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RTLF #23 – So many things!

This week is chock full of things to be grateful for. Remember, this is my list. If it doesn’t coincide with yours, just kindly move along. I’m grateful we can agree to disagree. There.

Big election week. Duh. So I’m grateful for some outcomes. But most in particular is the Washington State referendum that allows same sex couples to marry. It doesn’t redefine marriage. It allows all people to have the same civil rights when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, we need to get over the definition of marriage. Over the centuries it has meant many different things. Such as:

In the Old Testament men had many wives. Women were property. Even in the 1800s women couldn’t own property, yet they were married off like it. In the south, first cousins married each other in arranged marriages.

Inter racial marriages were illegal up until the 1960s. Slavery had been outlawed for a hundred years but folks couldn’t marry outside their race. And it’s pretty obvious, you couldn’t marry a slave either, it says so in the Bible.

Let’s include all the non religious people have weddings all the time. Nobody makes a stink about that. So to say it’s a religious, biblical sacrament, just isn’t cutting it for me.

I have many gay friends. Some don’t want to get married. Hey, I get that. But those that do, now can. I think it’s wonderful. They aren’t clamoring for rights to kill puppies people. They are fighting for rights to love openly. How can that be bad?

I’m grateful for my mommy and daddy being well. They are getting old. We all are. But this week they had more Old People tests than normal. Mom had to have a second mammogram to check things out. Dad had some heart tests to confirm a few things.

But the news at the end of the week was good and all their tests came back clear. So I can breathe a little easier. And they can too. Which makes me happy knowing they are happy.

I love that my husband works his butt off for this family. We both do. But his working butt gets a paycheck. You could say my butt spends it. Okay, that was weird. But yeah, I’m so very grateful for the two checks a month we get to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe even a little extra for some treats. Not much extra. But that’s okay.

With the holidays coming it’s always stressful stretching the paycheck out over extra extra stuff. I love the festivity, I love feeling generous and grabbing as many giving tree tags as I can. But then I need to remember to budget myself. I’m grateful for the ability to take some of those giving tree tags to help other people in what little way I can.

So there you go. My list, my gratitude. My cup runneth over not just with tea, but with so much warm fuzzy love. I know, it’s disgusting.

Namaste.

Happy Birthday Dad! Reason To Live Friday #20

My dad!

Yesterday was my dad’s 81st birthday. I gushed about him all over Facebook and folks were so sweet to share their admiration. It made me all mushy and weepy inside. Even Daniel Craig played second fiddle to him yesterday.

We went out for dinner to the same fancy place Owen and I have had high tea at. It’s the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle and they have this beautiful dining room called The Georgian room. Owen feels like he’s in Hogwarts when we come to this place.

It does kind of play into our Anglo hearts. They have a Jaguar car parked in front of their valet that they use for their guests AND they have an Omega watch store adjacent to their lobby with Daniel Craig’s poster hanging in the window. It really is a win-win situation.

I’m grateful for my dad because he is loving, tidy, respectful, and funny.

My dad didn’t fit the mold of the sappy dad in Father of the Bride, or Ward Cleaver, or Charles Ingalls even. In fact, I would say that he has become softer since becoming a grandfather. I mentioned in last year’s post dedicated to my dad’s birthday, Ode to My Dad, that he would sometimes yell things like ‘bloody hell’, or get cross with me over tracking mud in the house. He came off as brusk to my friends. But honestly, he is the most warm-hearted, no judgement fellow you could meet.

He wears his Church’s shoes from  30 years ago. They look brand new because he polishes them regularly. He has a sport coat from 20 years ago, a watch from 50 years ago. He takes very good care of his things. He never had much as a boy, so he knows to be grateful for something in case he won’t get another one again.

Heck, we live in a disposable society where we know we can just go buy something new if we change our minds. Not my dad. He doesn’t feel the need to have ‘things’ around. It’s me and my mom that shop for shirts, sweater vests and ties any chance we get. He tells us, no more shirts please. But then, for Father’s Day, I’ll find the perfect plaid Faconnable shirt at Nordstrom, and get it for him. And then he puts it on and looks like he could go hunting with Prince Phillip and I smile with pride. Then he gets a twinkle in his eye and knows he looks pretty good, so he keeps the shirt anyway.

When I was a little girl, heck, when I was in college even, if I had a bad day, he would sit me on his lap and wipe my tears with his handkerchief. There’s a soft handkerchief in his pocket at all times. So much has this habit made an impression, that when Owen has a cold, he has his own collection of cotton handkerchiefs to keep in his pocket. Owen admires his grandfather, who we call Odaddy for short, very much. He prides his British heritage, he has a pocket comb and handkerchief just like his Odaddy, and he takes great interest in the car my dad is rebuilding.

For more than 10 years my dad has been rebuilding a super fancy, vintage 1960s E-type Jaguar. I’m horrible for not remembering exactly what kind, but it’s from the 60s, they are very rare, and it’s a coupe. In it’s day, it was, The Shit. With a limited budget, and aging hands and a tired worn out back, he has rebuilt every square inch with the most immaculate attention to detail. It was just a metal shell when he first got it.

My dream is that some fancy uber rich, car collector will pay him thousands of dollars for it and take it off his hands. That is the ultimate goal. He can’t afford to keep it or drive it. But someone out there will cherish the craftsmanship he has put into it, and give him what he deserves for it.

Gorgeous, isn’t she?

So back to dinner and his birthday. I know that things don’t last forever. I know that getting in your 80s is reaching a place in your life where you don’t know how many years there might be more of on this earth. 5? 20? The latter I hope. He’s healthy, fit and takes good care of himself. And of course, my mom takes good care of him too.

I always get so sappy and teary writing about him. I know not everyone has a perfect father. Or even a father figure in their life to look up to that they can count on. But I am so very grateful for mine. And for my children to have that in their grandfather, I am even more grateful.

Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Me, with mom and dad. Gosh I love these two so HARD!!

Reason To Live Friday #19

Okay, so what if it’s Monday. I was tired. See previous post.

But thank you to those who noticed that Friday’s RTLF was not posted. And you kept me on my toes. So four days late, here it is.

My RTLF gratitude ranges from friendships, James Bond, and brunch.

Friendships come in so many varieties and packages, it’s really very exciting. I realize as I get older that I constantly make new friends. Through Facebook, my blog, other friends, my kids’ activities, there’s people everywhere who will be a friend. When you’re a kid you worry if you are going to make friends. Now, I am excited wondering what people life has in store for me.

I have friends I am still in touch with from 30 years ago. My best friend, Kristi, actually. We met in 5th grade. But then I have a dear friend Jen, who I met not even 2 years ago. And then there’s all my blogging friends, who I haven’t even met in person, but are near and dear to me through the interwebs. Who knows, I might meet someone tomorrow that could end up being an amazing part of my life. I’m open to anything. Thank you people, for being my friend. Even if I do chew loudly.

James Bond. HELLOO!! You don’t have to like all the movies to know that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. And dang bless it, if I’m not a lucky girl that Daniel Craig just happens to be the Bond of the moment now so he’s everywhere. Saturday Night Live, 60 Minutes, Jimmy Fallon. How fabulous will it be as that release date in November approaches? Swoon.

Look who got to snuggle Daniel. If only!

Brunch. I would watch Sex in the City and be jealous of Carrie and her gal friends and their standing Sunday brunch date. How fun to swap Saturday night date stories, sex romps and career anxieties over eggs and mimosas? Maybe it was because my Sundays were always about packing the gold fish crackers and the coloring books in the church bag for the kids and then swinging by Denny’s on the way home for pancakes.

But this weekend I got to go on a real live grown-up Sunday brunch with friends. My friend Jen had a 40th birthday celebration over the weekend and some friends flew in from Chicago, Alaska and Florida to celebrate with her. I missed the party because I had my show, but she had me join them for brunch in the big city on Sunday to catch up with them. I didn’t know what to be more excited for, the mini French press pot brought to my table, or the grown up chit chat that did involve sex, snow blowers, and organic chemistry. It was a varied group of people! The pommes frites were fabulous. I only had to fight the pregnant gal for them across me at the table. I went easy on her, the rest of the group was imbibing with mimosas and bloody Mary’s and she just got an orange juice.

Once again, I’m full of gratitude, sentiment, and food. Hoping you are too. Namaste.

RTLF #17- Kyle’s story

This month I’m dedicating my Reason To Live Friday posts to September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Did you know cancer among children under the age of 15 is the second cause of death? Did you know that there has been only one new pediatric cancer drug approved by the FDA in the last 20 years? Shameful.

If you fell in love with Siona, and Ashley, you will definitely fall in love with Kyle.

Kyle was like any boy. Well, okay, he wasn’t just ANY boy. He was Kylie Wylie. The fearless 3 year old that learned how to ride a two-wheeler before his older brother, Nicolas. The youngest of two boys of my friend Christin. He loved football, riding bikes, swimming, popping wheelies, ice cream sundaes and dragonflies.

Kyle Roger
January 17, 2001 ~ February 7, 2009

Just a couple weeks after his 6th birthday, Kyle was complaining of double vision. A misshap against the coffee table and his older brother Nicolas, caused Christin to be concerned if he bumped his head a little too hard. I mean come on. Boys play rough. This wasn’t new. But after tests and an MRI, the news that they didn’t ever expect, nor would any parent  even dream of, or fathom, was given to them. Kyle had a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

If you want to get depressed, Google it. It’s horrible. This type of cancerous brain tumor is inoperable and terminal. Most kids have just a year to live after diagnosis. There’s only about 200 cases diagnosed a year. I think you have more chances of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightening, than getting this type of cancer. But this is no lottery. The payload is heavy and cruel.

Kyle would make the drive with his mom for 2 hours from his home just south of the Canadian/Washington border to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. Groundbreaking treatments and clinical trials would be used to create a miracle. I would never entertain for a second, that my kid WOULDN’T be a miracle. If it were MY kid, the cure would be found in the nick of time. Kyle was special. He deserved to live. No kid deserves to die of cancer. I know this is what Kyle’s family must have thought each treatment day. Please, please let there be a miracle.

Kyle defied odds and lived a whole 2 years from his diagnosis. His drive never stopped. I got to meet him once for a benefit at the Experience Music Project. A band came to play and donated their time, Jake Locker (now QB of the Tennessee Titans and then  University of Washington quarterback) donated Husky memorabilia signed for the cause. We sold t-shirts with OO-UM-GOWA Kylie’s got the POWA! printed on them. I don’t know where that phrase came from. He just made it up. It was his mantra. His tag line going in to treatment. He would kick cancer’s ass. Or at least let it be known that he wouldn’t go down easy. Even just meeting this little boy once, I was under his spell. We sent cards and wishes to him all the time. His aunt, Melissa, is one of my best friends from college. This was the connection. Such a close family. Rallying around their boy to give him an ultimate ride despite the hell his body was going through.

I’ll never forget the Facebook status on February 7, 2009 from Melissa that read, “Kyle is popping wheelies in heaven now.” I couldn’t believe it. He was so strong for so long. And then that evil tumor wouldn’t relent. Dammit. Thinking about Kyle’s mom, holding him, letting him know, that he can go now, his work is done, breaks me down to pieces every time. His memorial was, how do I say? Glorious. Hundreds of people. We all wore hot pink. His favorite color. For a cool 8 year old, Kyle danced to his own drum. He made friends, shared his light, made us all aware of the precious gift each sunrise can be.

On January 17, 2010, what would have been Kyle’s 9th birthday, his mom and his brother celebrated by eating ice cream for breakfast lunch and dinner. Dozens of us did the same in solidarity. We posted our flavors on Facebook and called it Ice Cream Day. Kyle taught us that sometimes, you have to eat dessert first. We do this every January 17th. Eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe you will too.

I did not write the following, but Kyle’s mom posted it on their blog soon after Kyle passed away.

It’s the story of Waterbugs and Dragonflies. It will leave you weeping. I’m sorry. But if you’ve lost a loved one, you can be comforted in the dragonfly’s story.

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea”. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise”, they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings…The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…….

RTLF #12

There are many things to be thankful for. Like, clean water, coffee and feminine hygiene products that I don’t have to take to the river to wash for the next month. I know, I know.

But today’s RTLF (Reason to Live Friday) list is going to be sense of humor and forgiveness. It goes like this folks.

Forgiveness in a family is key. Not like, oh, “I’m sorry to my mother in law for stealing her lefse recipe” (my mother in law doesn’t really make lefse.) Okay, OR- I’m sorry I forgot my nephew’s birthday and didn’t send a gift. Those types of things are all forgivable. Yes. Especially if EVENTUALLY you send your newphew a birthday gift. OR double up on his Christmas gift. Either one is good.

BUT- what I’m talking about is family’s forgiveness because their mom (that would be me) is losing her shit and you need to talk her off the ledge. Or, say, maybe the daughter doesn’t have clean underwear and the husband doesn’t have clean socks. When it’s YOUR job to you know, take care of the house keeping and shit, it’s kinda lame when you don’t actually get to the house keeping part.

This is because my super human skills as a volunteer have been activated. I am PTA on two boards. Yes, count them. Two. Boards.

My family thinks I’m crazy. I think I’m crazy. Don’t hate me with your PTA stereotypes. I’ve got this. I’m the cool chick who brings a flask to meetings and shows up in pajama pants. JUST KIDDING! First, I’m too much of a square to actually bring the flask I have. (It has a honey badger on it and it reads, “Honey Badger don’t give a shit”. Thanks Molly!) I would die if someone got the wrong idea and thought I was some lush of a mom and called CPS. Second, I don’t leave the house in pajama pants. Yoga pants. Of course. But I did go without make up these last three days to our registration/orientation. I figure that I will lower their expectations. If I show up all fancy dancy, sporting false eyelashes and contoured features, they aren’t going to know what hit them when I have a bad morning and show up all naked faced to drop off flyers some random day of the school year. You follow?

Next PTA event, I’ll just throw on some concealer and gloss. By the end of the year, I’ll be full faced in make up and it won’t be such a big deal.  I’ll look like a Before and After makeover photo from Ladies’ Home Journal. Whatever, I’m rambling.

The point is, I left the house early three mornings in a row this week. I came back mid afternoon and I was exhausted. My mind was numb from all the chatting, smiling and making-nice. I didn’t have anything left for the basic house stuff. How do you working mom’s do it? (future post <=== right there)

Okay- Sense of Humor– Remember two weeks ago when we were in the plush accommodations of the Grand Wailea resort in Maui? When we did all kinds of wonderful umbrella drinks, dinners, luaus…. ah yeah. This week, we are practically dirt poor. Not to make fun of poor people. Emma says, ‘mom- we are not poor. The man that wears that same coat all year and goes up and down the street talking to himself, he’s poor’. She has a point.

What I mean is, we pretty much spent any extra dollars on vacation, and then little ol’ me- the mastermind of this house (Remember, I’m the ‘house KEEPER’?) paid too many bills this pay period. Yeah. You heard me. Paid too much. Last year, about this time- I paid our mortgage twice in one month. How? Hmm, not sure. Was I drinking while on bill payer? Sure, maybe my 3rd cup of tea. But maybe it’s just the end of summer mush brain. Like the kids are needing flash cards and reading assignments to exercise their brain- maybe I need routine, like getting up early to make lunches, drive to the bus stop, wash soccer gear and PE uniforms to sharpen my mom brain. It seems late August brings out the ditz in me. Paying the mortgage TWICE is dumb people. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of extra money for the other bills. Kinda like what I did again this month.

So the reason my family needs a sense of humor, is because we kinda, sorta have no money for the next 8 days. No biggy. We’ll be fine. There’s bread and peanut butter in the pantry. The kids have their school supplies. I think we have enough toilet paper and pet food. See? Ha ha!! Isn’t that funny everyone? Hey family- don’t you just LOVE mama’s sense of humor? Too bad I’m not Snooki, and can’t just book a red carpet appearance for $50,000 when I’m short on cash.

Glass half full people. Glass half full.

Okay- well, I’m off to do laundry and collect cans on the side of the road if you need me.

RTLF #11 Affirmation

I remember an exercise I did at a church youth retreat in 9th grade. We broke up into groups and were assigned names of people from the other groups. We had to come up with a list of things we liked about that person, you know- thought were funny, kind, described them. Anything. And then share them with the big group all together for them to hear.

What I didn’t expect was how I would feel hearing the affirming things that the group said about ME. I was floored. People think THAT about me?? I mean, so often, we know our friends hang out with us, like us, or maybe we don’t know if someone likes us. Hearing things like, “she always makes us laugh”, “she makes these funny facial expressions that crack us up” (hmm, we know about this don’t we?) was a total game changer for me. I always felt awkward, unattractive, klutzy. Now, I realized, people liked those silly qualities!

I came away from that feeling so full. What a great exercise. We need affirmation all the time. Some people are shy of compliments. Some people are compliment whores (ahem, I don’t know what you are talking about!). But whether it is a spoken word, a written note, or an action, affirmation is what gives us that feeling of, “yep, I’m worth it”. Not in a L’Oreal kind of way folks.

When I started this blog, I was hungry for affirmation. I wanted to be told all the time- good job, ooh funny, you are so talented…. blah blah blah. And I did get this. From my mom. From a few friends. It was great.

Now folks are reading that I never imagined would read. I have been mentioned on the Huffington Post for gosh sakes! I’ve been given kudos from a blogger I so greatly admire, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, listed me as one of her top 10 funny bloggers on Babble.com. And even sometimes on Twitter, I’ll get a compliment from someone in the biz, or whatever, that makes me gush.

There’s several blogs and writers out there I admire. Kind of, look up to, like the cool kids on campus. When they share my work, I am overjoyed. Like when my son says something sweet to me. My heart takes wings and soars.

Affirmation feels good when I’m given a Blogger Award from another blogger out there. These aren’t like ones that come with plaques and statues at award ceremonies, non blogging folks, they are like chain letters of the Internets, but in a good way. My first award came from Heather at B(itch)log. I was stunned! She’s all snarky and bitchy, and is a WRITER, that likes little ol’ me. ME? It felt good, let me tell you.

And then when others came along, I couldn’t believe it.

It feels good to be told someone likes you. Likes what you do. Or what you write. That they were moved, or changed by it in some way.

I want my children to feel affirmation every day. I want to smile to them when I walk in the room. Or they come home from school, I want them to see me happy to see them. I want my husband to walk in the door after a long day at work, and know that I appreciate him.

I want bloggers to know how much I like their stuff. How much I revere their writing and their talents. How so many of them help shape me in my posts. It’s like they unlock a little treasure chest in my brain for what is possible. All those things floating around in there that were suppressed with yoga pant wearing Gymboree runs, or serious, studious college days. ( I was such a square.) Now I get goofy ideas, and I think, ‘hey that would make a great blog’. And usually you guys embrace the goofy with me and it makes me super happy.

So my point is, share affirmation whenever you get the chance. Tell your children, your spouse, your mom, what you appreciate them for.

Share writers that you love. Pieces of work that touch you. If you think they are ‘too popular’, ‘too big’ to care- not true. I look at pages with thousands more fans than me, and I know that they too, enjoy compliments.

What I love about blogging, and people who don’t blog seem to always ask me WHY I blog if I’m not getting paid, is that it opens up my world and relationships to people out there dealing with things I may never have been exposed to otherwise. Getting my news and updates from Yahoo or CNN or EOnline is fine. But reading what people have lived, struggled through, overcome; that is what sticks with me throughout the day and shapes me. Not only that, but reading about other people’s episiotomy horror stories or embarrassing things their kids say at Starbucks, can be incredibly entertaining!

So with that, I will mention some big blogs and little blogs that inspire me, entertain me, and make me want to keep writing.

I Want a Dumpster Baby

This girl gets the Miss Congeniality award. Everyone loves Katy! AMIRIGHT? She is pregnant with twins, but her road from addiction and depression, to her struggles with infertility, inspire me every day to be a better me. She chooses happiness and is the most furkin’ positive, hilarious creature. I’m amazed by her.

Craughing

The horrors this woman has come back from and kicked ass through, amaze me. Her perspective and truth about dealing with an abusive ex, will compel you to make a choice each day to be who YOU want to be, and never give up.

Mary Tyler Mom

MTM will grab your heart and change it forever. She has lost her daughter Donna, to pediatric brain cancer, and now, she is chronicling her story of trying to adopt a baby. Her writing weaves in and out of your psyche and doesn’t let go. You will wonder how she gets up in the morning with all she’s been through. But like so many out there, she faces the day with purpose and intellect and soul.

These are just a FEW, I mean, there are SO MANY others. People write of their failure, their fears, their triumphs. I am moved, humbled and enlightened every time I open up one of their posts to read. I hope you will be too. You’ll notice the trend in their writing is their gratitude. Not in a sappy, drippy, make you sick way, but in a ‘wow, if they can find it, so can I’ way.

Remember to smile, give a compliment, tell someone how great they are. It can make a HUGE difference. Just think of what our world would be like if more people felt their worth, their affirmation from those around them. It would be AMAZING.

Practice rather than preach. Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level. ~Alexander Haig

RTLF #10 If the Olympic announcers commentated on my daily life

After Huff Post named me as one of their top mom and dad blogs of the week, I’ve decide to repost this one. I’m good at recycling, I believe in Mother Earth, so I’m doing my part!

Huffington Post: Mom and Dad Blogs of the Week

For my Reasons To Live Friday, and I have many reasons, believe me, I’m going to have to say blogging is giving me more reasons. I love the folks I’ve met online, the community of bloggers, and even friends and neighbors who reach out to me because of it.

Thanks for reading and supporting me too!

 

 

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I have watched the Olympics all my life. I remember Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, and even Kerri Strugg. Those are gymnasts by the way, in case you haven’t followed the Games like I have.

Now I’m watching with my kids. And every night before I go to bed. I LOVE the Olympics. But the gymnastics on until fucking midnight is not doing me any favors. I have Al Trautwig’s voice in my head throughout the day. Tim Daggett and Elfi Schlegel are like my inner voice. These gymnasts are doing fucking amazeballs skills on 4 inches of  beam, a floor, some high bars. I mean come on. They’re all like, ‘oh, did you see the bobble?’, ‘that little step to the side will cost her gold’.  Stuff like that.

Could you guys look a little more excited?

I can only imagine if they followed me around all day and gave color commentary on everything I do. It would go something like this:

Me getting out of bed, creaky on my feat and hobbling from soon- to-be 40 joints.

Elfi- “This is not one of her strong routines. She’s looking slower and tired each morning. The alarm has gone off and she’s a little slow out of the gate. This will be a two-tenths deduction.”

Al- “Do you think that the years are starting to take a toll on her? This isn’t some 28 year old first time mom anymore. She’s a veteran now in her age bracket.’

Me putting on the kettle to make my tea, getting out my thyroid meds, the cat food and letting out the dog to go pee.

Tim- “She used to not have to take so many medications. I think she knows she’s slowing down, but still hanging in there. If you think this is something new in this year’s routine, wait until you see all the vitamins, chia seeds, and crazy green stuff she drinks to keep her edge.”

Me spilling tea on my t-shirt.

Elfi- “Her skills walking and drinking are almost always clean. Ooh, a little bobble there. That’ll be a one-tenth deduction. If she wants to stay clean until her cup of coffee after 2nd breakfast, she’s going to have to tighten her game here.”

Me scooping the cat box.

Al- “This is the kind of thing she dreamed of as a kid. She always wanted pets. Remember, she was the one who didn’t want the dog. But realized scooping cat poop is no fun either. I see no no clumps have been left behind, this will score well with the judges. And here comes the cat…”

Me getting in my skinny jeans.

Tim- “She always has such heart with every performance. Don’t ignore the fact that these jeans are out of the dryer. The difficulty in this routine is so much higher than the other moms who just slap on a pair of yoga pants. She’s getting in them…look at her squeeze into them! But she nailed the landing, she’s going to win favor over the judges for sure!”

Have you been keeping track of my deductions? I think I’m somewhere around a score of 8.5 right? Not bad I guess.

Someone out there must think I’m a 10.

Excuse me, I just sneezed-

Tim- “She bobbled a little there, well, actually, she dribbled a little with that sneeze. That’s a two-tenths deduction for sure just wetting her pants like that. This is what separates the older competitors from the younger ones. She’ll be back in the gym with those kegels for sure after this.”

Reasons to Live Friday #9

Oh boy!! Guess what?? The kids are going away for the weekend to grandma’s!! YAY! I know what you’re thinking. There may or may not  be some whoopie making between McSweetie and I.

(If we didn’t, there’d be something wrong with us!)

HOWEVER, more importantly, I will have two nights and two mornings of peace and quiet with just the hubby. We might even cuddle! We NEVER cuddle. Well, it’s kind of hot because it’s summer, or the dog is in the way, or Owen crawls in our bed at 5 am. So cuddling might be in order.

I’m grateful for GRANDPARENTS-

Both sets of our parents live within an hour away. So McSweetie’s parents love having the kids. (My parents love having the kids too, it’s just my in-laws turn this time.) They love to spoil them and take them places to do all kinds of fun stuff.

So to be able to have a weekend of just us two, I am so grateful for! We are going to go out to eat, watch the Olympics, watch movies that have Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Craig, go to the spa! It’s like birthday weekend #2 for my guy!

I’m grateful for FAMILY-

My nephew is coming in to town from Chicago. He’s 16 now. We used to call him Spud and I remember when he was about 16 months old at our wedding. He was the cutest baby! Of course, he was the first grand kid, and I didn’t have kids yet, so I was over the moon as an Auntie.

He’s all mature now and has his driver’s license and a girlfriend. How on earth did this happen??? It will be so good to see him, he loves his Oma (my mom) and Emma and Owen will love seeing him.

I’m taking him to tour the University of Washington campus while he’s here. If he attended, that would be most fabulous!

I’m grateful for the Olympics!

My anglophile loyalties are coming out strong. I have a fondness for England since it is where my dad is from and I have family there. I am a sucker for Will and Kate and David Beckham, and let’s not forget Daniel. But ASIDE from all that, the Olympics are the perfect amount of inspiration, thrill and sentiment. How I love the video montage, the sportsmanship, the biographies of athletes overcoming adversity. I will cry. The networks and marketers know exactly how to reel me in with their clever montages and music.

I’ll be rooting especially for our women’s soccer. I know they want that gold medal ever so much after last year’s Word Cup 2nd place.

But it’s about the journey. Seeing these athletes work so hard to get there. As a kid I thought going to the Olympics would be the best thing ever. I never did become the equestrian rider or synchronized swimmer, or gymnast that I dreamed of. I am not, was not, an athlete. If there was a sport in bargain shopping, theater or lip synching, that would be my gold medal right there.

So I bid you a fond weekend. I hope you enjoy the Olympics no matter what country you are in. It’s like the world is coming together. I hope for peace to prevail, happy kids at Grandma’s and a giant croissant for me on Sunday morning.

Peace.

Reasons to Live Friday #7

When I started this list it was after a friend took her own life. I couldn’t imagine any reasons bad enough to end living in this world. Obviously pain and depression are powerful things. And I’m always in a quandary as to how those things can overpower the good. To outweigh not being here for the children, my mom, my husband, friends, etc.  So I’m making a conscientious effort to always focus on the good. To always remember that MY BAD is still better than someone ELSE’S bad and that nothing is so much that you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This week my reason for living is- the things you look forward to. You know how kids are forever looking forward to Christmas or their birthdays? Well, I like stuff like that too. I’m always looking forward to SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Whether it’s going to the beautician for my hair did. Ha! I said beautician! I go to a salon with a DJ and there’s an espresso bar and my guy has orange hair and is a fan of Anime. FAR from the beauty parlors of our mother’s or grandmother’s! Which is probably why I love it even more. Who knew how much fun it would be talking to a 25 year old straight guy who loves my take on suburbia, I love his perspective on the club scene and Comic-con crowd. Ooh, I just looked at the calendar and I get to go on Tuesday for a trim and a root touch up! yay!

See! Already- something to look forward to.

I’m freakin’ excited for my daughter’s play that is this weekend. Emma has the theater bug like yours truly. She is in INTO THE WOODS at one of our community theaters for young actors and I know I will just beam with delight when she is on stage. I am truly excited for my kids’ accomplishments. I’m their biggest fan and she always is my favorite entertainer. I mean, we know she brings the funny, right?

Tonight is opening night and I couldn’t be a more proud mama! I’ll get a big bouquet of flowers and clap so loudly. I’ll let you know how it goes.

NEXT weekend is McSweetie’s birthday so there’s all kinds of things to look forward to. I don’t have his present yet. Oh, who am I kidding- I’M his present! hee hee

So there’s my slice of Friday gratitude. Maybe things are hard, job, life, kids….any of those things. But there’s always something to look forward to. Always.

Reasons to Live Friday #4

Today’s list…..My daughter’s side-splitting sense of humor.

Here’s a recap of the day-  It was the last day of school and we went to the beach with her brother and his buddy. They went off to dig in the sand and play on the play structure.

She and I stayed back at the beach chairs and towels and played that game where you throw the wiffle ball back  and forth with those basket like catcher thingys. Yeah, that game.

Remember this?

At first I was seated playing catch. I know, I’m so sporty. I was in the chair, and she was lobbing the wiffle ball over to me. Let’s say I was wearing some less attractive shorts. Like culottes. Oh, just hush. It was a beach day. This isn’t Malibu. So anyway, she says, “gee mom, you’re sporting a camel toe”. Don’t ask how my 12 year old knows camel toe. Oh, who am I kidding? She goes to middle school! She probably knows all kinds of foul things!

THEN..

We saw some Sandhill Cranes swoop in to shore. Thems are huge birds. Seeing them swoop in is kind of cool. Then they started chasing each other mid- air so Emma and I were watching and I’m like, “maybe they’ll start fighting”, then she starts yelling, “mate, mate, mate!” Like it’s some kind of chant in the cafeteria of high school egging on a fight. I’m just cracking up. She’s giggling like she’s got YouTube gold ready to happen. Nothing happened and they just did their crane strut down the shore a bit and then flew off for good.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (I just wanted to say that)

We went back to our game. We noticed an older couple sunbathing further down the beach. I think these folks were in their 70s. The woman was rotund and wearing a two-piece. The guy was wearing trunks, NOT Speedos, thank goodness. The woman started to head down to the shore. Mind you- we have a rocky beach, and our water is freezing. This isn’t Hawaii. So she’s just walking barefoot over all those hard barnacle crusted rocks. My kids have flip flops on. They have tender feet. Not this woman. I think she was Russian. She looked like a Helga or Svetlana. I think she could crack walnuts between her thighs. This woman was- sturdy. So she started wading in the water. Emma says to me, ‘I can’t go in the water, it’s too freezing and she’s old!’ We’re giggling wondering when Owen will catch sight of this woman and gross out. Since anyone in a two-piece is gross to him. Although the gentleman hanging back at his towel, Emma reports, is straightening himself. A LOT. She can see him in her direct line of vision. I can’t without turning around. So she’s describing that he’s continuing to ‘fix himself’ inside his shorts. Then she says he’s groping his stomach and chest. I try to turn and look but don’t want to be obvious. I said, maybe he’s giving himself a massage. For circulation. Or something. It’s probably a Russian thing. Like  what Tai Chi is to Chinese people.

‘Helga’ walks back from the beach after splashing herself in the surf. Emma is impressed with her capabilities to withstand the cold and rockiness. I said, ‘I think she has balls of steel’.  And then Emma replies, not missing a beat, “I think her husband likes HIS balls of steel too much”. I’M D Y I N G!

As if this wasn’t enough… then she and I reclined to our loungers to listen to me read a chapter of The Bloggess’ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened aloud, because I’m cool like that. We were cracking up at the pet wild ‘quail’ (turkeys, cough-cough) chapter. I sometimes don’t read the swear words. Emma particularly enjoyed the pet raccoons with ‘jams’ (pajamas for those not reading it) and the dead squirrel puppet in the Cheez-its box.

To top it off, we ended the day watching the first few episodes of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix.

I think this summer is going to go just fine. I also think my daughter is way cooler and mature than I ever was at 12.

And I am grateful that she thinks I’m cool enough to crack jokes with, and comfortable enough to giggle at kissy, smoochy stuff on TV.

Have  a great Friday y’all!