Thursday, June 21, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #9: Summer Is Here!

There are so many things that have been done since I was last here.  Truthfully, I didn't mean to go so long between visits.  But, I did.  Here is a list of just a few of the things I have done when I am not blogging.

1. I have watched lots of baseball.  I have also coached lots of Tball. There are not any pictures of Jack Jack playing Tball, because I was too busy coaching.  And coaching Tball is more like hearding cats than actual coaching.  And I say a lot of things like "Are you watching?"  "Don't play in the dirt." "Are you ready?"  "Don't fall on top of each other!"  But, I have also sat through a lot of Dash's games.  Sometimes we were freezing.  Sometimes we were sweating.  That's Indiana in the spring for you.  And we still have a week or so to go.

2. I have hung out with these guys.  We have gone out to eat.  We have gone to the movies.  We have gone to the beach.  We have bickered in the privacy of our own home.  And sometimes we stopped bickering and smiled all at the same time.

3. I have taken this kid to lots and lots of music things: cello lessons, chamber music group, summer many as the kid can sign up for.  Why can't 12 year-olds drive?  I have also listened to both he and his sister practice their respective instruments for hours on end.

4. Did I mention the beach?  This summer has been unusually hot and dry.  Good for beach days, bad for my garden.  We also tried out Stand Up Paddle Boarding.  The kids were much better at it than me.  But it was fun! And now I am trying to convince my dad to get a paddle board for his beach know, for the grandkids....

5. I've been running.  And since Dash is starting cross country this year, some of my runs have included running with Dash.  And some of my runs have included friends.  And some of my runs have included this beach AND Dash.  I love this beach.

6. I have been drinking beer.  I mainly include #6 because it is important for the fact that I am now trying out new and interesting beers based on their bottle caps.  You know, so I can work on my collection and make this table? I think that these Bell's Ale caps will be a happy addition to my table.

 7. I have been growing things.  Growing things is amazingly addictive and fun and Jack Jack has eaten all sorts of vegetables he would never have even tried before.  These peas and their pods are our favorite so far.

8. I've been checking on my growing things.  Jack Jack is my garden helper.  And he likes to help me check for veggies and fruits and water and feed the plants cool things like egg shells and coffee grounds.

9. I have been knitting.  I have four babies that will be born to our extended family in the next six months.  The first two are baby boys and could arrive any time in the next four weeks.  I have knitted one sweater so far and this one will go to which ever baby boy is born first.  I am currently waiting for my new yarn to start sweater number two.

 10. I have also, occasionally, checked google reader and read a few posts.  I think I am going to delete most of the stuff in my reader so that it is not so overwhelming. There are currently over 1000 unread posts in there  Then, just maybe I will actually comment on a few things this summer.  Or I will just keep knitting, playing, swinging, growing, reading, drinking, beaching, swimming and enjoying my way through this summer in whatever way works.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #8: Fast Edition

I have been racing.
And I have been racing Fast.

I am not going to tell you all about my race.  If you want to read about it, you can go here.
But, I am going to tell you, that I have found my peace with running.

I wrote this on my running blog in February:

"The funny thing about racing, is that for years, I didn't want to race.  A big part of this was that I had spent years racing and chasing personal records, and medals and championships and I didn't need to do that anymore.  Another part of the non-racing, was that I knew, in my head, that I would never be able to race as fast as I once did.  I did not have the time and the energy to commit to training, and plus, I am not getting any younger.  Those speed demon days were over, but I have my PRs burned into my brain, and the thought of racing and being so many minutes away from those PRs, made racing a non-appealing thought."

And the other funny thing is that it has been so long since I was "fast" that I didn't even realize until this afternoon, that my 10 mile race I ran yesterday, was a full 6 minutes faster than the last time I ran it, 5 years ago.

The thing about "Fast" is that Fast is relative.  I was once Fast.  And I am still Fast.  And so is Erin and Barb and my brother, and his wife,  and everyone else who shows up and puts their heart and soul into running.  Chocolate Girl is Fast and Bari is Fast too.  But, sometimes Fast has to take some time to recover.  And that is ok.  There is a running slogan that says encourages you to "Find Your Strong."  I like that.  But, I also think it is ok to Find Your Fast.  And your Fast might not be the same as someone else's, but it is yours and yours alone.

Once you find your Fast, you might just be motivated to get faster, or run farther, or hike the Pacific Crest Trail....uh hem....(sorry husband, I don't think I can give that one up)....or to just keep on putting one foot in front of another....You OWN your Fast.

So speed on my friends.
Fast is beautiful.
And in this picture, Fast was also very very cold.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #7

I have been on Spring Break!  And Not-Spring Break!

Spring Break is a bit of a joke around here, since for 7 of the 8 years I have been working, I have had a different Spring Break than the Mr. and the kids do.  This means that he is home with the three kids and then I have spring break, basically by myself, except for Jack Jack's preschool years when he and I would get to hang out.

The other funny part about spring break, is that is is hardly ever actually warm around here.  Sometimes there is even snow for spring break, which makes no one happy at this point in the year.  But, going along with our unusually warm winter, we have had an usually warm and early spring.  We had almost three weeks in a row of 80 degree temperatures in March, which is basically unheard of around these parts.  Along with these temperatures, came talk of this being the year that the world ends and global warming and such. AND I actually had to buy the boys new shorts and t-shirts, way earlier than history and the farmer's almanac (which I always refer to before purchasing seasonal outfits) would dictate.  Now I just have to hope that they don't grow out of them before summer is over.

It had been so warm in March, the boys and I even had a beach day already this year.  It was amazing.  But, the water was still iceberg cold..  I retrieved a ball, once, out of the water after an errant throw, and then almost passed out from hypothermia. The second time the ball bounced in the lake, I said there was no way I was going in to retrieve it.  The boys, after much toe testing of the the water, and negotiations over who should sacrifice their skinny body for a tennis ball, decided that they would rather leave their ball to the lake gods than go in there to get it themselves.  I concurred with this decision.

As is not surprising, however, spring break weather as been more like...spring.  And around here that means, cold.  So we haven't been back to the beach and our shorts are back in our drawers...most of the time.  But, in a book I have been reading, the main character, who also happens to live in Indiana, stated "we Hoosiers are excessively optimistic about summer."  Do you know who else is excessively optimistic about summer? 12 year old boys.  Just try talking them out of wearing shorts to school when the high is only supposed to be fifty-seven.  Or try convincing them to take a sweatshirt to baseball practice when the temperature is dropping from seventy down to forty-seven.  Go ahead....

Last week, during my not-spring break, the Mr. and Jack Jack built me this raised planting bed.

I am super excited about this and have been planning out which vegetables I am going to plant.  But, even though all the trees and flowers have bloomed early this year, it is actually too early to plant much. So, instead, I have been forced to just think about planting things and  have just been filling my planting area with soil and playing around with my shiny new hoe....

Now, I want you to think for a moment, of all the fun jokes that come right after you tell your husband that while he is at the hardware store, you would like him to buy you a new hoe.  Oh the FUN!  The HILARITY!.  It is almost as much fun as the time I told him I was going to my dad's house to get "the stripper"..... (aka the wire stripper, which is not nearly as much fun, but, almost).

Now, back to my spring break.  I am currently on day three of my spring break, and the first two days were spent running errands and cleaning the house.  Boring stuff.  But, at 11am, yesterday morning, when I realized that it was at least 70 degrees and sunny outside, I said to myself  "what the heck am I doing cleaning?"  And I decided that mopping and bathroom cleaning were things that were best done when it was cold outside.  And the weather report said that it might be the one and only warm day this week.  So  I dropped my mop, grabbed my book, and basically ran out to my deck where I enjoyed the sunshine and the peace.

Today it is sunny again, but chilly, so to satisfy my need for fresh air (I am kind of like a dog that way), I have the window open and am enjoying some time with my coffee and my book and actually relaxing, at least for a couple hours, until my hoe and I get back to work, anyway.  Ho, Ho, Ho....

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #6

I have been writing, for myself.  

It is interesting, writing for my eyes only.  And yet, it isn't exactly free.  And I still worry about writing the "wrong" thing.  

Quoting myself: "You know those things in your head, that aren't really permanent, but sometimes you think them, and then, in a minute, or a day, or a week, they are gone and no one is the wiser?  But, if you write it...if you write it, it sticks.  Even if your way of writing is to get those thoughts out of your head and process and then be done with them, writing them creates a permanent record.  And even if no one ever sees that record, it is like if you thought enough about that to write it, it MUST be important....even when it is not."

And it is that sense of permanency, that has been haunting me when I write; here, there, and the other place.  And even though writing seems to be the way I process, "I want to be the owner of my thoughts."

And the day after I wrote those words, in pencil, on paper (which, by the way, feels magical), my middle child announced that he had found my "super secret blog."  And he seemed to be amused and actually a little excited that he found this secret of mine.  But  I was, again, struck by the power of permanence.  And I closed up my archives....for now.  I am still mulling over where to save them or if to bring them back, or bring them back selectively.  I am not hiding them, just thinking about the power of words and where I want my words to live on.

Now that I have made everyone in my house run off in search of my journal (oh yes...they ALL know about this here blog.  And Jack Jack was NOT happy with his nickname...), I will leave you with my closing thoughts that I had at the start of this new year:

I am not leaving.  But, I am also not staying.  
I will still be here (I have to keep posting photos to my Cat Lady photo album, after all), and I might still be here, but it isn't going to look the same. 
My revolution isn't a quitting, it is just an overthrow of the government.
You know where you can find me.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #5

I have listened to music.

More specifically, I have listened to lots of cello music.  I've been to cello lessons, youth orchestra concerts, Indiana State School Music Association competitions, and this week there is an intermediate school orchestra concert I will attend.  I have also listened to Dash practice for hours on end.  And lest you think I am a dragon mom, forcing him to practice until his hands bleed, I never make him practice.  He is just in love with the cello.  And for a kid, who never played any instrument until just over a year ago, he is excelling.  He also might be a wee bit obsessive.  One night, as I was putting Jack Jack to bed, Dash was not practicing his cello.  But, Jack Jack is so used to the sound of that cello, that comes from the bedroom just the other side of the wall next to his pillow, that he said "Mom, I really need Dash to play his cello so that I can fall asleep.  The cello helps me sleep."  And this is a good thing, because sometimes there is cello practicing going on at such odd hours as 11pm, or whenever else the mood strikes him.

I am also lucky enough to hear Violet practicing her violin.  And on some occasions, I can hear a cello in one room and a violin in the other.  She isn't as obsessive as her brother.  But, her high school orchestra class is still the highlight of her day.

Soon, it will be Jack Jack's turn.  I don't know how soon.  I didn't push Dash into music, and will probably wait until Jack Jack is ready.  But, I am very blessed to hear the sound of music bowing through my house, and I hope it continues for many years to come.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #4

I have been running.
And creating training plans.

(And this is kind of cheating....writing on my running blog....)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #3

Instead of Blogging....I have taken pictures of my cats.
And instead of real Facebook status updates, I have passive-aggressively created a "Cat Lady" album on Facebook and have made most my Facebook posts about my cats. Because really, who can resist a good cat photo.  Cat photos spread goodwill and cheer and give people warm fuzzy feelings.  And sometimes Facebook needs goodwill and cheer and warm fuzzy feelings.  Even if you are allergic to cats, you can't resist smiling at their adorableness.  Take a look at these, I think you will agree....

Redd and Morgan....sibling cats brought by Santa two Christmases ago.

Morgan is especially useful as a computer warmer, you know, in case your keyboard gets cold?

Sometimes, they are a little creepy when they want to be fed and they watch me trying to decide if they will have to eat me if I don't feed them.

Seriously, who isn't all warm and fuzzy inside after seeing this?

Redd likes to guard my knitting.  Cats are very thoughtful.

That is one happy kitty.....

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #2

Not only have I not been blogging, but I was almost completely torn away from online life last week, when I sent my iphone in to have the screen fixed after I dropped it onto our hardwood floor and cracked it.  What I realized while my phone was gone, was that the internet fills a spot in keeping my hands busy.  I check my email, I check twitter, I check facebook, I play words with friends, I read what other people are writing.  And I do these things, often, so that I have something to do with my hands.

So this week, after seeing a book in Violet's room on knitting for kids, I decided that knitting was the perfect way to "do" something.  I have actually learned to knit before.  But it was in 10th grade, when I was forced to take a class on sewing and "creative stitchery."  I did not like it. But then again, I tend to not like things that I am forced to do.  And now, I am over 20 years removed from being forced to learn to knit.  And knitting suddenly had some sort of allure for me.  And I think that part of it, is that I don't like there to be things that I "can't" do.  I figure that most things that I "can't" do are really only because I haven't really tried (except for maybe ice skating.  I have tried ice skating and I am pretty sure I can stop trying now).

It turns out that knitting, at least the basic stitches, is really pretty easy.  I used what ever yarn and knitting needles Violet had and got busy relearning to knit.  And it is a perfect thing to occupy my hands while watching football, and basketball.  And the cats love it too.  And they helped keep my legs warm, just like my laptop usually does when I am watching TV, or the always fun "watching Jack Jack play the Wii."

And even though my family kind of made fun of me, they are all totally jealous of Jack Jack's new pussycat bath puppet.  And Dash has requested I make him Harry Potter puppet.  I think I may have to learn a few new stitches before that happens.  But, I also think I may have found a new addiction.  And I have even purchased my own knitting needles and some super soft yarn for my next project.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Things I Have Done Instead of Blogging #1

6 mile "winter" hike with 2 boys and a dog.

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Not Resolutions...Revolutions

It is the new year already and pretty much anything I post here is going to sound resolution-like.

It doesn't matter what I call them, resolutions, goals, thoughts that I think while alone in the is still an attempt at a new start for the new year.  

But, to be honest, I don't need a new start.  I don't need small little changes to work toward a better me.  I yam, who I yam (I also like sweet potatoes, by the way.  Have you ever tried the Pioneer Woman's sweet potatoes?  Even people who don't really like sweet potatoes, complemented them at our Christmas dinner.).  

But....I CAN do better.  
I can listen more and react less.  
I can do more for myself and empower those around me to do for themselves.
I can see where I want to go, and I can have the faith to follow the road map to get there.
I can read more, and say less.
I can give up on the multitasking.
I can create a better definition for "having it all."
I can be more present.
I can be a better friend.

This place...this place has been my friend.  This place is so pretty.  I love the blank page that waits for my thoughts to flow out of my fingers.  This place has created friends that I would have never had.  And now I don't want to leave.

But, the truth is that sometimes, I am not a very good friend.  Sometimes, I worry more about getting my own "stuff" taken care of, that I don't make time make sure my friends are taken care of.  Sometimes, I read what you write, but I don't comment, because I am so busy.  

Sometimes, I live so much in my head that I forget what other living there is to be done.
And, sometimes, there are things in my head, that can't be said anywhere, let alone here.

I don't need resolutions to get me where I want to go.  I need a revolution.
I am not leaving.  But, I am also not staying.  
I will still be here (I have to keep posting photos to my Cat Lady photo album, after all), and here  and here and I might still be here, but it isn't going to look the same. 
My revolution isn't a quitting, it is just an overthrow of the government.

You know where you can find me.


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