything was fanTABulous!

After dinner, we walked to the neighborhood park.  The boys tossed a frisbee around while 'Tana and I wrangled the dogs and made sure they didn't run off.

The icing on the cake was our family night movie.  Yes,  I chose Warrior again.

(image via google)

Yes,  it's now been three times in as many months that I have watched it.
Yes, I love it.
Yes, I will watch it over and over and over.
and Again.

As always, I was spoiled rotten with prizey's.  Funny how each kid knows me so well and gifts me with just the perfect thing!
Angry birds jammie pants, the book Killing Lincoln, diet coke, ding dong, skittles, Crystal light, nail polish and funny cards.

I really do have the best family ever!  The only thing missing was my kids from SoCal.  Sunday Family days just aren't the same without them and especially the holidays.  Two more years canNOT go fast enough for me!

And to my Mom, Splenda's Mom .....your special day's are coming!

Happy Mamma's day ya'll