Now this is a Sun-day

Typical Sundays in Nebraska in January usually consist of layers, scarfs, and playing ‘1-2-3 Not it’ to see which sucker has to go warm up the car.  The most I see of my neighbors is a wave through a frosted window or a quickly shouted ‘Hey’ as we dive in and out of our doors.

No joke.  Two weeks ago, with the wind chill, it was -35 degrees here.  MINUS 35!

Well what a different 14 days can make.  Today it is a glorious 66 degrees outside.  You read that right; POSITIVE 66 degrees.

When God hands you this gift in January, you take full advantage.

Coat – Nope

Scarf – Not today

Sweatshirt – Even that’s staying inside

The neighbor kids started a pick-up game of B-Ball in the circle…in shorts and T-shirts, of course.  My grumpy teenager emerged from her cave, still dawning ear buds and a scowl, to take the furrriest member of our family on a long-awaited walk.  Heck, one of my neighbors just fired up his lawn mover.  (I’m officially concerned about that guy.  I get it’s nice, but the sub-zero weather I previously mentioned may have done something to his neurons.)

As for me, I dug a dusty lawn chair out of the shed and have set up camp in the yard with a beverage and a book.  Oh, and my sunglasses.  I’m enjoying every second of this that I can!

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I won

Yesterday was a day I had been preparing for, for a number of months.

For fun, on random Saturdays and Sundays during the year, I get up out of my nice, warm, comfy bed before the crack of dawn to run 13.1 miles with a bunch of other weirdos.  Why do we do this you ask?  Do we all think we are going to win?  Hell no!  We do this to prove to ourselves we can push our bodies to the brink and our minds just a bit further….oh, and of coarse the added benefit of the hardware, bananas, and chocolate milk at the finish line!

I originally had all these grand plans for my 9th half marathon.  I have had a stressful spring and summer, haven’t felt much like running or training for anything.  When I committed to running this race, I felt like I was re-committing to myself and my health.  I set up a training plan with the best of intentions.  Then life continued to happen.

The stress from the spring and summer carried over into the beginning of the school year, never slowing down.  I think it actually started doubling its efforts to crush me in September.  My drive fizzled and my training runs tanked.  Oh, I still completed them, if you can really call it that, they were just terrible runs.

As the date on the calendar kept getting closer and closer, my expectations for success got lower and lower.

Then Friday hit.

It has been a particular bad stretch of days at the Ye Ol’ behavior school.  At the end of each day, we look at our imaginary score card for the day to see who won.  The students have been being extra behaviorally disordered this week, pushing us to our brink and challenging our last nerves.

Well, my one last nerve broke on Friday.  They won….Big Time.  While trying to talk to a student about one of his behaviors, he unleashed on me, a whole different set of aggressive behaviors leading to me filing an assault charge, leaving work early, going to the doctor, and being an emotional wreck.

Their win defeated me.  It broke me.  Not only was I physically hurt, but I was emotionally devastated.  And now I was supposed to take my already sore body and push it 13 miles?  At one point on Friday night, I nearly called my bestie who was driving me to the race to cancel.  But I just couldn’t.

Mind over matter.  You hear that expression all the time, but it wasn’t until I started running long distances, that I truly experienced it in action.  A distance race is so much more mental that physical.  My physical body might be damaged, but my spirit wasn’t broken, yet, and I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.

The race we registered for was a trail run on the Wabash Trace in Iowa.  Many races are of the out and back variety, but this race was not.  For our race, we were shuttled out the start line and left, literally, in the corn fields of Iowa with nothing to get ourselves back to our vehicle with but our over-priced running shoes and our hearts.  It was truly an ingenious plan.  Once you start, there’s no quitting!

Despite his best efforts to injury or maim us with his poor driving skills on gravel roads, our shuttle driver delivered us safely to the start line.

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Hey, at least it wasn’t a short bus……

It was nice to see they support crew gearing up for the event.

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I do believe it’s extremely rude for them to be eating donuts, smoking, and drinking coffee in front of all of us.  F*#$ers!

And could someone please fix the bathrooms?

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This one wouldn’t flush!

At least they were kind enough to leave me something to play with before the race started.

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Corn!  Yippee!

All jokes aside, when you get down to it.  It’s just you, mind and body, pushing yourself to the finish line.

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Let’s do this.

The race started out pretty decent.  The weather was perfect; in the 60s, overcast.

I cruised through miles 1, 2, 3, and 4.

There weren’t that many runners signed up for the race, so by this point, the trail had really thinned out.  It felt like you were all on your own.

This can be good and bad.

Although the scenery was beautiful, a wandering mind is not always your friend.

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With my legs burning in mile 5, my mind replayed my week.  Have you ever seen someone cry and run at the same time?  It’s not pretty and doesn’t do wonders to help you keep up your pace.  I was starting to feel crushed and wondering how I was going to make it to the end.  My physical body was teetering on the edge as it was, now the last of my mentality looked like it was throwing in the towel.

Down, but not out.  Not yet.

Mile 6 called for a change and a mental refocus.  Yes, I had shed tears, but they were out and it was time to keep pushing forward.  My first step was to change up the music.  See you later Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.  Hello Snoop and Dre.

Nothing kicks your pace back into gear like a sippin’ on Gin and Juice followed by Salt N Pepe’s Expression.  It was just the pick me up I needed.

I was cruising into mile 8 when I got leid.

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Hey, freak-o.  Get you mind out of the gutter.

I hit my wall around mile 10 1/2.  To put it mildly, it sucked.  Luckily, about this time, we emerged from the trail into the town where the race would end.  Now, if you’ve ever participated in or been a spectator at a race, you know how uplifting a crowd can be.  The cheers…. the encouraging words…. the signs.

Oh, the signs.

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of my two favorites, (I feared, if I stopped to snap pics this late in the race, I might not start again) but here’s what they said.

“Go Total Stranger Go!”

and

“Worst Parade EVER!”

Ha!

As I trudged up and down the hills of the town towards the finish, (Seriously, who puts hills at the END of a half marathon???) I got my Tootsie Roll groove on, had OPP thoroughly explained to me frame-by-frame, and learned who the Real Slim Shady is.

I rounded the last corner, saw the finish line, took a deep breath, and finished hard.

What do you do after you cross the finish line?

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This Is How We Do It…..  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist one last one!)

The ups and downs of the week.  The physical pains and the emotional drains.  The falls, the walls, the failures…  Followed by getting back up, trying again, pushing through, and finding success.

My final score card from the week???

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I won!

 

I wonder if…

I was driving down the street the other day when I saw this vehicle.

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I instantly thought, “Hmmmm, I wonder if this guys is a football fan?  I’m getting the idea that he enjoys watching a little pigskin action on Sundays.  He might consider a battle on the gridiron to be just up is alley.  Now, if I only had a clue which team he was a fan of…..”

I mean really dude.  After a sticker, a flag and the personalized plate, don’t you think you’ve proven your point?  I can almost see him in the store rationalizing that ‘One more giant arrowhead should really do the trick.’

I mean really, what kind of crazy, coo-coo, nut job buys and creates this type of freak of display about some silly little football team?

Photo on 9-13-12 at 10.33 PM

Photo on 9-13-12 at 9.39 PM #3

Ummm, wait, nevermind.

 

Ok, I’ll play

The high noon sun is beating down on my messy ponytail while I hide behind a weathered tractor tire.  The rock gravel grinds into my scraped knees as I scrunch down, hoping not to be seen.  As IT approaches, I hold my breath, hoping I won’t be found, paranoid IT can hear my rapid heartbeat.  Please don’t see me, please don’t see me, please don’t see me….

Tag, one of those childhood playground games that all kids loved.  Well, all kids but me.  I was not what you would call a tag enthusiast.  Mostly because I was not a fast, nimble child.  A game of tag to me became a strange strategy session, trying to run out the recess clock while avoiding the dreaded tag at all costs.

So when my blogging friend irishkatie tagged me in an online version of tag, my first reaction was to freak out.  Then I remembered I wasn’t 10 anymore and my heart rate went back to normal.  Katie has been a great find in the blogging world, a truly great soul.  I was happy and honored.  Truly honored.  Of all the bloggers out there in the wordpress world, Katie chose to pick me to tag.   Then I was worried.  As I was reading the game of tag rules and regulations (there seem to be a lot of rules and regs…), I started to freak out a little bit.  Most of my days are a non-stop roller coaster of work, kids homework, household maintenance, and kids activities, days that pass in a blur as I dream of getting to my couch.  My stomach tightened up with anxiety thinking of when I would actually get time to respond properly to this tagging and give Katie the thanks she deserved.

Luckily, the nature gods decided to drop 9 inches of snow on the great state of Nebraska, blessing those of us in education with the gift of a snow day.  After sleeping in, cleaning out all the messy closets and junk drawers, then cuddling with the kiddos for a movie, I hunkered down with my laptop to finally crank out my reply.  So here goes…..

First I’m supposed to post the rules.  (I’m a rule follower, so I’m going to do as told.)

1.  Post rules. 2. Post a picture.  3. Post 11 random facts about myself.  4. Answer the questions given to you in your tag.  5. Tag others. 6. Create 11 questions for those tagged.  7.  Notify those you have tagged.

Number 1 done.  Here’s number two.

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I’m going to spoil number 5, and mention one of my tags now.  Anka is a wonderful fellow blogging friend who honored my last month by making me a “Bon-A-Fide Mommy” and linking me on her blog.  She is a great blogger who is Keeping it Real all the time, plus we freakishly have too much in common!

Eleven random facts…  1. My favorite movie is Say Anything.  “A pen.  I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.”  2. I have a pencil collection.  They were the cheapest souvenir when on vacation, so I always knew I could get one.  3.  I loved the cartoon Garfield so much I named my cat Odie.  (Don’t judge.)  4. I had a pet beta fish that thought he was a dog.  No seriously, he chased his tail in the bowl and swam to the top when you called him. Oh, and his name was Fluffy.  5. I drink coffee at night, while I’m falling asleep.  Apparently caffeine has no effect on me.  5.  My first concert was New Kids on the Block in 1989.  6.  My favorite concert was New Kids on the Block in 2008.  (Again, don’t judge.)  7. I get up at 5 am everyday and run.  I have issues.  8.  I’m obsessive compulsive about having a clean house.  I will put things away my family is still working with.  No really, I can not stand water spots on my sink.  It’s a sickness.  9.  I love fall because I love wearing sweatshirts with shorts and FOOTBALL!  I order the Red Zone every year and watch football all day Saturday and Sunday.  10. I wear crazy socks everyday, to every event, and they usually don’t match what I’m wearing. 11. I swear like a sailor.

Next…Answering Katie’s questions.

  • 6.1.      How do you think you and I met?  I don’t know.  I think I saw your blog mentioned on someone else’s so I clicked the link and found a friend.
  • 6.2.      How long do you think you will be blogging here?  I hope for a while.  I’ve kept it up over a year now, so I think I’m doing good so far!
  • 6.3.      Whether you like math or not, what do you think is one cool thing about math? I like Math because Math has a definite answer.
  • 6.4.      Whether you believe we are alone in the universe or not, does believing what you do comfort you? Yes, very much.  My faith gives me very much comfort.
  • 6.5.      What is an embarrassing thing that happened to you since the beginning of 2013?  Sending a text to the wrong person!
  • 6.6.      What is something you have done since the beginning of 2013 that you are proud of? I made Chicken Pot Pie from scratch last weekend…and the fam LOVED it!
  • 6.7.      What did you dream about last night? I can’t tell you, you’ll blush….
  • 6.8.      We’ve all seen the, ‘What 5 people would you want a dinner party?’ question.  Say you got all 5 there, what would you serve for dinner?  Steak and mashed potatoes, corn bread with honey, corn on the cob.
  • 6.9.      Can you give the next in the sequence? OTTFFS   Um, no…..
  • 6.10.    All of you that I have tagged loved to write.  What kind of writing do you like to do?  I like to tell stories from my life about situations that I found funny.  As I’m writing, I’m hoping that you all will find them funny too!
  • 6.11.    What makes you happy when you are feeling down?  Singing at the top of my lungs in my car.  I’m really good…I think.

Here’s where my lack of tech knowledge will come into play.  I hope these links work.

Keeping it Real

mom of 3 and i need a bigger car!

motherhoodisanart

Katie

Mar on the Run!

Ok, I promise, I’m almost done. Here are my questions.

1.  Why did you start blogging?

2.  Biggest, yet to be accomplished, dream?

3.  Biggest fear?

4.  Biggest failure?

5.  Biggest regret?

6.  Secret crush?

7.  Favorite color?

8.  Team who?

9.  Worst fashion faux pas?

10.  Secret food you love, but would never admit to others?

11.  If you had one day to yourself, no chores or errands to do, what would you do?

And exhale… I’m finally no longer IT.  Whew!  No tag back!  😉

 

Reality Bites

Before you read anything further, if you were expecting a blog about the movie awesomeness that was the 1994 flick staring a pre-felony Winona Ryder and a pre-Uma Ethan Hawke, than you are going to be disappointed.  Although, I reserve the right to write that blog in the future as I LOVE that movie.

No today I am dedicating this blog to the sad reality of what my Sunday looked like, contrast to the Sunday that I had planned.

Awww Sunday… I had visions of what my Sunday would look like.  A leisurely breakfast, lingering over numerous cups of coffee while browsing the paper.  Settling in on the couch for stolen nap time, turned Packers Football time at kick off.  After celebrating the victory with a yummy roast.  After which, I’d crack open a bottle of wine and my new Jodi Picoult book while lounging bubble bath, hopelessly trying to extend the weekend and ignore the forthcoming work week.

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As the saying goes…If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.

I did start off my Sunday with coffee and crochet before the troops awoke from their slumber.  (Kerry – 1, Reality – 0)

After breakfast (point), as I was cracking open the paper, my darling boy reminded me that I had yet to buy him his basketball shoes and he had tip-off later this afternoon.  Good-bye paper, hello store.  (Kerry – 2, Reality – 1)

BASKETBALL SHOES ARE WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!  I would like to take this opportunity to remind the shoe makers of the world that kid’s shoes require less material to make than adult shoes, and should, therefore, based on my own mathematical equation, cost less.  Plus, we all know he will probably out grow them before the season ends and I’ll be back buying more, so you’ll end up getting more money out of my before the season ends anyway!  (Kerry – 2, Reality – 2)

As I’m finally leaving the sports store, I realized I’m missing two ingredients for my yummy roast, so off to the grocery store I went.  There went my scheduled nap time.  (Kerry – 2, Reality – 3)

Upon returning from the store, I re-evaluated my schedule, getting a clearer picture of what would and wouldn’t be happening, and decided that I would steal myself a bubble bath right then.  I skipped the wine and crammed in the first two chapters of my book.  Take that Reality!  (Kerry – 4, Reality – 4)

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My Packers game, the game against our divisional, border rivals that I wanted to scream at from start to finish, began at 12.  My son had baseball practice from 1 – 3 and a basketball game at 3.  My daughter had a basketball game with one league at 3 and another basketball game with another league at another location at 3:30.  Although I don’t fully understand Physics, I did know that it was impossible to make all of these events at the same time.  I watched my Green Bay Packers score their first 10 points before I rushed out of the house to begin my taxi services.  (Kerry – 4 1/4, Reality – 4 3/4)

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Dropped Trystan off at baseball.  Picked Trystan up from baseball early and rushed him to basketball.  Dropped Trystan off at basketball and rushed to Paige’s basketball game.  (Kerry – 4 1/4, Reality – 7 3/4)

Packers Won!  (Plus I got to see the end of the game from the TV at the Rec Center were Paige’s game was being played, so I’m giving myself 1/4 of a point back!)  (Kerry – 5 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

Paige won her game and played great!  (Kerry – 6 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

Paige’s game ended in enough time to rush, literally, to Trystan’s game and see the end of the 4th Period.  He lost, but mom got to see her baby on the court!  (Kerry – 7 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

Finally, home for that yummy roast, glass of wine, and a relaxing, non-rushed Sunday dinner with the fam.  (Kerry – 9 1/2, Reality – 7 1/2)

As I cleaned up the dinner dishes, catching my breath and running back through my day in my mine, I realize I actually won in every category.  Life may be crazy, chaotic, busy, stressful, and leave me wanting to pull out my hair, but I’m here to live it.  I’m on this side of the dirt.  I have an incredible husband, two awesome kids, a supportive family, a circle a friends, a warm home, food on my table, and a love all around me.  I win…..always.  (Kerry – Infinity)

Tax Season

Lazy Summer Sundays….Doesn’t that sound nice?  Well I tried my hand at having one yesterday.

After sleeping in.  (Don’t be jealous.  Sleeping in is 7 am for me.)   I had coffee on the porch with my book for an hour, then came in to watch CBS Sunday Morning.  I love that show.  Once the family was up, we had breakfast and headed off to the farmer’s market.

After surviving the heat of the market, I dropped the family off and went out for a little solo shopping.  Now, I haven’t been out just window shopping for myself in a while.  At the first store, found a skirt I’ve been looking for…score!  Then I went to the mecca of my happiness…the bookstore.  I wandered the aisles, back and forth, lazily looking for nothing.  And still I found something I couldn’t live without.  What do you think?

Upon arriving home, I decided it was high time for a long, pampering bath.  I was sitting in my bubbly bliss, hair coated in conditioner, face covered in an apricot scrub, slathering homemade ‘satin hands’ on my hopelessly dry feet when my daughter barges  into the bathroom, takes one look at me, and says…

“What are you doing???”

My reply….”Our taxes.”

I think I may have pressed my luck on the me time for the day!

Boys will be…forever scraped and bruised

Sunday….  A day of rest….  A day of relaxation…. A day of bandaging and icing my boy is more like it!

My son is 9 and has one speed, lighting fast.  He also has no fear, a competitive spirit and a need for everyone to watch him.  Oh, and he’s a ladies man.  No seriously.  He is.  At 5, he had 18-year-old lifeguards crowding around him  and rushing over each other to pick him up at the pool.  Two years ago he announced to me that he had three girlfriends at school.  Two nights ago, while my husband and I were playing softball, he flirted his way into sharing a blanket and getting an arm wrapped around him by a pretty, blonde 26-year-old while sitting in the dugout.  And now, it’s the cute girl who lives across the circle.

Today he was at said cute girl’s house, bouncing on the trampoline in her backyard.  They were there for a few hours, him showing off his ‘mad skills’ and her, giggling over his every word.  He was displaying is ability to bounce around the whole circumference of the trampoline when, with one slip of the toe, his left foot fell through an opening and he scraped it from ankle to knee, leaving cuts and deep bruises along the way.  He comes home to show me the damage.

As I’m cleaning him up, this conversation ensues:

“Did it hurt?”

“Yes, a lot!”

“Did you cry?”

“No, I didn’t want to cry in front of Cali, so I just took a bunch of deep breaths.”

“Oh, so do you like Cali?”

“Yes.  She likes me too.  She calls me her spider monkey.  ‘Oh, my spider monkey!!’ ” (Huge grin on his face!)

Wow!!!

So I clean the boy up and send him back out.  He gets on his RipStik and decides to spin circles around Cali and the other neighborhood kids.  If you are not familiar with a RipStik, it’s like a skateboard and snowboard mix, having on two wheels that spin and the ability for the board to flex in the center.  He twists and circles them, the whole time talking, smiling, and showing off.  The scrapes and bruises of the trampoline a distant memory.  He then decides to talk to the group, which is now behind him, as he skates forward.  I bet you can guess what happens next.  The front wheel catches the edge of the driveway and he flips of the board, hitting his butt then head on the ground.  Ouch!  I scooped him up and felt the instant goose egg.  Dr. Mommy time number two of the afternoon.  Back in the house for an ice pack and a lecture about how the helmet is only effective if actually worn ON his head.

As I send him out of the house this time, I watch from the window as he reclines back in a chair, resting on his ice pack and  while Cali places her chin on the chair’s arm rest to watch ‘her spider monkey.’

Scrapes, blood, bruises, goose eggs, ice packs, and goo-goo eyed girls…. Spider Monkey’s Mom is in for a long ride!