Monday, April 30, 2012

An open letter to the soccer dad.......

Dear man screaming at the sidelines to his daughter and her teammates,

I'm not even sure where to start.  Yes, I got there a little late so perhaps you were shouting cheers and kind, encouraging words prior to me plopping down 10 minutes into the game, so if that's the case, well then.... good for you.  However, I would like to discuss your behavior that I was there to witness.  While you stood next to me and my friends.
On the sidelines.
At 15year old girls.


I realize it was a tough game.  No one likes to see a score of 7 or 8 to 0.  That's just ugly and not fun for anyone.  I'm sure your daughter and her friends were already frustrated with themselves before you even opened up your mouth.  But do you HONESTLY think that screaming "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!" to the girls is helpful?  Do you think that for one minute, they are PURPOSELY trying to fail?  Are you convinced that if you yell a little louder, wave your hands bigger, make your face redder and above all make your tone more humiliating that they will suddenly change their minds and decide to play how you expect them to because they were purposely not before?  Do you think for one minute that they are intentionally losing?



Her hero.  Her first crush.  Her soft spot to land when the world is harsh.  Her play-along knight in shining armor as she pretends to be a princess.  Her example of her future husband.  How she feels about herself and what she is worth in the eyes of a man lies within your power.  Your actions, your words, and your TONE OF VOICE will shape her self image in more ways than you can imagine.

I understand the passion.  The drive for your children to be the best.  The competitiveness that seems to ride high in a lot of us.  I get all of that, I really do.   Been there.  Done that.  But somehow my friend, you gotta reign it in.  It's one thing to yell at MLB players, NBA stars, even simply the TV - all in the name of a good competition - fair game.  Go for it.  They are professionals who get paid for it.  It's part of their job.

But your children?  Leave 'em alone while they are PLAYING A GAME!

Trust me, they are already trying the very hardest that they can.  They already know when they have screwed up.  They already feel embarrassed for themselves.  They already are chastising themselves in their own heads.  They don't need you to remind them.  They don't need you adding to their own self-criticism and negative talk.  Just your tone of voice alone can make her feel like a stupid idiot.  And trust me, if she feels that often enough, she will believe it.  You want that?  Do you realize that every time you ask, "Why did you do that?" "What were you thinking?" "What are you DOING?" you are really just belittling her? Not one of those questions invokes a positive emotion in a child.  You might as well just yell out "What the hell is wrong with you, you idiot?"  Because unfortunately, that's how those questions come across.

Please remember there is a difference between coaching and humiliating.  You were out of line tonight.  I pray that it was a one of time instance.  I hope that in the car ride home when your daughter sits in the backseat reviewing the evening in her mind, with her tear stained and dejected facial expression, that you look in your rear view mirror, apologize for your tirade and then let her know how much you love her, how proud you are of her, and how grateful you are to be her Daddy.  I hope when you pull in the garage and get out of the car, that you wait for her.  Hug her.  Kiss the top of her head and stroke her hair.  Tell her once again how much you love her and that despite of the loss of the game, the fact that she played hard, tried her best, and demonstrated good sportmanship is enough.  There will be time later to work on ball handling, kick passing etc.  Just not tonight.

I hope you promise yourself to never behave that way again.  That you'll remember who you're screaming at and that her self image and her view of men will be molded and shaped by you.  You are teaching her how to allow herself to be treated.  Please remember that.

It's also important to understand that not everyone gets a trophy.  We don't and SHOULDN'T be living in that kind of world.  Some are all-stars and some are not.  That's just a fact of life, and our society really needs to get away from that "no one's feelings get hurt so we all get a trophy" mentality.  I'm in no way advocating that we don't reprimand our children when out they're out of line because we are so busy trying to be their friend.  Instead, I'm asking that you remember to coach, encourage, teach and lead all the while remaining the adult who has some self-control.

God entrusted that beautiful girl to your safekeeping.  He trusted you to be the one to show her how valuable, worthwhile and cherished she is.  Every daughter deserves to be loved and respected, please don't let her down.

the older lady whose heart hurt on the sidelines of a simple little soccer game.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

A few Sunday thoughts about the "tap"

HAH!  You thought I was gonna title it Spiritual Sunday didn't you?
My thoughts are too random to pretend they're Spiritual.

** Yesterday on our way home from Southern Utah, we passed a semi that had this saying on the back of it's rig
If you are familiar with MMA - you know that to "tap" or "tap out" means that a wrestler gives in.  He's in a position that he cannot break out of and is at risk of death or broken extremities.   He submits that he has lost the match.
 The semi we passed didn't have this exact decal, but just the words "Jesus didn't tap" started a flood gate of thinking.  It's so easy to give up.  It's easy to call uncle or tap when we THINK we are stuck or have had too much.  I believe too often we sell ourselves short and don't believe that we can take/do/handle what we are dealt.  I like the "tap" analogy.
As a Christian if I am truly trying to be a disciple then I guess I need to adopt the same attitude.
"mCat didn't tap"

**Instead of our ward services today, we went to Splenda's sister's ward.  Her oldest son leaves Wednesday to serve a two year LDS mission in Vancouver, Canada and he was speaking today in the meeting.
I love to see how each different ward handles missionary "farewells".   In previous years it was traditional for the entire family to present the program.  It was fun, but they did turn into "roasts" or "worships" of the missionary kid.  Clearly not the very doctrine-centered meeting that they should be.  Since  then, church leadership has asked us to handle "farewells" differently and only have the missionary him/herself speak then use other ward members to fill the extra time with regular talks regarding principles of the gospel.
I like this idea, and love to see how other wards handle it.  Our ward has kind of traditionally had the outgoing missionary speak first, and then have a young man or woman who has returned home within the last year or so speak.  Always great meetings.  Love them.
This ward, I think has the best idea.   They had the Priest quorum presidency speak.  In my church, the Bishop is the president of the priest quorum (16 - 18 year old boys), he then calls a 1st asst, a 2nd asst, and a secretary to form the leadership of the quorum.  So guess who spoke?  All three of those boys.  They were followed by the Young Men's president and finally Spencer.
What a GREAT idea!  It was such a great meeting and clearly you could see how much the young men loved each other and their leaders.  And how much the leaders were involved with and loved the young men.  I sat thinking about it, and realized that these guys had it spot on!  They have the vision that they are preparing young men to be future missionaries, husbands, fathers, businessmen and leaders in their communities.  They value the opportunity to be an influence for good on America's future generation.  That sounds so cliche even as I write it, but I can't think of a better way to say it.  Who will teach the youth to lead if we don't do it ourselves?
"Spencer nor his leaders have tapped"

When Spencer finally spoke, he re-read the first sentence or two of his missionary calling.  My thoughts put me right back into my front room with my little family gathered around while Luke opened his and some similar words were read outloud.  Gosh, what a feeling!   I can distinctly remember my thoughts, Luke's facial expressions and how it felt in our living room.  There are few words that can describe the happiness that was all encompassing.

**Of course, then as any good ADD brain works, my mind turned to Luke himself and thinking back on some of the experiences he had.  Some were so hard!  I sat freezing in the chapel but knowing I would soon be home in my warm bed with a hot corn bag.  For two years he woke up FREEZING nearly every day.  There is video of him burrowed in multiple layers of sweats and hoodies in bed and waking up to see his breath.  The idea of him chopping firewood to be able to build their only source of heat.  Of the miserable flea bites in the summers.  The packs of mangy dogs that would try to attack but soon learned that a raised backpack would end in a smack to the snout if it didn't back off.  The drunk man who tried to push him off a bridge to his death.  The countless hours of walking and walking and mud, rain and dog poop.  Mom's are like that.  We think of what our poor kid had to go through.  However,   I'm sure if we asked Luke he would prolly tell you that he remembers all the wonderful things he experienced, and how it changed his life, and that he looks back and it was the best decision he ever made.  Missionaries are like that.   Finding the good, living with adversity and growing up.
(wow - this is like WAY old.....he's much more grown up now - just check his FB profile pic)
"Luke didn't tap"

**After the service, family and friends met at Splenda's sisters house for a light luncheon.  Splenda has good family.  They are supportive of each other and even if one nephew had to come alone, he still made the effort to come.  'Cause he's awesome like that.  Because he was taught to be a family ally.  Even though he was one of a few cousins to be there, he was there.  As we drove back to our house after the luncheon, my brain was fixated on what a good person this kid was.  Smart, hardworking, a bestie of Corbin and my boys and straight up a decent human being.  Scooter is good people as we say.  I smiled thinking of all the good things that will come his way and how much he deserves them.
"Scooter hasn't tapped"

**Today was the first game of the playoff series with the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs.

By all rights, the Jazz shouldn't even be in the playoffs.  We are a young team, rebuilding and developing talent.  Through some hard work they made it.  My cute little family have been Jazz fans since, well since Corbin was born.  He was obsessed and by the age of three could dribble shoot and name all the players.  One day I'll post the video that a local TV station did with him (long story).  Anywhoodle, so of course the game start time is when we are at church.  Splenda sets the DVR and we figure we'll just watch it when we get home.  But what about Corbin?  I know he's gotta be dying.  He wants to watch the game so badly but his church time is smack during the game and he will miss the entire thing. I text and ask him if he has a DVR.  Nope, he will miss the whole thing.  I wondered his thoughts this morning or even last night as he realized what would happen.  It would have been easy to just stay home.  Sure, they have a primary class to teach, but they could find a substitute to take over for them right?  It was just one Sunday and easily justifiable what with it being the playoffs and all.
My boy did not disappoint me.  He toddled his family off to church, fulfilling their callings all the while knowing that his beloved team was playing and he would miss it all.  Needless to say, I'm impressed. For some, this wouldn't even be on their radar, but for others of us, it's a real debate.  For Corbin, life is about doing the right thing for the right reason and I have to admire that.  I think he's turned out to be a far better person than his mother 'cause I was totally ready to bail and come home for game time.  He has his rockstar status secured in my book.  I did take out Flat Daddy so that he could kind of watch it with us.
"Corb didn't tap"

So the thread that ties this all together?  Is there one?  Does there have to be one?  If so, my ADD can't weave it in.

 Other than the gratitude I feel for having a day of thinking, watching and being surrounded by and shown examples of amazing men who refuse to "tap".

Saturday, April 28, 2012

One of my most favorite emails of all time!

You know sometimes when you are away from your computer like for 24 hours or so and you get back and see that you have a gajillion emails?

And most of them are spam?

But then, in the midst of all the incoming, you see one from a favorite friend?

And then when you open it up it makes you laugh until you pee a little?

YES!  I knew you would understand.

From my dear LG......

April 28:  Splenda Daddy
A man who strives to be a Sugar Daddy but just doesn't have the funds to pull it off.
She was all excited that she had finally landed a Sugar Daddy until he rolled up in his Accord. It was then she realized she had landed a Splenda Daddy, instead.

Yes, Splenda does indeed drive an Accord.  And yes, since we tagged the nickname FIRST, I think UD owes me some love.

Thank you Laz - you are the bestest!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hurricane here we come!

We are headed into a Hurricane

Hurricane, UT that is.

Have you ever been there?  It's little.  Tiny.  I think one main street, but I could be wrong. 

I DO know that Splenda Daddy and I are going to run there.  He's gonna take the 5k and I'm gonna take the half marathon.  I need it so I can guarantee my spot in the St George marathon and we all know how I feel about that one.  

Speaking of feeling.  I am on the mend.  Vague, default diagnosis of IBS but am treating it aggressively and getting the flare up under control. 

 Note:  Peppermint capsules are highly recommended in the treatment.  I however, highly recommend you read the instructions before you take any.

Since knowing that there is nothing seriously wrong with me, all racing bets are off now.  I'm going into this half marathon with both barrels loaded.  No taking it easy or letting the HILL intimidate me.  I've been hydrating all week, attempting to properly fuel and looking over last years times, if I can post a sub 2:10, it will be decent and I'll be okay with it.

It will be a quick trip down south.  Overnighter and then back tomorrow.  Some might wonder why drive the four hours down, spend one night, run for two hours and then drive four hours home.  Why?  Because we can.  Because life is short and if it's something we want and can do - then we are gonna do it.  No regrets.

Plus, I like to spend time with Splenda.  

And for any freaks that think my house is empty.  Well, you know the drill.  That just doesn't happen.  The house and dog sitters will be there.  So make other plans.

Like plans to send good thoughts and wishes of luck to us or if you're in the area, come say hi!  Splenda is the tall dark and handsome one, I'm the one that runs ugly!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Post of Note today - Mitt.....need we say more?

Not just because I am brain dead and have nothing creative to write myself, but Namaste's post today, deserves a read.

CLICK HERE to enjoy her insights.

Love me the Namaste

**comments off**

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Salt Lake 1/2 Marathon - I showed up, I ran, I finished.

Oh how I had hopes of a PR.  My personal record for this race is 1:40.59

I had hopes of a sub 1:40. 


For those that know me, I have been under the weather since the Riverton half.  I haven't been able to train very well, and unfortunately have lost more weight than I should.  Been to the doctors, labs, tests -  so far no answers.

It was debatable as to whether I should run or not especially since Friday I went 3.1 and at the 3 mile mark starting getting woozy, seeing stars and things were going black.  Later that day though, I decided I would run the half.  Walk if I had to, but participate I would.

My besties picked me up early, I had my usual pre-race food and really went into it very calm, not a bit nervous or anxious knowing that at any time, I could stop or even *gasp* DNF.

The lines for the porta-potties so I started back in the pack about a minute or so behind the gun.  I love this course since it's primarily down hill.  Started with a nice pace and felt good.  I made sure to hit each water station and other than when I hit Liberty Park, actually felt fine.  Liberty Park was a little iffy, but slowing down helped until I could feel steady again.

Thankfully Lisa caught up (she started WAY after me) and having her just ahead of me, gave me the necessary motivation I needed to keep going.  

Never underestimate the power of your running friends.

We caught each other again on State street and finished up together.  I surprised myself by having some  strength left in me to sprint.  But then again, I HAVE to finish with a sprint.  It's just me.

After I crossed, I grabbed the rail to steady myself for a bit, and then wandered in search of water and food.  The food made me so nauseated, but I knew that I needed the sugar and the calories.

Poor Splenda Daddy, didn't really expect me to cross so soon, so he missed me by literally a minute.

No worries.

We found one another, a few pictures, some stretching and then home to ice, clean up and get to work.

Not my best performance by far.  A little disappointed I couldn't post a sub 2, but I am going to go a little easy on myself this ONCE.

Next up is the Hurricane Half, and based on the rumors I have heard about this course (I refuse to look at it before hand), could be another ball buster.  

Guess we'll see

Official results:
1638 place overall
796 place in women
127 place in my division

Barely respectable.
(it posted sideways even though the pic itself is right...grrrr..)

Keep your fingers crossed for me this weekend and Hurricane!

Monday, April 23, 2012

One-upper's through someone else's eyes

Post of note today.....


Yes, that is my son.

And yes, he is damn funny.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Friday night with a few of my new best friends......

One thing I have learned about the retail business, is that you get to meet all kinds of people.  Even as a specialty store, you really do get all shapes, sizes, and personalities coming in for a variety of reasons that, in my case, fall under the umbrella of running.

Friday night was busy.  Okay, really - it's busy all of the time now.  'Tis the season they say.  The night was winding up and as I was making some trips to reshelve shoes, I noticed a group of younger men dressed in matching red shirts, black shorts and baseball cleats.  I had been busy with another customer, so a co-worker was talking with them and starting to help one of them with some shoes while the other four were milling and looking around.

There were no other customers in the store, so as I wandered over with the intent to empty the garbage at that station, one of the guys looked at my shirt and asked if I was a Derek Jeter fan.  Need I say more?

With the floodgates of conversation opened, I forgot about emptying the garbage and instead started talking, joking and bantering around with this group of guys.  One of them (he looked to be the oldest) was being fitted for some running shoes by my coworker, another one then asked if he could get fitted since he was going to start running as well.  So I plopped down and started the process.  Altogether there were 5 of these young men.  The talk came fast, the jokes easy and a whole lot of laughing and teasing.

They had been playing softball and were killing some time between games.  One dude for sure needed shoes, and they all needed dinner so they were taking care of all of it between their double header.  They reminded me so much of my oldest son and some of his friends a couple of years ago, before he joined the Marine's and their softball team.  I was curious about them, one looked vaguely familiar so I started questioning how old they were, where they grew up, etc since I was pretty sure we would know some mutual people.

Turns out they were from all different places, but not in my hometown.  Okay, no biggie, we just kept talking and joking while we went through the fitting process.  The kid that I was fitting had some very cool looking black onyx earrings that I secretly coveted and each of them had some pretty elaborate body art.  All of them were physically fit and obvio had been hitting the weights.  Perhaps they would have been the kind of guys that would cause some adults to pause and watch with caution.  However, I felt none of that.  Instead, I felt like I was looking at a group of my kids' friends and their friends who were hanging out at the house wanting something to eat.  Very comfortable and a fun vibe going on.

At one point, the most talkative of the bunch asked me if I would ever play on a "Sober Softball" team. I didn't really know what he meant but without even looking up answered "of course I would.  If there were such a thing as a sober softball team like yours, I would play".   He grabbed my shoulder so I would look at him and said "Wait right here, I'll be right back".  He took off running out the door while I laughed and reminded him that I wasn't going anywhere.

Literally within about 60 seconds, he had come back with a flyer and pamphlet that he placed in my face.  I took them and looked at them.  The initial picture was of a pack of cyclists.  I laughed and called him out on the fact that they were CYCLISTS not softball players.  He waved me off, and opened the pamphlet and told me to check it out.

I did.


"Our Mission is to establish and maintain sobriety by promoting lifestyle changes through Erasing addiction and Replacing it with health and fitness."

Addict II Athlete

I scanned the wording as realization dawned on me.  I then re-read it allowing the significance to soak in.  These lovable ruffians were all recovering drug addicts.  They belonged to a group based on their life experiences and lessons learned and were trying to share their understandings and strength in numbers by sharing their message (hmm....sound familiar my Mormon friends?)

I looked up and 4 of the 5 of them were strangely silent looking at me awaiting my reaction.  I was a little speechless for a second since I would have never taken them for anything but a bunch of silly boys playing softball and then getting sloppy drunk on a Friday night.  They were silly, and they were playing softball, but I had a feeling that not one of them would be getting sloppy with anything.

I looked at Mr Talkative and with my eyebrows raised said, "Dude! ? "
He smiled and replied, "Yeah, I know right?"
No further communication required.  I understood and they all knew that I understood and that was enough.

I gave him the "rocks" and told them all how awesome I thought it, and THEY were.  Mr Talkative reminded me that I had said I would play so that was basically a commitment and that they were meeting Tuesday night so he would plan on seeing me there.

Needless to say, the fitting continued for Mr Great Earrings, but now, they opened up some more, talked about their organization, and what some of their friends had accomplished.  Mr Talkative had a nice "high and tight" haircut and when I mentioned it, he told me that he very much wanted to join the military but had too many felony counts so he would never qualify, no matter how clean he kept himself.   Instead of being mad, blaming the system, or crying "foul" - this young man (actually 29 years old) accepted the consequences of his choices and was doing what he could to make his life better and be an influence for others that might be facing the same addictions and challenges he had been.

45 or so minutes later, Mr Oldest one had purchased his pair of new Nike Free's.  Mr Great Earrings had decided on a pair but was afraid to pull the financial trigger and Mr Talkative was now my adopted son.  Okay, all 4 of them that had been my entertainment were now adopted.  As I was letting them out the now locked door, and MGE was apologizing for not buying (I didn't care), Mr Talkative reminded me that I had made a commitment and that "Normy's" are welcome at the meetings.    He explained that really, it was a network of support for anyone.  Addicts, family members of addicts, friends of addicts, or simply anyone who felt like they could benefit or add to the support and encouragement of others in overcoming addictions and becoming healthy.

I waved goodbye, told them thanks for coming in.  They thanked me for my time, called me by name and one of them said that his next homerun was dedicated to me.  : )  

All the fun silly things, that young silly, BUT SOBER men do.

I am impressed.  Beyond impressed.

I think I'm gonna see what happens next Tuesday night..............I might end up hanging with my new BFF's for some reality and a workout.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I've been thinking.......

(image via google)

Please, don't look so astonished!  Granted there was some smoke wafting out of my ears earlier from the hard work of my brain, but I do happen to get into a thinking mood every once in awhile.

For the record, I don't mean for this to be a downer post.  Far from it.  Instead, it's just thoughts.  I would like for my great-great-great-great granddaughter to some day know that her ancestor was more than a just a pretty face.  Or actually in my case, more than just a whacky, irreverent nut job. it just me or does it seem like there is more than the usual chaos in the world?  It seems that no matter what news channel I turn on, I am lambasted by reports of terrible things across the globe.  Wars, natural disasters, unrest in governments, death, abuse, disease and poverty.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend and we were discussing some of the trials and hard things that we knew personally of first hand.  It took both hands to count them.  Another occasion, I was discussing with another person the seemingly increased rate of cancer diagnosis within our own personal circles.  Again, both hands.  Today, I sat reflecting on the past 6 years and the heartaches that have been close to home, even in my own four walls. It took both hands and feet.

Is it just me, or is there a whole lot more sadness and tragedy going on?  Am I of the age now, that when I do chat with my friends, it's to discuss our health, political, and social issues instead of our parties and new clothes?  Have I gotten to the point in life that the view through my lens is much more somber and serious than that of 20 years ago?  I'm actually quite confused on the matter.  It feels like all around me, more and more friends/family have hard things thrown at them.  I wonder if they have been happening all along at the same rate and I just wasn't as acutely aware, or is this life just getting to be more challenging than it used to be.

So if it's me......why the change?  Why am I now more aware, more sensitive, more touched by my own and others trials?  Is it the maturity that comes with the added candles to the birthday cake? Or maybe perhaps since I am no longer in the midst of raising a family, I have more time to look out my own front windows and see the going's on of the world.   Makes sense.

But if it's not me.........what's happening?  Why the rapid increase in tumult and chaos?

Is it the fact that news travels around the world in a matter of seconds with a mouse and keyboard so it's smack in our faces or is it because really, truly there is a higher percentage of sorrowful events out there?
For those that are Christian and believe in a second coming of Jesus Christ one would answer that this is all part of the plan to usher Him in.  We could point to the bible and other revelations telling that these things would happen as it grew closer and closer for the time for Him to come again. One only has to read to book of Revelations in the New Testament to see the correlation.

As one who is a Christian it makes sense to me.  It gives an answer for the increase in the heartache all around us.  Doesn't make things easier, but it does create a sense of purpose behind it all.
For one who is not a Christian, I...uh....well - I guess I don't really know what to think except that the challenges can be used for us to become better people. More kind, more understanding and more accepting to and of each other.

Either way, it's a win right?

If it's me, well then sheesh - I must be growing up! Getting all soft and gooey, sensitive and more aware in my old age.

If it's not me, then dang!  We're kind of in a crisis mode eh friends?  Perhaps we need to step up the game and either prepare for Jesus Christ to come again, or become better people purely in the process of surviving trials.

I don't know.

I've just been thinking.........

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friends who help you make it to the big times!

You know how you meet someone in blog land and before you even know it, you become fast friends?
(I'll let you decide who is who)

Yeah, me too.   LG over at The LG Report is fun, witty and great to banter with.  He's been doing interviews with blog friends all over the country and even though he's already done UT, he spotlighted us AGAIN!

I must be living right or something to make this dude's blog!

Do go check out my interview, leave a little comment love for LG, and if you aren't already following him, then  DO 'cause he's amusing and entertaining!

So grab an iced diet Coke, put your feet up and enjoy a good read.

(love ya LG - like a fat kid loves cake!)


mCat's big interview

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Easter Peace and Perspective

First and foremost is my belief in Jesus Christ, His Atonement for us and the reality of resurrection and eternal life.

Second is my family and friends.  A warm spring day eating lunch in the backyard with friends, dinner with family and as always - movie night.

Favorite is getting pictures of the girl I love most of all

Yesterday I gave my little cooper a nice deep clean that it hasn't had in over 9 months or so.  As I was vacuuming out the back seat and cleaning things down, I came across some remnants of Chloee.  A little green ball that she loved to carry around.  Some sticky residue of something spilled under where her car seat was.  Finger prints on the window.

For a brief moment I was absolutely homesick for her.   I think this time of year the memories are so fresh.  Taking her to school in the sunny warm mornings, passing "our" ducks on the way, chattering about school and what the plans were for after.  All little delightful pieces of her life that I was blessed to be a part of while her Daddy finished up all his training and schooling.

I picture her now, in her bedroom full of pillow pets, Hello Kitty collections, and her pet hamster ZuZu and an overwhelming peace comes to my heart.  She is the happiest child I have ever come across.  Clearly, to her core, happy.  She has her Daddy and her Mommy.  Her life is stable with the most routine it's ever had.  She is surrounded by love and discipline.  Her family has goals that she is working to be a part of.  She has responsibilities in her family.  She is growing into such a beautiful, well rounded young girl that I am absolutely amazed at the transformation that has taken place over the past 18 months or so.

Today in church, the speaker was speaking of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I was reminded and this time it was ingrained in my soul, that He did not just atone for our sins, but for our heartaches, disappointments, grief, worries, failures, sicknesses........any time our hearts felt hurt or discouragement - He atoned for those.  He took on those feelings for us.  HE is the only one that can truly ever understand exactly how we feel.  It's such a personal miracle.  

And knowing that Chloee is exactly where she needs to be.  With the family that she is supposed to be with.  Doing all the things a 5 year old girl should be doing.  Losing teeth, getting ready for kindergarten, making friends, learning responsibility and rules.  All of that makes my heart feel something completely indescribable.

No doubt in my mind, that life is a plan.  Each of us have a purpose to fulfill and our job is to find it and fulfill it.  All the circumstances in Chloee's life are part of her plan.  Her Heavenly Father knows what is in store for her and prepares the way for it to happen.

When I thought of her today, and saw the pictures Karalee sent me, I felt peace.  Yes, I have felt peace before about my children, but today was something a little different.  Peace for Chloee.  Peace knowing that she has a divine purpose and she is in the right place to be able to fulfill it.

I once was told of a dream someone had of Jill.  She was in front of my house.  She was about 25 years old and looked beautiful.  Radiant.  Healthy.  She simply smiled and told this person to stick to the plan and everything would work out.  She then turned and walked into my home.

Yes, there is a plan.  For each of us.
Stick to the plan, and everything will work out.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh so very random

I realized it's been a while since I've posted anything.

Not that anyone cares but since I use this forum to journal, and then after reading Ann's blog reminding me so, I decided it was time to work the keyboard.  Even if I have nothing of real value to say.

Do you ever read a blog and each time they post, you kinda fall in love with them a little more?
I did today.  I've been trying to link to her, but my computer fails me.  Sorry.  She's over on my side bar ---->  My Voice on the Wings of Change.  Check out Namaste.

Everyone loves Spring.  The excitement, the blossoms, the green grass, the sun and warmer temps.
Me?  I can't stand the bi-polar Springs we get here in UT.  Gah!  I love a sunny warm day, but then I'm wary since I know that later that afternoon or the next day it could be snowing again.  You'd think after 42 years of living here, I would learn to love it.  


Getting ready for a big Diva night at the store.  A women only event.  And I am TOTALLY stressing about it!  I want it to be successful, fun and worthwhile for both the ladies and the store.  

I fear failure.

I know I posted this on Facebook, but for those that haven't seen it (um, why are we not friends on FB) - my son and his wife gave the official word that they are coming home for a brief visit in June to be sealed together as a family in the LDS  Salt Lake Temple!  

I know right?!?!?  Best news a momma can ever have for her children.  For those that are LDS, it will make sense.  For those that aren't and are curious, leave a comment and I'll email you and explain it the best I can.

I need to start looking for a place to have a nice big party at.  I told them that if/when they did - I would hold a huge shin-dig for them!

So, yeah looking forward to June!  I wish they were going to be here a long time!  Just short.  Long enough to take care of the most important business of becoming a forever family.

Oh and have a trial with Chloee's other grandparents.  : (

Speaking of grandparents.  I think she must be the luckiest girl on the face of the earth.  She has 4 sets!  Us, Jill's parents, Karalee's mom and stepdad, and then Karalee's dad and stepmom.  All ready to spoil her.  Lucky, blessed girl.  

Lukie is moving later this month to a better apartment complex!  Yeah!!  So excited for him! Kid is doing well with school, his job...... happy life.  Happy momma.

And Tuffy and 'Tana?  Blissful as ever!  Cute little family with their puppy Jace.  Sometimes, I will hear the garage door open, some barking, someone walk into the kitchen and then all the barking goes out the backdoor into the backyard.  I know that Jace has come to visit and there is much happiness and rejoicing in the land!

And Splenda and me?  Loving the love we have with just the two of us!  We have our shows we DVR and watch together.  Our small meals, just the two of us.  The fact that we only have to run the dishwasher about twice a week.  I'm thankful that we are one of those couples that once the kids have moved out and on, discover that we still love each other and still have much in common and to talk about.  I can't imagine it any different, and feel bad for those couples that end up looking at each other as if strangers.

My gut hasn't been the same since the Riverton 1/2.  I'm finally breaking down and seeing a doc on Friday, but I have a feeling it's really nothing more than maybe an ulcer developing.  

Stressing about Diva night maybe?

Whatev's it's all good.

Could it be November and let us vote already?  Tired, tired, tired of it all.

PS - don't believe anything you hear in the media about Mitt and his religion (which happens to be the same as mine) - some of the "reporters" have gotten it COMPLETELY WRONG!

So frustrating and maddening.  

Finally, I love skype.  Gosh, with a simple click I can be talking to my Mom all the way in Sweden!  Another click and I can be playing with Chloee  - although her idea of skyping is just playing around and bringing me with her.  I have recently played hide and seek ( I was hidden in a drawer, while she counted and then came back for me), hung out in a tent of pillow pets and watched Zuzu sleep.  So funny.  And stinker has another loose tooth!  So fun....

So did I mention that today was just gonna be a ramble for journaling sake?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Riverton 1/2 Marathon and why I enjoy pacing

(Sheri, me and Angela - two of my favorite girls)

Saturday was the day.  Another 1/2 marathon that I was unprepared for.  Did I mention that I am a terrible trainer?  Especially in the winter.  And then in the summer, I need races or events to participate in to keep my training going.  This weekend was no exception.

I didn't know much about the course until packet pickup and then got the 411 from some others in the pacing group that I am lucky to be a part of.  NGL - starting psyching myself out, but realized it is what it is and there is no changing it.

Got up early, but since the race didn't start until 9 - it was thankfully not too early.  Grabbed Sheri and made my traditional stop at the sev for my pre-race monster and maple bar.

We met up with the other pacers, chatted, moved around a bit to stay warm, took some pictures and did our final prep.

Stacy, Joe and myself were pacing the 2:10 group.  As a pacer you offer encouragement to those that are trying to stay with you, keep an even pace and make sure no man is left behind.  We had some around us acknowledge that they wanted to make the 2:10 time or less, so after getting some names, we started off.

The course was a tough, technical and very challenging course.  Add in the strong winds that we spent a good portion running into and it was a real trash kicker.  Stacy and Joe were fun to pace with and the people that were sticking with us were a delight to chat with.  One in particular won my heart.

Brad was running his first 1/2 ever. He looked to be the same age as my sons, so I was instantly drawn to him.  He was trying hard to stay with us, but as I watched him, I could tell it was a bit of a challenge.  Every so often, he would drop back and then slowly catch back up with us.  Often I would turn around, run backwards and make sure he was in striking distance.  Making sure he knew we were watching out for him

As we came onto a road that we knew had a wickedly steep S-curve turn in it, some runners were  getting nervous.  We decided to name the hill so that we could make it personal.  The lady next to me was getting nauseated and really wanted to walk.  We kept talking and I gave her the privilege of naming the hill.  First she said "Sue" but I quickly vetoed it since that's my Mom's name.  She came up with Karen.  From there on out - the ugly hill was named Karen.  We talked about her, we warned her, we told her we were gonna own her and make her our b****.

As we neared it and could see it in our sights, my poor girl had to pull off and walk.  Since I have to keep the pace, I couldn't do much for her other than offer some suggestions and encouragement and keep going.

I turned around and checked on Brad.  He was right there ready to tackle it.  There were others we came up on that were either walking it, or barely trotting it.  At this point, either option had no shame.  Once we reached the top - we let ourselves celebrate a bit and then kept moving forward.  This was about mile 11 so we knew we were almost done.  As we rounded the park and came into the last couple of turns, we slowed our pace because we were ahead of schedule.  The couple of runners that had stayed with us the whole time actually moved forward and got ahead of us.  YESSSSS!!!  Coolest thing ever.

So now, cute Brad was ahead of me and I was watching him closely.  I so wanted him to finish with a sprint.  There is something about digging deep down inside and grabbing a hold of every last bit of energy in you and putting it all on the line.  I caught up with him, asked him how he was doing and he confessed that he was losing a bit of steam.

As I ran alongside him, I offered some encouragement.  I pointed out a stroller up ahead just slightly ahead of the finish line.  I told him that once we hit that stroller, we were going to kick it and sprint.  He said he didn't think he had it in him.  I reminded him that I KNEW he did, he would just have to dig deep and find it.  At this point, I told him to go ahead and hold back for minute, catch his air and prepare for a hard sprint.

The minute we hit the stroller, I yelled "Kick it NOW! Go Go Go!" And damn if that kid didn't do just that!  I pulled a little behind him so that he would cross alone and by this time the whole crowd could see that he was literally giving it every last ounce he had and was wildly cheering him on.

I had the best feeling in my heart right then.  FOR HIM.  He did it!  His first ever, and he was able to pull himself in a minute under his target.

I lost him in the chute so I never got a chance to congratulate him, but that's okay.  Guaranteed he's still on his high even now.  His first.  NO ONE can ever take that away from him.  EV.ER.

As a pacer, this is what it's all about.  Encouragement.  Offering advice.  Cheering on someone other than yourself.  Helping someone else achieve a much desired goal.

I want life to be more like that.  Yes, we all have our personal goals and we should constantly strive to achieve them.  Yes, there are some races that I won't pace just because I am working on my own PR, (life goals), but at the same time don't we all need to be cheerleaders for others?  What's interesting about the pacing group is that there all different pace times.   So true in life isn't it?  We are all at different stages and regardless of that stage, we still need cheerleaders.  We need someone running beside us, offering encouragement, advice and sometimes pushing us beyond what we think we can do.

Whether we are racing or pacing, we are in this event of life together.  Hopefully we can recognize that more and give of ourselves to benefit others.

That my friends, is why I have come to love pacing.

Thanks to our Captain Walter, my fellow 2:10 pacers Stacy and Joe, Chris for taking awesome pictures, to Brad for inspiring me and finally to all the cheerleaders I've been lucky enough to have at my side.  Life is about tackling it together.