Dear Younger Me

I have been loving a song on the radio from Mercy Me called “Dear Younger Me”, and I will put a link to an acoustic version at the bottom. It has really gotten me to thinking, what would I say to myself that I would have listened to and what would I not be carrying around with me as a result of that letter. So, I thought I’d give it a go…

dear-younger-me

Dear Younger Me,

I pray you will read this with an open mind and listen to the advice and warnings I’d like to give you. I promise to keep it short and not reveal all of the adventures you’ll experience. I believe you should be able to write your story without knowing the ending, but there are some pitfalls I hope you’ll avoid. One thing you should know is that you do have a good life with good people in it, and you are happy as an adult beginning your 40’s. Chin up and don’t let the hard parts drag you down. I’m only going to give you 5 warnings, so this should be easy right?!

  1. Tell someone right now about your grandpa. I’m going to assume you are able to read this, which means you’re older than 6, so you know what I’m talking about. This is not normal. The gifts he gives you aren’t worth it. He’s going to go after your younger sisters too if you don’t tell someone now. Say no to going fishing with him. I know you’re scared and you think people won’t believe you. He’s lying; they will. I promise. It’ll stop. He will stop. You won’t have to suffer any more, and it won’t get any worse. You don’t have to be ashamed, embarrassed, or scared. You don’t have to live with this, and you don’t have to see him ever again. Your parents will still love you and take care of you. Your family will be better without this happening ever again. Make it stop-tell someone now. Please.
  2. High School is going to go by faster than you think. I know it feels like you’ll never get to high school, but you will and it’ll be over quick. While you’re in high school, don’t be so quick to give yourself away to that guy you think is “the one” your sophomore year. He isn’t. While you’re at it, don’t take him to college with you either and for the love of God don’t get engaged to him your senior year! He’s a nice guy and will marry someone else and have beautiful babies, but your “one” is so much farther away from you in location than you can possibly imagine. And tell Rush what he means to you before it’s too late. Life is going to challenge him in ways he won’t understand or be able to handle, and you’ll regret it if you don’t tell him. Oh, and have lots of fun on your senior trip. Don’t be afraid to take risks…yes the horses are worth it…trust me. And fill out the paperwork for National Honor Society! You are “good enough” to be in, so don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Do it!
  3. College life is everything you dream it will be. You’ll go to parties, take easy and hard classes, keep playing the flute, dance and cheer, and meet all kinds of awesome people. Definitely audition for “King and I”, but do not go to the cast party. That party will bring you nothing but heartache girl, trust me. And go home to your family during the summers after your 1st and 2nd year. Do not stay on your college campus. This is really important. Go home.
  4. Finally, after graduation from college you should go home. It’ll be in a different place than you think and the adventure will be very different that you might expect. You couldn’t even comprehend it if I told you, but trust me on this. When you get home, get your education certification. It won’t take you long, and you’ll need it. You’ll be a wonderful teacher at this point, so do it. Something that will change the course of the entire United States is going to happen in 2001. Trust me, you’ll know it when it happens. This is going to have a major impact on everyone, and you’ll be dealing with the repercussions of this long after 2001. Pay attention. Find an Army National Guard office and be involved. Be supportive and rally the people to stay supporting our troops. Your “one” is among this group, and you won’t be able to meet him for a bit, but your knowledge and understanding is going to be important.
  5. This one is all about you: keep loving God. Stay close to Him and never doubt His love. His plan is so much greater than yours. Don’t stop running. You’re so good at it and it comes easy to you right now. You’ll want this easiness later for sure. Never settle in a relationship. You do deserve a good man, and he is for sure out there. You’ll meet him and he will make your heart pound in ways you’ve never felt before. Forgive him for his faults and mistakes, because he is the most loving and loyal human being to you once you get past a few hurdles. He’s worth it…he is SO worth it. Stay true to your dreams and keep dreaming big.

You’re going to have so many adventures and experience so many amazing things in this life. You are capable of more than you think, and you really are a very smart cookie. Your drive and determination inspire people around you, and you will have no idea of your impact at the time. That’s it. In spite of everything you think is so awful right now, you’ll be a pretty dang awesome lady (if I do say so myself).

Sincerely,

Your older self

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I’m doing it

After all of my procrastination, whining, and plain ol’ laziness, I’m finally doing it…I’m running again. I’ve managed to get in two 5 mile runs over the past 4 days. The first time it took me an hour and 10 minutes, and the second time it took me just at an hour. I’m trying to figure out a good pace for the marathon that’s coming up.

I had no idea I would lose this much speed and pace from about 2 months of not consistently running. It’s scary to see how far I’ve gone backwards. I did it to myself, and I really don’t even have great excuses (it’s been SUPER hot for way too long here, my grandfather passing away, and just feeling like running sucks probably aren’t good excuses). Last night, I finally felt like I could keep up with a 00:45 run and 00:45 walk pace and not have to really talk myself into keeping going. That means I either found my marathon pace or I can step up to 1:00 run and 00:45 walk…which is probably what I will try on my next long run. At the same time, I have three 5K’s coming up that I would like to run a little faster. Balancing finding a marathon pace with finishing a 5K faster is weird. I didn’t struggle with this last year before the marathon because, well, I didn’t know I was DOING a marathon until basically 4 days before it happened…and I’d never run further than 6 miles in my LIFE at that point. It was scary and unknown.

Now I don’t have unknown…I have scary truth. I know what it feels like to run a marathon with basically no training for that sort of distance. Basically it hurts…a LOT. I don’t know that I’m going to get in a good really long run (I’m talking 13+ miles) before the big day, but I can at least work on increasing my speed on shorter runs which should equate to more stamina if I’m going a slower pace on a longer run.

I’m doing it though. I’m back out there. I’m running. I’m not dying. I’m not hating it. I’m doing it.

The ball is coming!

It’s that time of year again!!

In just a couple of weeks it will be time for the Policeman’s Ball for my husband’s department. I’m so excited! I love getting all dressed up and glamorous, and my husband looks so FINE in his uniform/tux/suit. This year, he is on the honor guard, so he will be in his uniform. Yummy!

As is pretty typical of any sort of ball, there will be all sorts of dresses with the majority of women wearing long and formal gowns. Some young little things (and some really not so young) will break out the short dresses, and yes, there will be those that are rather “scandalous” too. I have always gone for the long dress myself, and I’ve always worn blue really for 2 reasons. 1. I LOVE the color blue and looking really good in that color (if I do say so myself) and 2. it’s the policeman’s ball so duh…blue seems obvious. Not to mention, my husband loves me being in blue also.

This year I managed to shop at the height of homecoming season. While my daughter and her friend were shopping for their short and cute little dresses, I was able to snag this beauty:

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I feel like it’s classy but sexy at the same time without being over the top. Even though I’m not blond like this model, my red hair looks pretty amazing too. My husband was even able to get my dress hemmed for me since my little 5’3″ height doesn’t exactly work even with some pretty incredible heels on. Meh…whatever.

I am looking forward to a night out with my husband looking and feeling gorgeous, and hopefully spending it hanging out with a few friends too. 🙂

My unintended 4 day weekend

It all started Wednesday with my youngest coming home from school with a 103.4 fever. I knew we were in for it when he woke up the next morning at 3 am with his fever still raging. By 6am, I had the same fever and my throat was killing me. Needless to say Thursday was a sick day for both of us.

Thursday night I still couldn’t get either one of us to break the fever, and sure enough, Friday was another sick day. I don’t typically get sick. I RARELY take a day of from work because I’m sick (vacation/personal/I just don’t want to go to work day? Yes I’ve done that), and I hate taking medicine that makes me all drowsy and stuff. But take that medicine and rest I did because I had a race on Saturday. Priorities people…LOL!

Saturday morning, my dad met me at the starting line to watch my youngest (strollers not being allowed on this course), and I ran a 5K. It was the worst time I’ve had thus far for a 5K, but considering I was totally wiped out from being sick I guess 37:02 isn’t so awful. I did somehow manage to finish 2nd in my age group though. Yeah ok so there were only 4 in my age group, but I still beat 2 of them. 😀 My youngest thought he was going to run the kid’s 1 mile, but as soon as they passed him, he lost his motivation. We made it about 1/4 of a mile and turned around (it was an out and back), and then the kids that went all the way to the 1/2 mile mark started to catch up and pass him again. Well now he was all motivated and jogged a little more to finish. I’m surprised he did it at all since he still wasn’t feeling 100% either. He thought he would be the fastest one out there (he was definitely the youngest)…

and even though he definitely wasn’t the fastest and he didn’t even really run the whole thing…he still got his medal (all the kids got one), so he was all happy.

Sunday I was responsible for leading praise and worship at church since our praise team director was out. It is always such a blessing to me when I get to do this, and I love sharing the power of music with our congregation. After church, I mowed the yard and completely forgot to check my fantasy football team…womp womp WOMP. Last week the app wouldn’t work at all, and I lost miserably. This week the app worked just fine…and I lost miserably. Meh…oh well. Now that all the fevers are broken, this week is off to a healthier start.

 

Who knew?

Who knew one child could make such a large difference in a house? Ok, let’s be real…I did. When my oldest (at the age of 15) decided that he didn’t want to contribute to the house by doing any chores, didn’t want to listen to what anyone had to say, and was blatantly picking fights with everyone…let’s just say you feel the impact of 1 child real quick. He decided to live full-time with his dad, and there was peace back in our house again.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I missed and still do miss having my first born around; however, fighting all day every day is exhausting. His dad let him do whatever he wanted, gave him a car (which he later wrecked), and never pushed him to do anything with his life (which is why he is still living at home and has no job, no plans, no car, nothing). But I digress…

I have tried to keep most of the drama surrounding my stepson out of my blog, but the reader’s digest version is that over the past 6 years my husband and I sold every asset we had to pay for attorney fees and went to court 3 times to gain and keep custody of him. He graduated from high school this past May, and he loves to play manipulative mind games with both his mom and his dad. ANYWAY, about 2 weeks ago he was caught vaping. Don’t know what vaping is? Basically, it’s electonic cigarettes that can be flavored…like hooka.

thegoodfilms  vintage cartoon smoke thegoodfilms

Well, after lying to his dad about it and then his dad sending him a text saying he saw him do it, he decided to move to his grandparents’ house. Except the thing is…he never had an actual conversation with either me or his dad. Like at all. He just didn’t come home from work that night and a few days later came and got most of his stuff. He can vape with his grandparents apparently (they are very heavy chain smokers), and I’m pretty sure he has played both sides of this fence also.

The weird part: our house is SO clean!! We don’t go through nearly as many groceries. I can deadbolt the front door when we go to bed and know it is going to stay closed ( I can’t tell you how many times I woke up to the front door being totally open). We don’t have to hide the pool door key (due to said child leaving it unlocked) to keep our youngest (who is barely swimming) safe. Story there: said stepson drowned when he was 18 months old in his grandparents’ pool so my husband is hypervigilant about our pool. The remaining 3 kids at our house each now have their own separate rooms…and NONE of them stink! LOL!!

My oldest moves out and we get peace. The next oldest moves out and we get a clean house with more food. Who knows what will happen when my daughter goes away to college in a year and a half???!!!!

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Oh and…I ran 2.5 miles yesterday! Score!

September Goals

It’s hard to believe it’s already September, and 2016 is winding down. Apparently, I didn’t even set August goals, so I guess I’m winding down too! The good news is that I have set goals for September to get me back on track, so let’s get to it:

dmitterhofer  life work challenge goals

  1. Re-interview for the Navy Reserves and NAIL IT. This is a goal I have spent the last 7 months working on. Ever since I found out I didn’t get selected, I have been taking online courses, securing letters of recommendation (new ones), and replaying over and over interview questions and better answers. I am as prepared as I can be, and I’m looking forward to showing all that I have done to this year’s board.
  2. Have a better health screening. My weight was excellent during my screening last year, but my good cholesterol was too low. My weight will be higher this year than last year (not by much), but I’m hoping my cholesterol is better.
  3. My daughter released from cardiology care. She has spent the past 6 months on complete cardiac rest. We are very hopeful that when she sees her pediatric cardiologist on the 19th, he will say her heart is healed and release her from his care.
  4. Must. Start. Running. Distance. Ok seriously, I’ve put this off for FAR too long. I have a freakin’ marathon in 12 weeks. 12 WEEKS!!! I haven’t run further than 3 miles in months. This is a massive problem. I’m going to be hurting way more than last year if I don’t get off my butt and get moving. Even doing cross training at home has stopped, and I just need to stop making excuses. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some good excuses (dental surgery anyone?), but that won’t help me cross the finish line of a 26.2 mile race either. *sigh*

That should be more than enough to accomplish this month. Bring it on!

dancing happy dance bring it on eliza dushku

Monuments, Football, and Tanks

Thursday after my husband got off work, we loaded up our youngest and hit the road. It wasn’t a super long road trip, but any time we get to stay in a hotel equates to an exciting “vacation” according to him. We were headed to our nation’s capital, and we had a surprise up our sleeve too.

vintage 80s excited 1980s celebration

Thursday night we drove until we were just too tired and stayed at possibly the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It was just outside of the DC area. I knew a Motel 6 was basically getting what you pay for, but this was above and beyond. It was so bad, I refused to let my son or even my husband and I sleep under the blanket on the beds. The blankets had cigarette burns in them, the room smelled like mold and mildew (probably due to the crazy amount of mold I found on the inside of the top of the curtains, the bathroom was disgusting, and other than the fact that it was a bed and air conditioning, we might have been better off sleeping outside. We were only there for like 6-7 hours, so we made it work.

Friday we went straight to get our Metro tickets, saw the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery (that NEVER fails to bring me to tears), and then headed toward Lincoln’s Monument. We stopped and had a hot dog on the way there, and my husband made the comment that there were a lot of lights and sirens going off and “wouldn’t it be cool in Marine One flew over with the President”. I kid you not, less than 20 minutes later, we were sitting on a bench in between the White House and the Washington Monument and Marine One flew right over us with the President!!!

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Definitely a very exciting thing to see. We walked down to the Reflecting Pool. Our intent was to see the Lincoln Memorial, but we didn’t make it that far. It was over 90 degrees, and since I had just had dental surgery the Monday before, I may or may not have been pushing myself a bit. Plus, we still had a football game that night.

Yep, we had tickets to the Buffalo Bills vs the Washington Redskins. But first, we went to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and future home of the museum. It’s always interesting to be in this place, and explaining to our little guy why all of those mommies and daddies have their names on the wall was difficult to say the least. After that stop, we headed to the stadium. It was a very interesting walk as we cut through some woods and trekked WAY uphill to get there. Our seats were in the upper decks (which is where we usually sit at stadiums unless its a home game), and it was shaded. Awesome. Except that the concrete overhead also held in all of the heat and humidity. Not Awesome. Worst of all: This POLE that blocked the entire view of the right side of the field!

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AND the television didn’t even work so that we could at least see the replays. Yeah, that part definitely sucked. Our youngest started off a bit cranky and whiney, but he settled in and did a good job after that. BTW, we (the Bills) lost by 5 points. Whatevs.

We drove to a MUCH nicer hotel that night. Saturday we travelled to Danville, VA to the AAF Tank Museum. My youngest L-O-V-E-S tanks. He is pretty much obsessed with them. We knew he would totally love this place, and we were right. It took us about 2 hours to get through the entire museum. We would have stayed longer and read a lot more about what we were looking at if they had any a/c in the building! But alas, we made the best of it, enjoyed what we saw, and took lots of pictures. Both my husband and our little guy walked away with some souvenirs and keepsakes (not that anyone is surprised).

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They even do flamethrower demos, remote control tank contests, and drive the actual tanks on certain days! If you are a tank lover or know of one, this is a MUST SEE.

We managed to make good time on the way home and slept in our own beds on Saturday. Next time, I’ve decided we cannot go to DC in July (like we did 6 years ago) or in August…it’s just too dang HOT!!

Cue the music: I’m 40

I’m not sure what kind of music to cue exactly. Part of me is just astonished that Saturday I turned 40 years old. 40. 4-0. Blech!

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I can remember when 40 felt so incredibly far away. Heck, 18 seemed to take FOREVER to find me. During my first marriage, life felt like it would drag many a day when trying to anticipate if he would be on an upswing or a downswing and trying to dodge him as much as possible. Once I made the decision to get divorced, it was astonishing how vibrant life felt. I think that’s when time started to take off for me. I really wanted to live every day to the fullest, but there never felt like enough time in the day to do everything. After my last baby, the days really are flying by.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel OLD. I’m running my second marathon in November, I’m still trying to commission into the Navy Reserves (fingers crossed the second time is the charm), and I’m still as adventurous as ever. When I turned 30, I thought it would be terrible, but instead I found my 30’s to be amazing. I’m hoping my 40’s are equally as awesome. My two oldest are graduated from high school, my only daughter is a junior this year, my next kiddo is in 7th grade, and my youngest started kindergarten. The kids are all healthy and doing well. My husband has a career he loves, and I’m so proud of him. I have a great career, and I don’t hold back on trying anything. I truly believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Turning 40 is certainly not going to change that. In fact, turing 40 has made me realize how incredibly short life is and how much I still want to do. I appreciate things I took for granted for so long (like running for example.. .how many people, veterans, sick, would give anything to be able to run?). In the words of Robin Williams,

robin williams dead poets society seize the day carpe diem

At this time, I just have to give a huge shoutout to my amazing husband who planned a perfect surpise party and pulled it off with the help of my daughter despite the youngest one almost ruining the surprise. I love you with all my heart, and I am forever your always baby. Thank you.

So to all of you who have reached a milestone age, did it change how you felt about life?

Kindergarten 1st day-NOT as planned

My youngest had his first day of kindergarten yesterday. I took him to school, and they had this really awesome pep rally like atmosphere going. All of the students met in the courtyard, cheerleaders did a cheer, teachers did a little dance, and there were confetti cannons. Super cool.

hazelnutblvd  happy party excited puppet

His teacher, who had to do meet the teacher last Monday instead of Friday because of a concert she was attending, showed up not feeling well. She claimed food poisoning. I’m wondering if it was a hangover. Regardless…my little guy’s elementary school does a staggered start for kindergarten. That means about 6 kids/day for the first 3 days and then everybody comes starting on Thursday. So, his teacher took him and his 5 classmates for the day. Right after I said my “see ya laters”, I went to the front office to get his bus information. They had him coded wrong with no transportation requested. I corrected that to be an afternoon only situation, and then I was directed to call the district transportation office to make sure he was good for that day. Ok fine. Except they gave me the wrong number.

dmitterhofer  no boo gtfo sucks

I spent the next 3-4 hours at work leaving messages, finally get a hold of the district transportation office who told me they had it correct but the school had to activate him, called the school back and left another message, and then got a call from my husband. The teacher had called him to let him know our son didn’t have any bus information. After letting him know the school hadn’t returned my call, I tried again. I FINALLY got a hold of the right person and it was taken care of. Or so I thought.

I left work early and walked to the bus stop transportation told me to go to. The bus showed up, and my son wasn’t on it. They couldn’t get anyone on the radio to answer, so I was once again calling. I called his teacher who told me she put him on bus 330…he should have been on bus 334. Great! I no officially had no idea where my son was.

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I called the school to get them to track down the bus. In the meantime, I literally ran home and got the van. I drove to the 2nd of 3 bus stops in my neighborhood, and just missed that bus (just so happens it’s the bus my son was on). While I was driving back to the first stop, the bus he was on actually drove to my house. Of course, no one was there, but what an awesome thing for them to do! I then drove back to the entrance to my community, happened to see his bus pass in front of me, and followed it to the 3rd stop where I was able to get my son. While I had been freaking out to find him, my little guy was happy as a clam and totally clueless as to what was going on. Thank God!

So while the first day of kindergarten didn’t exactly go as planned, he’s still happy about school and excited to ride the bus. And now he knows his bus number all by himself! I mean, it could have been worse right?

 

I survived…

I survived the wedding of my good friends AND the first week of school with teachers back. GO ME! Let me tell you there were a few days when I started to question how everything was going to work out, but here it is Friday, and I’m hanging in there.

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Our good friends’ wedding was last weekend. It was a bit more drama-filled than any other wedding I’ve been to, but it was lovely. It was also the shortest ceremony I’ve ever been to (10 minutes people), but everything was very pretty. After the reception, we went back to the hotel (where apparently everyone was staying) and went across the street to a local bar. It was pretty nice too, loud, but nice. We got back to our room at 2 am and had to be up by 8:30 to get our butts back home in time for our babysitter to get to work.

This week was the first week teachers came back. To summarize this week: Let the Games Begin. I haven’t seen a such a bunch of whiney complainers in a while. Yikes! I think for the most part, we solved everyone’s issues and made most people happy. And if not…oh well at this point. We are going to be hiring 1, maybe 2 new teachers. That’ll be a treat since the school year officially starts Monday and most great teachers already have a school to work for…so yeah there’s that. At least our kids should be all set for school. Ok, so I don’t know the time my youngest’s bus will be dropping him off yet, but I will get that Monday morning. Other than that, everything is set to go.

In other news, I have a race tomorrow morning that I’m pretty sure is not going to go exactly as planned. Luckily it’s a short race (a 4K), but I don’t think I’m going to be able to run without walking part of it. I took quite a break from running and then this week got back into it again. Both of my runs were 2-2.5 miles, and both of them I walked a portion. Oh well. It just means I can’t continue to be lazy with a full marathon coming up in November. EEEEEEK!!!