An Inflatable Race

Ok I’ve licked my wounds and I’m moving on. I’ve decided to find as many online courses as I can that could relate to the job I want, and I’m just going to work hard to be a better candidate next round. ANYWAY…

My daughter and I “ran” a very unique race last weekend. You can find details about this type of race here. We just got the pictures in last night so I can share how it went. 🙂

Before the race, it was flat out cold for us. I’m pretty sure it was in the upper 40’s. We got there ridiculously early, checked in, put our race bibs on, and then headed straight back to the car to stay warm. About 30 minutes before our heat was to start, we got out and stretched and found our corral. The first heat of the day was the “PR” heat, so they basically did the first obstacle a couple of times for pictures and promo videos, and then they cleared out so that we could start. Right from the get-go, I knew this was going to be a bit more of a challenge than I had anticipated. The first obstacle was a climb up what looked like stairs and then slide down the other side. Basically, I just didn’t want to land like this:

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Being the first racing group was interesting for sure. The morning dew still covered all of the obstacles, and anything to slide on was very slick. Now my daughter is not a runner by any means, and she has an ankle with an attitude sometimes, so we jogged between the first couple of obstacles, decided that wouldn’t work for her, so we walked between obstacles the rest of the way.

The most ridiculously hard obstacle required us to walk up a very steep and tall hill, slide down the other side, and repeat 2 more times. My legs were jelly for a while after that one. By far, the most hilarious obstacle came around #3 or #4. If you’ve ever seen the game show “Wipeout”, you’ll understand. It was a short little climb up and then through a few blowup obstacle thingies and then 4. Big. Balls. Ideally, one would lightly skip from ball to ball until the end and gracefully dismount. I watched my daughter proceed to do exactly that. She made it look so easy. Well, I figured if my 15 year old somewhat of a clutz daughter can do it, SURELY I can do it too. I got to the first ball and thought, “That wasn’t so bad”. Lightly skipping to the 2nd and 3rd balls, I got very confident. Too much so. I hit that 4th ball and immediately thought, “Oh crap…and there’s the photographer…and I’m going to make an epic picture right here because I have absolutely zero control over the direction my body is going”. Somewhere between the moment my first foot hit the side…not the top…of the ball and my body landing on my head/shoulder, I realized I was still having fun. I could hear the people behind me reacting with a very loud and vocal “Ohhhhhhhhh”. And no I didn’t hit the woman in the picture…she was a good 20 feet away, but the caption could be HILARIOUS for this picture.

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But as you can see (taken right before I went inverted), I was still cracking up. And apparently I cracked up the photographer too. Go me. Even with my amazing grace, poise, and athletic prowess (you can stop laughing now LOL), it was my downright insane ability to laugh at myself that made the day super fun. I was able to spend an hour laughing, talking, and hanging out with my daughter. That’s pretty much priceless (which is a good thing since this race was like $50 each to do). I would definitely do it again, and next time, my husband should run it with me too.

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Next race: this Sunday where once again the weather will be in the 40’s, but at least I’m doing the 5K and not the Half Marathon. 😉

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Upcoming race with my daughter

By the way…I’m STILL Waiting. I feel like this is never going to end. It’s almost the way I felt with every single pregnancy. Like I know there is an end because there just is, but at the same time, my damn phone is just not going to ring and I’m never going to find out if I got in or not. I am at a loss, and there is nothing I can do. At least work was busy for the past few days, but now I’m all caught up on projects and the rest of this week’s calendar is free and clear. Yuck!

One thing I can look forward to is my race on Saturday. My 15 year old daughter is going to be “running” a “race” with me for the first time. That’s all in quotes because this is not any ordinary race at all. We are running an Insane Inflatable 5K! You should find one in your area and do it!

 

Inflatable 5K

I totally love those blowup obstacle course things! When I was a junior class sponsor at a local high school, we always hosted the Homecoming carnival and had one. I would always run through it like a little kid. Now, I get do 3.1 miles of them AND I get to do it with my daughter. That’s a win win in my book.

My daughter is a pretty special kid to me (ok all of my kids are, but she is my only girl). She is my rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage. I had a healthy little boy at home and then miscarried my 2nd pregnancy at 11 weeks. Almost a year to the day later, my daughter came along. She looks a lot like me, and for better or worse, she acts a lot like me. I’m really excited to see what she does with her life too. She has gone back and forth between wanting to be an elementary teacher to a pediatric orthopedist. No matter what, she will be working with little kids she says.

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She and I have always been close. I coached her in pop warner and all-star cheerleading from the age of 5 to 14. She sings in her school choir, and she sings in our church choir with me too. She’s also faced adversity in her life. Besides dealing with her parents divorcing when she was in late elementary school, she has an eye condition that is incurable. She suffers from Pars Planitis with Macular Edema. It’s almost like the white of her eye grows over the colored part of her eye with swelling and it impacts her vision. She has had multiple shots in her eyes and lots of drops. She currently is in remission, but this condition is like arthritis. It comes and goes with no real rhyme or reason. The result of this is that she pretty much hates all doctors. Can’t blame her I guess.

The biggest difference between me and her at her age all centers around boys. I was totally boy crazy at 15. Heck I officially lost my v-card a week before my 16th birthday (not super proud of that). And while my daughter definitely has a crush, she hasn’t had a boyfriend yet. She’s very wrapped up in choir, her classes at school, and she has a small group of girls that she hangs out with too. She’s a little bit shy too. I’m so glad she’s not like me for this. I hope she takes her time and is very picky about the guy she chooses to let into her life. I hope she makes better choices than I did at her age and she really listens to her heart and to God’s plan for her life. I’m no absolutely no hurry at all for her to meet a guy and be a girlfriend. No thanks. I’m pretty sure she can wait until she’s 25 to date. At least.

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It’s going to be interesting doing this race with her though. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t run at all since 6th grade when she was in a running club, but then again, I’ve been slacking here too. It’s hard to be motivated right now. I will be sure to update everyone on how this race goes. I have a feeling there are going to be some pretty hilarious moments, and I can’t wait to share.

2015 is OUTTA here!

This has been one heck of an interesting year to say the least. I knew it would have some great highlights, but I had no idea it would go in the direction it did. This is what I was hoping for in 2015, let’s see how I did:

* pay off more debt CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK. We did great with this one!

* find an online adjunct teaching position Nope, nada, zilch. I’ve applied for every opening I can find.

* attend graduation in April That was awesome!! We made it a family vacation trip and got to see family in Colorado too. This was a true highlight of my year.

* get promoted to principal Booooooooooooo! Nope. I was passed over for this one. But…it might be ok after all.

* read more novels Well this one was a gimme. I should really keep track of how many I read in a year, but I would guess it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-100.

* lose some weight Man did I conquer this one. I lost 27 pounds this year!

* work on the outside of our house (fence, landscaping, pool ?) Well the fence is in, the landscaping is better, and the pool is still in a work in progress. That’s like a half a point for this one.

* protect our marriage and keep it strong I think our marriage is just as strong as ever. We certainly have our challenges, but who doesn’t. No major hits to our marriage this year, and I’d like for that to continue please.

* get a motorcycle CHECK! We bought our motorcycle in Feb/March of this year, and even though we haven’t been able to ride it as much as we’d like, it has been a perfect investment for us.

* continue good health for my family All is well in this department. No massive catastrophes to anyone’s health, and other than pre-K being not very kind to our youngest with constant colds, all is well.

For those of you keeping score that’s 7.5 out of 10. Not bad! In addition, my oldest graduated from high school, I am trying to commission into the Navy Reserves and started that process this year, my husband got moved back to a day shift, and I won another international award for my online course building. 2015 was pretty darn good to me and to our family.

What’s in store for 2016?? Well, here are my goals:

*get selected to commission into the Navy

*watch my stepson graduate and enlist in the military

*my daughter become dual enrolled and begin earning her college degree and her high school diploma simultaneously

*get that pool

*stay out of major credit card debt

*pay down the motorcycle

*pray deliberately for my husband/marriage/family daily and seek God’s will not mine

*maintain my weight and fitness

*run a half marathon

*take a vacation with just my husband

If all of this gets accomplished, I would say 2016 will be just as good if not better than 2015. What are your goals for this year?

The break is on!

As of today at 3:00pm, I will be officially on Winter Break! I haven’t had any time off since April, and believe me, I am looking forward to a couple of weeks off. I’m pretty sure every student, teacher, and principal around me has already checked out and is just counting down the minutes to the last bell today.

My littlest guy is having his holiday party, and my dad (who is a professional Santa) is going to be stopping by this morning to deliver presents and listen to the wishes of all of the students. Watching all of their little faces light up is always such a treat, and I’m glad I get to be a part of it this year with his class.

Overall, I’m just having a hard time getting into the whole Christmas spirit. Where I’m at, the weather has been freakishly warm for December, my stepson arrived back from his visit with his mom with some usual shenanigans, the transition to a day shift has been hard on my husband’s sleep schedule so that has resulted in fewer hours together and more conversation through phone and text…plus he’s trying to finish the renovation of his parents’ guest bathroom before Christmas, and I’ve been just running from concert to concert to work thing to party. I’m hoping that after today things will start to feel more Christmasy. It’s supposed to cool off a bit this weekend, I get to do some baking on Monday with my mom, and of course, Christmas is in 7 days.

Oh and I am down to 30 days left. 30 days until I find out if I got in. 30 long days that I should probably be running a mile and half at least 5 days a week. Hmmm….

Crazy Town Chaos Time

Well this weekend began what I am going to call “Crazy Town Chaos” time around here. Saturday we had a christmas party at the police department, family pictures, and tree shopping (we scored a 10 ft tree for $35.00!!!). Sunday we had church, a parade (which we managed to skip sort of), the Bills game (VICTORY!!!!), getting my 6th grader’s choir pants hemmed for his performance this Tuesday, and a 5K. A what now you ask? That’s right. A 5K. Except I didn’t do a 5K, I did 5 miles.

One week ago yesterday I ran 26.2 miles and was pretty convinced I would never be able to walk again let alone run again. By last Friday, everything felt like it was getting back to normal though. My husband and I had registered for the Runkeeper’s Global 5K a few weeks prior, and of course, it was just the motivation I needed to get back out there again. My splits were kind of all over the place too, which reflected how I felt during the run:

Mile 1: 12:33

Mile 2: 12:25

Mile 3: 15:35

Mile 4: 12:37

Mile 5: 12:52

It took me an hour and 11 minutes to get 5.2 miles in. *sigh* My feet didn’t feel too bad during, but my left hamstring was incredibly tight starting around Mile 3. I figured I would baby it, but that’s didn’t help any, so then I figured to just run through it. Basically, no matter what I did, it just felt tight, like painful tight but not painful pulled or injured.

When we got home, we ended up finishing the decoration of the tree. This is the first year we have managed to put every single ornament we own on the tree. Hurray for 10 ft of tree!! Now we just have to keep it alive for 3 weeks, and we’ll be good. As for the other activities from the weekend, family pictures (which we did thanks to my husband reading this blog!) took an hour longer than they should have thanks to JC Penny NOT keeping any appointments on time (what is the point of an appointment if they let walk-ins come in and push everyone back??????), the parade we got out of since my stepson’s aunt came down from across the country and took him to the parade and brought him home after, the kids had a great time at the chrismas party and got the best gifts out of any of those parties we’ve been to in the past, church was super awesome and we almost had our entire family there to for our Advent candle reading (my husband even read a portion of it, and I know it’s not his favorite thing to do but he loves me so he did it anyway), my kiddo’s pants are ready for his performance, my husband and I did finish that 5K plus some extra, and the Bills beat the Houston Texans (yes it was a stressful, nailbiter of a game, but we won)!!!

Coming up during Crazy Town Chaos Time: a holiday party, my work christmas party, 3 choir concerts, a flight to and from another state for my stepson to visit his mother, finish Christmas shopping, get my Navy security clearance check completed, run another 26 miles for a virtual run by the end of the year, and welcome a new boss at work. I’m pretty sure that sums it all up for now. Like I said, Crazy Town Chaos.

At least once I can get out of school/work around December 18th, the holiday season will have it’s slowing down and reflection period (to coincide directly with the cleaning frenzy at my house). LOL!

December Goals

Well since November went so well, I guess I will go ahead and try for December too! Here are my goals for this month:

  1. Get my hair done. Honestly this is going to be an easy one since I already have the appointment scheduled, but oh well.
  2. Successfully participate in all of the holiday parties, concerts, and gatherings for school/work without getting ill or saying something that I shouldn’t. Seriously not sure about achieving this one, but it could happen. 
  3. Host Christmas at our house. Ok so obviously we’re hosting, but now that my husband got to go to a day shift for work, it’s really just me hosting. And while that sucks, at least he’ll be home around 5pm. It could be so so so so much worse.
  4. Do something fun, relaxing, and enjoyable during the holiday break. I will have basically 4 days of only 1 child, then about a week with only 2 kids. I’m hoping to be able seize the opportunity to do something special with just our youngest before chaos ensues. Sometimes I think he gets the short end of the stick being the youngest of 5…but then again…sometimes I don’t believe that at all. LOL! 

 

That’s it. Here’s to a month of peace and joy in our home and yours. May your Christmas be a time of blessings and remembrance of the reason for the season.

College Football…a different animal

This past Saturday I took my youngest little guy and my daughter to their first college football game. My parents, who are season ticket holders, picked us up SUPER early (thank God dad offered to make that drive!), and we met up with my brother and his wife, who are students there. We did some token tailgating before the game and then we headed over to the pre-game festivities. We went through the school store at the stadium and got a t-shirt for my son and a hoodie for my daughter, and then we headed in to the stadium.

Yes that’s right kids. We went to the FSU game. It was senior night. It was also a blowout. 😀 This was a test for my youngest and a much-anticipated experience for my daughter. We are hoping to be able to take our little guy to a Buffalo Bills game, but we weren’t sure he could handle it. I’ve taken him to a couple of high school football games, and this would tell the tale. He did great. Other than not wanting to eat the pretzel or the nacho chips, he was good. I saved the day when he got the Dippin’ Dots in an FSU helmet. Go Mom Points!! I would be good with taking him to an NFL game now. YAY!!!

My daugher very much wants to go to FSU. She has said this since she was in middle school. Now that she is halfway through her Sophomore year, it’s time she got serious about finding out the entrance criteria and making it happen. She asked my brother and his wife a lot of questions about the building on campus and class sizes and whatever else she could think of. She critiqued the Pom squad and the cheerleaders, and decided she could do either one of those teams. All in all, it was a great experience for both of them.

I went to ALL of the home football games when I was in college (not as FSU), but my school was much smaller than FSU, so it had all the same elements magnified 100 times. It was great. The stadium was great. The game was great. However, I think I must just have this look about me that says, “Hey drunk guy, make sure you sit by me and talk to me through the whole game”. It literally happens to me every game I go to, and apparently college football is no exception. This guy, who was barely 21, sat in front of us and then turned around and blabbed…the. entire. game. I tried ignoring him. I tried joking he was being annoying. I even missed all of halftime and the start of the 3rd quarter thanks to waiting in line for Dippin Dots. Alas, he didn’t take the hint. He left with his 2 sober friends with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter.

College football is a different sort of animal. The rules are different, there is a band, and there’s lots more chanting and singing. I still prefer Buffalo games, but it was fun. Speaking of Buffalo…it is ON tonight! #CircleTheWagons #BeatThePatriots #GoBills!!!! And if the game has the same result as this one, it’s gonna be a great night:

Graduation Announcement

It has happened. The graduation dates and times for this year’s high schools have been announced. Last year, my oldest graduated. He had big plans, and we really thought he was on his way to making things happen. And then they didn’t. Right now, he’s working for a lawn company for cash, living with mooching off his dad, and basically has no plan. I’m not sure what he’ll end up doing now.

This year, my stepson is set to graduate. He, like my oldest, has a plan. He wants to join the Army and go active duty. He, like my oldest, has no backup plan. There are some differences though. My oldest had the academic strength to make a backup plan with college. He also could have gone to Basic Training had he listened to me 6 months prior, but he didn’t. My oldest scored fairly well on the ASVAB and had no issues with any physical limitations. My stepson, on the other hand, is not doing well on any practice ASVAB tests. He has never been a great test-taker/academic student. He is an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) student with an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that gives him certain accomodation/modifications to his education. My stepson will never have to worry about his weight (he’s super skinny…ok maybe being underweight), and he runs really fast. He takes orders well as long as they aren’t complicated or multi-faceted. He’s a soldier’s soldier.

If he can get in. His recruiter gave him a website to study/practice on. His case manager at school has given him an ASVAB book to study with. He is scheduled to take the ASVAB at the end of this month. I am hoping and praying like crazy that he scores high enough to get in.

Regardless though…he has 228 days until Graduation.

That time he made me cry…

I have loved my husband since the first time he walked out to my car and almost kissed me. We have had our ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and lots of adventures. There have been times that he’s made me want to kill him and times he’s made me remember why I fell in love with him in the first place. Last night, he made me cry…lots of happy tears. Really it all started that morning…

Sundays are generally hectic when football season starts up. This Sunday was no exception. I had to get up a little bit early in order to exchange my two younger kids with their dad for his time with them. Then I finished getting ready for church and got my youngest ready to go. I woke up my husband on my way out the door so that he could meet me at church. I have to be there by 10:00 for Praise Team practice, but church doesn’t start until 10:45, so he usually meets us there to get a few more minutes of sleep. This particular Sunday, we had a guest pastor. He’s actually the brother of our Prase and Worship leader. Ya’ll to say he was great would be a huge understatement. I LOVED the way he presented the message and really broke it down for everyone. There was definitely something magical in the air that morning. Even while singing, we could just feel the Holy Spirit filling the place. Hallelujah!!

Anyway, the Cliff’s notes version of his sermon was that prayer is powerful and everyone should be bold enough to take the first step in praying and praising with the families, friends, etc. Alright so we go home, watch the Bills lose to the Patriots (oh the agony!), and then I start just observing my husband and our youngest. Our little guy asked his dad to color with him (he’s 4). Then he climbed up on the couch and snuggled up right next to daddy and played on his tablet. Pretty soon it was time for bed. Now usually I put him to bed, and I sing this one particular song that he loves, tell him goodnight and I love him, and that’s it. Last night, daddy put him to bed. He was in there for a bit, but I didn’t think too much of it. When my husband came out of our little guy’s bedroom, he was like, “so I prayed with my little buddy”. Cue waterworks.

Apparently, he had our little guy kneel on the floor next to his bed with him and repeated a prayer after daddy. Afterwards, he asked, “Why do we have to pray?” Wow a big question from such a little body. My husband explained the importance of talking to Jesus to our little boy, and the whole time he’s telling me the story, my eyes just keep filling up. I mean, look, I am so incredibly proud of my husband. I have been to numerous military and law enforcement events when he has been honored or singled out for a good job that I have teared up. I have gotten all teary when he’s held our youngest as a newborn and then when teaching him all sorts of things. When he’s had a moment with the 6th grader, and when he’s hugged our only girl…definite misty eye moments. But this was a whole new level.

I am so proud of my husband for taking his role as the spiritual leader of our house seriously. He has never been real bold in his prayer life. I know I’ve never heard him pray except for our dinner prayer that never changes. I can’t wait to see how this impacts our youngest…and really our whole family. I know tonight I’m going to ask our little guy what he wants to talk to Jesus about. I’m sure his response is going to be interesting. 🙂 I also know that I love and admire my husband more than ever. He truly is such a magnificent blessing from God, and I’m so incredibly lucky to be his wife.

Hello September

Things are back in full swing around here with all of the kids back to school. We have finished the first week with success, and it is onward and upward!

This month isn’t usually as busy as other months, but there is definitely plenty going on. We have Night of Joy coming up in a couple of weeks, which is a fantastic event at Walt Disney World. This will be the second year in a row that I have attended, and it will be the first year my daughter has gone with me. Last year my husband got to also attend, but of course, this year he can’t take off for it. I will try to take lots of pictures for him though.

Shortly after that, we have a motorcycle ride across two states to benefit a fallen law enforcement officer. This will be the longest ride we’ve taken so far on our bike, and both my husband and I are very much looking forward to it. I LOVE supporting our law enforcement, and any time I can combine that with our love of riding, it is a win win situation.

Another highlight is that football season FINALLY starts!!!!! It feels like it has been the longest offseason EVER! I’m looking forward to kicking butt in my fantasy football league, cheering on my team (Go Bills!), and eating lots of wings!