Five For Friday

By | Posted March 6, 2015

Posted in Five For Friday | No Comments »

I haven’t mentioned it (because I never write here anymore) but my amazing husband has been working for the NFL on the side.  Anyone who knows him says it’s about time.  And it is.  He was made for this.  He was hired to write draft analysis for their website.  Every player going into the draft.  Every one.  He went to the Combine and was on their online show and did an amazing job.  Compliments all around from loyal listeners who know just how smart he is to his bosses to new fans.  It’s been a long journey to get here.  It’s overdue, really.  Really overdue.

Lance has always been into the draft.  Always gone to the Senior Bowl and written about players entering the draft.  He’s been invited to participate in mock drafts with the best of them.  So this job was made for him.  It was so cool to hit NFL.com and see his name under each player analysis.

The only downside is that it’s a lot of work.  We are spoiled  We’re used to spending a lot of time together.  This “side job” has him renting office space and working until 7pm most nights and weekends.  He missed most of the boys’ basketball games this season.  Has been out of town several times with another trip on the horizon.  It’s been tough.  But so worth it.  I hope it opens more doors for him because he deserves it.  He works hard and has such a passion for this.  I am so proud of him!!!

I’m always working on yelling less.  I guess really the virtue of patience.  And I have five kids with which to practice.  Man, it’s rough sometimes.  We don’t spank, but that isn’t anything to brag about because we yell.  A lot.  Too much.  Recently, at story time someone told me that they yelled too much and they were taking some challenge to stop.  I couldn’t believe this lady yelled at her precious little kids.  But she described some scenes, and wow, they sounded just like me.

I vowed to make a real effort, with prayer and support. So far, it’s working.  I mean, I’m only two weeks in, but yelling has decreased a lot.  I’ve journaled in my own private diary~God, how I love to write my private thoughts down.  When I die, I pray to God Sarah and Stacy are still around to destroy all written evidence of my inner thoughts.  These diaries go back…way back.  But I digress…SO, I’ve been writing about triggers and what’s worked and what hasn’t and what I need to work on with the kids.  It has resulted in leaving Marianna alone while she had a total meltdown that included throwing her babies against the wall and having a grownup talk with Drake about something I was really pissed about.  All without yelling or being a mean bitch.

I’ve found someone to hold me accountable and that is helping a lot.  Then last night I was listening  to a podcast, and the speaker said she forced herself to think of three things she was grateful for in the moment when she gets stressed.  Wow.  Seriously, if I could train myself to do that…Game changer.

I’ve also stopped sending Lance text messages when his kids are acting unruly.  Usually the text messages are pretty viscous and only stress him out while he’s trying to work.  Nothing was working with those messages except he would get mad at me.  Me!  The only reasonable one.  Right?  Anyway, he noticed and asked if the kids were behaving better.  I told him nope, I just didn’t want to stress him out.  I had to be honest.  He thanked me for the honestly and leaving him out of the mess.

Speaking of kids, am I the only parent who worries about their future?  Not in a “the world sucks” kind of way, but in a “are they going to be good, moral people” way.  I worry about this all the time.  I see a lot of traits that really worry me.  One of them being dishonestly.  They lie over shit constantly.  I literally have two kids I don’t trust at all.  Seriously, not one word that comes out of their mouth.  So what am I supposed to do?  These are things that keep me up at night.  Where did I go wrong?  How am I failing?  I don’t lie to them.  So why do they lie.  And honestly, they aren’t even good at it.

I went to an amazing talk last week with a mom who I follow online.  I rarely read blogs anymore, but I love this lady and still follow her.  She has six kids, five boys and one girl.  She’s Catholic and I just know she and I would be great friends if she lived in Houston.  Except maybe she doesn’t cuss as much as me.  She is so real~ when it’s good and when it’s hard.  Her talk was on friendship, but I went in and introduced myself and asked how she had gotten to the place she was right now~ completely enjoying her crew.  She assured me that it’s not all roses and gave some helpful hints.  One of them being to find a mentor that I could turn to in times of stress.  She said it has helped her so much to call on an older mom that has been through it all.  I loved that idea and when I was telling a mom from story time about the talk she asked if I could be her older mom.  Because I’m the old mom at story time.  I’m not sure anyone would ever need me as a mentor! The actual topic of her talk was friendship.  And it was good.  It made me appreciate the friends I have and realize the importance of  having friends that bring you up instead of down.   I pray for my friends all the time, and I pray that I’m a good friend to them.

Marianna and I go to daily mass every Thursday and Friday.  We try for other days, but we always hit those two.  Mari loves Monsignor Rossi.  So do I.  He gives great sermons, and he loves my little girl.  He presides over mass those two days.  Except if something comes up.  When something does come up, I sigh a little and Marianna sighs a lot.  Last week was one of those days.  But was I blessed.  The other priest who I like okay, but not a ton, said that each morning he prays for the goodness he needs for the day.  A simple little prayer, but a powerful one.  I’ve always heard God gives us the grace we need if only we ask for it or accept it.  I feel like this prayer has been a lifesaver for me.  So while Mari was upset that day, I feel like it was meant to be.

And lastly, I have to say I have made some amazing friends via Lance’s show.  I have three friends I am extremely close to and can’t imagine not having them in my life.  I rely on these people like I’ve known them all my life.  I have other people I know from his show that I’m not as close to yet, but feel lucky to have met them.  Who would have ever thought that I would find friends from his show!?!

Happy weekend!  I’m off to bed by ten so I can run 12 tomorrow!

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Marathon Mix 2015

By | Posted January 31, 2015

Posted in exercise, Random | 5 Comments »

I love listening to music.  Most especially while I run.  In fact, I can’t imagine working out without music and if I happen to go to the gym without my headphones, I leave.

I have friends who run marathons without music.

I can’t even imagine.

Seriously, I couldn’t make it to the first mile.

Generally, my playlists are carefully selected and my marathon mix was no exception.  I have some other workout mixes that include songs not on here.  There are a few songs that  make any mix I make no matter what the occasion.  (Jessie’s Girl and Somebody’s Baby- always.)  Some random older songs and songs that might not seem like running songs (Liz Phair Never Said).  But they are all songs that make me happy.

Jill asked for my list in hopes of finding something new.  I’m not sure this will do it, since some songs are 20 years old.  Man, that just made me feel old.  Regardless, I love them.  And they got me through four hours and eighteen minutes.

  1. The Seed-The Roots
  2. S-Express-S Express, long ago clubbing days
  3. The One-Foo Fighters, favorite FF’s song
  4. Satisfy You-Cracker, long ago favorite song of mine
  5. Seven Days-Cracker, love the beat of this one
  6. Ten Minutes- The Get Up Kids, listened to this before every game the year Texas won the National Championship
  7. Bird In A Cage-Old 97’s, totally random song that probably nobody else likes but I. love. it.
  8. World Class Far-Paul Westerberg
  9. Don’t Hate Me- The Get Up Kids
  10. Daft Punk Is Playing At my House- LCD Soundsystem, how could this not be on a workout mix
  11. Where Are We Runnin?-Lenny Kravitz, Lance put on for me and I love it
  12. No Love-The Get Up Kids
  13. Head Like A Hole-Nine Inch Nails
  14. Holiday-The Get Up Kids, clearly I love this band.  I have great memories seeing them (b/c I never ever got concert tickets beforehand yet managed to sneak in, pay my way in or beg my way in) and they just pump me up
  15. Sit On my Face-Lords Of Acid- always a pump me up song
  16. Enough-Gravity Kills
  17. Celebrity Skin-Hole
  18. Somebody’s Baby-Jackson Browne, I can’t explain it, but I guess this is one of my all time favorite songs
  19. Swan Song-Juliana Hatfield, I love her and this song is just so good for many reasons
  20. North American Scum-LCD Soundsystem
  21. Walk-Foo Fighters, I picture my kids during this song
  22. Here and Now-Letters to Cleo
  23. The Good Life-Cracker, another old band I just like a lot
  24. Never Said-Liz Phair, I can’t emphasize just how much I used to love her and this particular album.  This song doesn’t deserve to be on a running mix, much less a marathon mix, but I can’t make a mix without it.
  25. Supernova-Liz Phair
  26. The Way She Dances-N*E*R*D
  27. Johnny Feelgood-Liz Phair
  28. Rough Sex-Lords of Acid
  29. What Girls Want-Material Issue, I love this song, but can’t listen with my kids in the car
  30. Uprising-Muse
  31. Kinda I Want To-Nine Inch Nails, probably my favorite NIN songs
  32. Big Brown Eyes-Old 97’s
  33. She Showed Up-Pamper The Madman
  34. You’ve Had It With You-Paul Westerberg
  35. Cut Your Hair-Pavement, another song that’s not really a running song, but it makes me smile
  36. Renegade of Funk-Rage Against the Machine, perfect marathon song
  37. Jessie’s Girl-Rick Springfield, always, always
  38. Only Girl-Rihanna, don’t judge me, such a peppy workout song
  39. Brand New Baby-Semisonic
  40. Pictures-Sneaky Sound System
  41. Seether-Veruca Salt
  42. Buddy Holly-Weezer, another song that makes me happy
  43. Love Machine-Junkie XL, spin song for climbs and reminds me to push harder
  44. The Walker-Fitz & The Tantrums
  45. Fever-The Black Keys
  46. Love Runs Out-One Republic
  47. Time-David Guetta
  48. Heads Will Roll- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  49. The Hand That Feeds-Nine Inch Nails
  50. Sanctified-Nine Inch Nails
  51. Pretty Fly-The Offspring
  52. Mudshovel-Staind
  53. Self-Estreem-The Offspring
  54. Enter Sandman-Metallica
  55. Volvo Driving Soccer Mom-Everclear
  56. Anyway-Dynamite Hack
  57. Tainted Love-Marilyn Manson
  58. She Wants to move-N*E*R*D
  59. Impressed-The Glitter Kicks
  60. Let’s Groove-Earth Wind & Fire
  61. Unbelievable-EMF
  62. Never Win-Fisherspooner, Colorado Road trip song from 2007, reminds me of Drake
  63. Pumped Up Kicks-Foster The People, the boys loved this song
  64. Long View-Green Day
  65. The Movement-Kid Ink, Lance put this on the playlist saying I must have it b/c it’s his and Peter’s song.  That really came out of his mouth.  I put up with Peter b/c he lives in another state.  HA!
  66. Calling Dr. Love-Kiss, I love Kiss
  67. Battleflag-Lo Fidelity All Stars
  68. Lithium-Nirvana

Typing this list, I really wonder how helpful this will be…mot of my playlist is so old.  I should be embarrassed, but these songs make me happy.  And most importantly, they got me through the marathon.  I’m such a creature of habit, I wonder how much I will change for next year.  I also noticed while typing it out that my order is not very good.  I had a boyfriend that used to make mix tapes for me.  He agonized over song placement.  I think he would be pretty disappointed in my lazy placement!

I didn’t start the mix from the beginning but instead with The Walker.  Not unusual for me to start at a random place when I run.  I only skipped a few songs during the marathon and at the end, I went towards the end again to find something that would keep me going that last mile.  I wanted to cross the line listening to something I really, really liked.  Now?  I can’t even remember what I was listening to as I crossed the finish line.

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Marathon 2015

By | Posted January 19, 2015

Posted in exercise | 11 Comments »

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WOW!  That’s just about all I can say.  WOW!

Yesterday was pretty incredible.  I remember when I decided to run the marathon and somebody asked if I had ever run a marathon before, and I answered no, only the half, once.  She said, a marathon was really different.  Honestly, I thought she was being kind of a bitch with that comment, but now that I am finished, I realize what she meant.  It’s just freaking far.  Really far.

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But I finished!  Never walked except through the last water station.  Towards the last three miles, you saw a lot of people walking.  People even walked through the finish line.  First, I wasn’t going to walk unless I had an injury, but second, what the heck?  Even if you did walk some, why wouldn’t you run through the finish?  Seems weird to me.  But not my business, I guess.

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The excitement of seeing 25,000 people in one place to run is overwhelming.  I didn’t arrive until 6 am and the time just flew.  A friend had told me that it does.  As I walking around in a daze, I ran into Carl and it just made my morning.  Carl is a friend of ours who lives in New York, but was in town to run the half.  He had come over Saturday to catch up and wish me well for the marathon.  Carl is one of those people who is just genuine and has an infectiously happy personality.  So seeing him before the start was what I needed.

The time flew, I walked out with a friend and saw my parents.  They drove in from Kingwood to see me!  They left before 6 am!  I am so grateful.  Since I’ve had children, everything is about the kids so it was awesome to see the pride in their eyes about me!

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Right before I started, I sent Emily a text saying, “For Sam”.  Because that’s what it was about – doing something to help someone who needs it.  With that thought and seeing those crowds, I got a bit emotional before I crossed the starting line.

And then I ran easy for a while.  Within ten minutes, I knew it would be too hot.  Everyone was tossing their clothes and gloves.  My friend said she sent her husband a text saying bring me a tank within the first mile.  I saw Lance and the kids at mile 9 along with Laura and her family.  The kids were hilarious, running on the sidewalk with me.  Except Mari who couldn’t keep up, she cried so I had to stop and hug her.

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West U is where it’s at, those people get into the marathon offering food for runners.  It’s a party for them.

Then I saw Nicole and her kids at 13.5.  Homemade poster for me!

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My parents were waiting at 15ish and then all of a sudden I see Lance and kids and Laura’s family again!  Was perfect!  Jessica was waiting at Chimney Rock and Woodway.  And then nothing for what seemed like forever.  Memorial Drive was about the worst part of the route.  There were people cheering, but not a ton, and it was just long and lonely.  I had received several encouraging texts from people during the run and one was from Nikki.  I sent a frantic text asking where the eff was she!  I thought I had missed her.  Thankfully, I saw her and ran over for a big hug then she shoved me off with promises of being at the finish!  I needed that hug. Lance surprised me at Shepherd with the kids and my parents.  A last pick me up before the final stretch.

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Allen Parkway- sucked.  I think I was running at a crawl, but I never walked.  Just kept going, going.  Once I got downtown, I kept trying to remember how many blocks, I changed music and found something to keep me pumped for that last mile.

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The second I crossed the finish line, texts came in from Chelsea, Paul and Jill!  Chelsea and Jill saw me cross the line and Paul and Brian had been tracking me from Chicago.  I got my medal and saw Nikki and my brother and his family.  Then a text from Laura with a picture of me crossing the finish. And more texts…Nicole telling me I could go eat and drink now, my in-laws who were tracking me, sending congratulations and love, I had 27 text messages and a dying phone.  And a husband who couldn’t find me!

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It couldn’t get much better!  4 hours and 18 minutes!  26.2 miles!

Mom of five does it!

And then came the family!  My dad bought flowers, Alec asked for a Gatorade- really???, Just a proud family standing all around me.  And friends who took time out of their Sunday to watch.  It couldn’t get much better.  Well, walking to the car…I could have done without that.

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Seriously, I have the best family.  I was thinking that I hoped the kids enjoyed themselves seeing their mom train and follow through.  We always watch our kids, but rarely do they watch us.  I hope they learned something.  Lance made it with the kids to see me three different times before the finish despite road closures and traffic.  That was another marathon in and of itself!

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Last April, I told my brother I might want to run the whole marathon this January instead of just the half.  He said he had no doubt I could do it.  I had doubts.  But I ran all summer, getting up early while Drake stayed home with the kids.  He continued to keep Mari every Wednesday morning so I could run the park instead of at the gym.  Lance was the best cheerleader encouraging me as my runs got longer and longer and not letting me give up when my knee sidelined me for two weeks.  And each Saturday my dad called checking the progress of my long runs, remembering what it was like to love running.  I couldn’t have done it without these three.

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I came home to a goodie box from my friend Sarah who has also been cheering me on all fall.  She sent Snoopy pants, a quote her father used to have in his office about being a fighter and cookies.  With coconut.  Then Desiree made me an Coconut Cream Pie.  Amazing.  Less than 24 hours and half the pie is gone.

I am still basking in the glow of it all.  I asked Jill this morning how long I could milk this thing.  She said a month!

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What a day!  Could I have run faster?  Maybe.  The weather could have been colder for the runners.  But really, overall it was a fabulous day!  I raised a little over $7000 to help fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy! Overall, our team raised $88,000!  It’s a start to help fight DMD.  There’s still time to donate if you haven’t!  Once again, my fundraising page is here.

First marathon is in the books!

Will I do it again?  I’m thinking yes.

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Daybook~ the beginning of 2015

By | Posted January 17, 2015

Posted in Daybook | No Comments »

For today:: Friday, January 16, 2015

Outside my window:: It’s dark outside.  And cold.  And I love it.  Lance and I always wonder if we could really handle cold weather.  Sometimes I feel like such a wimp when it gets chilly, but I assume if we lived in the North we would have clothes suitable for cold weather.

I am wearing:: Pajama pants and a black shirt.

I am praying for:: a special intention, that my husband gets home safely and patience.  Always patience.  At some point, can’t God just grant that one to me?  This house would be a lot happier if I were more patient!

Grateful for:: family.  The good and the bad.  I have an amazing husband who loves me and wants to spend time with me; kids who are funny, smart, kind and love to be out of doors.  Parents who are generous with their time and gifts and who love me, maybe my kids more, but they support me.  It’s not picture perfect, not even close, we all bicker and get on each other’s nerves, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

From the kitchen:: a couple of months ago, Snax said it’s: fish, chicken and pork.  That’s it, never mind the fact that we had had pizza and burgers the nights leading up to that statement.  In an effort to change things, I’m actually going through my Pinterest boards and finding recipes.  The past several weeks, I’ve made 4  new recipes a week.  And they’ve mostly been great.  Even Snax approves.  Don’t count this week.  With Lance out of town, I don’t make new meals, I go for easy, easy, easy.

I am reading:: Mere Christianity.  Finally.  I’ve heard of this book for years, but over the last year, it’s been thrown at me so to speak.  I have four other books I’m dying to read right now, but I refuse to start anything else until this is done.  I’ve read two pages so far.  Does that really count as reading a book?

On blogging::  I have so many intentions, then just can’t ever find the time.  I even have a notes section full of blog ideas, cute stories of the kids or just my random musings.  But at the end of the day, I never type them out.  I find that I rarely read blogs anymore either which goes back to that whole no time thing.

On fitness and health::  there is this little thing I’m running on Sunday called the marathon.  I can not wait.  I’m nervous and anxious and ready to go.  Partly, because I’ve had to taper (can you imagine me using that word?) and am still eating my usual amount and that just drives me crazy.  But mostly, I’m just ready to go!  I’ve trained, had one issue, but seem fine now.  It’s for a good cause and I’ve managed to raise some money for PPMD.  Anyone else want to donate???  Here is my fundraising page.

Finding a rhythm::  it’s so hard to get back into a routine after a break.  We were up so late every night.  Even the four year old.  (yes, I have a four year old now!)  The kids would play all day and then we’d finally sit for books around 8:45 and read until 10.  We have such a great collection of Advent/Christmas books, and it was great reading them.  But now we’ve moved onto to our Winter basket which I must say is pretty damn good.  I love the kids’ faces when I pull out a favorite.  We’re reading The Long Winter as our family read aloud as well.  I think this week we’ve settled somewhat.  At least the kids were in bed by 9 the past two days.  A start for us.  We’ve got basketball Mondays and Tuesdays and the rest of the week is open to us.  I like it that way.

One of my favorite things:: so I always say this, but trips with Lance.  Actually, we don’t have anything planned beyond Chicago this May when he goes to the draft.  I’ll join and we’ll see Paul and Brian as well.  We’ve got next fall already planned, so we just need something soon.

A few plans for the week:: the week is mostly gone, but we’ve still got some plans- Rocket’s game against Ok City, birthday dinner with friends, movie, marathon, day off with the kids.  Oh and start science fair experiments.  God, I beg you to help us on that one.

Loving the moments:: when a child asks me to snuggle him.  You always say yes to a child that wants to snuggle.  Always.

I am always wanting family pictures.  I think it stems from the fact that we never took family photos growing up.  Whatever the reason, I am always a PITA about taking pictures on big occasions.  Christmas morning at mass, we took our usual picture and I messed it up by doing some closed mouth smile.  To be fair to me, it wasn’t that good of a picture, but clearly, I ruined it.  Then later that evening, our neighbor came over to take a picture of my entire family.  I was so interested in getting that picture that I forgot to take another picture of just my immediate family.  I figured no big deal, we’ll take one on the Feast of the Holy Family, pictured below.  My mom took the picture, we’re not centered, Alec was pissed at me because I wanted him to wear his coat.  And there you have it, our family picture for this Christmas season.

Taken on the Feast of the Holy Family~ we are so not the Holy Family and this picture clearly reflects that, but shows a bit of who we are.

Taken on the Feast of the Holy Family~ we are so not the Holy Family and this picture clearly reflects that, but shows a bit of who we are.

 

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A small blogging effort

By | Posted January 14, 2015

Posted in Random | 4 Comments »

I can’t say just how many posts I start and then never finish.  One day, I’m finishing them all.  Despite the fact that some of them are over a year old.  For my memories, or the kids.  All I can say is the money I spent for this site this year has been wasted.  Do I bother renewing next year at the rate I’m writing?

So what’s new?

I got a new phone!  Finally!  A phone that doesn’t speed up while I’m listening to music while running, that isn’t the slowest thing ever.  It’s so sleek.  I feel so special until Lance tells me he is getting a new one too.  I mean, really?  I can’t have the new phone first for a while?

This second I’m attempting to study for the spelling bee with Alec.  The bee is Friday.  He’s known that he qualified for almost a month.  Has he studied?  Not one bit.  I am trying to remember that his refusal to study isn’t a reflection on me.  Or really him.  There are some pretty random words on the list.  I’m having to have the computer pronounce words for me because I’ve got no clue what they mean or how to say them.

*** I started this on a Monday night.  Friday was the spelling bee.  He got third place.  Third freaking place.  At TH Rogers.  If you don’t know what this means, well, I’m not saying.  Just know, he fucking rocked it.  And had he bothered to ask for the definition, he would have stayed in even longer.  Possibly won.  Regardless, I’m proud.  And while, the definition may have assisted him on the word that knocked him out, I’m happy he wasn’t one of those kids asking for a definition for each word.  One girl, the winner in fact, asked for the definition, the word origin and to use in a sentence every. single. time.  Really???  Give me a fucking break.  Except she did win.

Can I say how much I hate fifth grade so far?  Not the teachers,  just the work.  Projects nonstop.  With no educational benefit.  Only thing that happens is I get pissed.  I yell.  I apologize and Goose finishes his project.  The science teacher had the nerve to tell me that “science fair was driving her crazy.”  I asked how her she thought the parents felt.  She had no answer.

Things have gotten so bad that Alec is spending part of his break completing an AR project.  IF he chooses not to complete it  by Sunday, he loses basketball for 2015.  All of it.  He’s pretty good, so I can only hope he gets it together.  Why?  Let’s just say the last two projects have had him up until almost midnight the before the due dates.  While I think the projects themselves are dumb and without value, his grades depend on them and they aren’t difficult.

***Yet another post, I can’t finish.

Let’s see- Christmas vacation was wonderful.  Too short.  But we had a blast.  Doing nothing, just hanging together.  That makes me happy.

Best present ever- stay at the Houstonian with my husband.  We watched three movies and had a wonderful dinner at Caracol.  Fabulous drink and food to die for.  AND…I even woke up super early and ran 20 miles one of the mornings.  I literally left my sleeping husband at the Houstonian to run 20 miles.  Who does that???  Someone training for the marathon.  Not what I wanted, but needed to get one last long run before the marathon.

That gift was the absolute best present.  I am always telling my husband and parents that memories or events are the best gifts.  Maybe not at the time, especially to kids who like to unwrap gifts over and over.  But in the end, what they remember is the event.  The day after Christmas I took the kids to see the Rockettes.  Another gift for me because it’s super pricey to take five people to Hobby Center, especially if you like sitting in the Orchestra section.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  And since it was a present for me, I have to say it was totally worth every penny and I am glad I had that over something else.

Next year Snax wants to hit NYC for winter break.  He says he understands that a trip like that in December would mean no Christmas gifts, but I’m not sure.  His reason for going?  He wants to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.  We read a new book this year titled, The Carpenter’s Gift and it was about the Rockefeller tree.  One morning, Snax saw the tree on the Today show and is now obsessed.  I love that kid.

Speaking of Snax, man, has he moved up in the power rankings.  Last year we noticed he started having an interest in sports.  My dad has season tickets to the Rockets so we took him to some games, and he always paid attention unlike some of his older brothers.  It was the same way at the Longhorn game we went to this Fall.  And now it’s morphed into the NFL.  God, I love this kid.  For many, many reasons, but listening to him while watching the games is so much fun.  He knows a lot for his age and cares.  Tells brothers to move out of the way so he can watch.  AND..the best part, he wakes up asking for scores.  Can you say top of the list?

Ok, our power rankings change all the time, hourly, by the minute, BUT, let’s just say he’s had a strong year.  While others haven’t.  (No names.)

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Snax’s week

By | Posted October 21, 2014

Posted in Snax | 4 Comments »

Snax started off the school year with all E’s in conduct.  I had high hopes it might last since last year his conduct was pretty amazing.

Since the first three weeks of school, he’s had quite the time.  He moved to S’s in conduct and follows classroom rules rather quickly.  He likes to tell me he has more E’s overall than S’s.  He’s right, its just that the E’s aren’t in things that really matter.

In one week he:

  • managed to get into an argument with a friend and tell her he wished she hadn’t come to his house.  When I asked him why he said that, he totally admitted it and said he didn’t want someone at his house that was mean to him.  Which I get, except the “coming to my house” incident had occurred weeks ago.
  • He also broke a girl’s pencil.
  • I then got an email from the teacher saying he was caught screaming in the bathroom.  Just screaming really loudly for no reason.  Of course, he denied it, which yes, makes me proud.
  • He also got caught messing with the water fountains in the hallway
  • And to top that week off, he earned a P in conduct for playing roughly on the playground.

This week, he left the classroom without getting the substitute teacher’s permission.  She freaked out.  He went to the bathroom and while there, threw wet paper towels at another child in the bathroom, earning himself a quick trip to the principal’s office.  Thankfully, the only concern for the entire incident was him leaving the classroom.

This is the Snax I expected at school.  I’m not sure if I’m happy or not.  He is excelling in academics so I guess I don’t mind too much.

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Why I Am Running

By | Posted October 16, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

People always ask me how I can run.  It’s so boring, they say.  It’s not for me.  Honestly, it gives me time alone with my own thoughts.  Time to pray, daydream, plan for my day and mainly just relax.  Time truly for myself.

I start and end each run thinking of the same thing~ a boy named Sam.

Last January, I saw several posts on FB of people who had finished the Houston Marathon or the Half.  One post caught my eye~ a friend’s husband.  He had run for a charity~ Run for Our Sons.  I saw it and promised myself that this year, I would run the half for the same reason.

You need more info.

Back up to January 2013~ I’m chatting with a friend who had just found out she was pregnant with her third child.  Toward the end of the call, she asked for prayers. She was going to TCH that week to find out the results of some blood work for her son.  He had had some motor issues that she was concerned about early on.  She did all she could to find out if he was just hitting milestones a bit slower or if there was something indeed wrong.  Eventually, her son was in PT and then the pediatrician recommended she see a neurologist.  It took several months to get into TCH’s neurology department, but they finally saw the doctor in November of 2012.  The appointment in January was to go over the blood work.  The prayer was that there would be a clear answer and her son could move forward.

January 11, 2013, I got a text that read:  Sam has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Honestly, I didn’t know what that was.  I was sitting in the parking lot in front of the UPS store and googled it.

Then I just sat there in shock.  I cried.   Because what I read was horrible.  It’s a disease that affects muscles, making them grow weaker.  Duchenne is a fatal disease.  Period.  There is no cure.  Period.  According to the PPMD website, men generally live into their late twenties.

Late twenties.

This is the news that was thrown at my friend that day.  News that there was a countdown.  News no parent should have to hear regarding their child.

Sam is 2 weeks older than Snax.  Two weeks.  That means that he is in first grade. In first grade, he continues to go to therapy, is now wearing leg braces and has to take medication which will hopefully help slow down this awful disease.

There are no words to describe how I felt that day when I got Emily’s text.  I sobbed on the phone with her and vowed to pray and do whatever else I could to help.

I’m just the friend.  She and her husband have lived this harsh reality since January 11, 2013.  It never leaves their mind.  And they have chosen to fight.  They are raising money for PPMD through various fundraisers.  There is a fun run for Sam next month that Lance is MC-ing and they never give up.  Running the half was another way to raise money and awareness.

Now I am training for the Marathon in January.  I worry I won’t be able to run for basically 4 plus hours.  But I’m motivated by a little boy with the sweetest smile on his face and two amazing parents I’m proud to call my friends.

I’m posting a link to my fundraising page.  Really, it’s not mine.  It’s for Sam and all the other boys that have this miserable disease.  It’s not fair that anyone should live with this disease, so please help me raise money for a cure.  Any donation is appreciated.

I won’t lie and say I don’t like running.  I do, but each step is inspired by a little boy named Sam.

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Five For Friday

By | Posted September 26, 2014

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I literally don’t know where the time goes.  I started this post over a month ago.  And instead of finding five new things to write about, I’ll just add to this list.  Make a few corrections and basically, just finally post something.

:: We survived our first week of school.  We managed to get there on time, though we’ve yet to arrive early.  The boys are counting on their Mimi to get them there tomorrow so they can go to the library and visit with friends.  Snax completed his first tiny project~ just a what’s in your in mind thing.  He was supposed to fill a head with whatever he thinks about, good and bad.  He chose: the family, playing with his brothers, Snoopy, Legos, Lola, pizza, robbers, fire ants, nature, books, school and God.  I didn’t realize he was worried about robbers, but turns out he is.  He has to present it to class, and I’m hoping his teacher will think he is as cute and sweet as I did tonight watching him practice.  He wiggles a lot while talking, so much so you think he needs to use the restroom.  Here’s the thing, I don’t want that to change yet. In a few years, fine, but for now, I just want him to stay the same.

The teacher had parents complete a form about their child and one of the questions asked what do you like best about your child, (at least I think that was the question).  My response: “that he is six and acts like it.  He won’t be rushed into growing up despite having three older brothers.  The fact that he has so much to learn.  The twinkle in his eyes and his sweet smile.”   Snax is a pretty fantastic kid.  He breaks most toys within twenty-four hours, is turning in a wrinkled mind map tomorrow, but he just rocks.

Updated to add: we just completed our second project.  A timeline of his life.  He had four days to complete it.  He started last night.  There were a few tense moments, but it’s a good project overall.  It took him quite some time to choose just five items from his life, but after some fussing he chose just five.  And then when he practiced, I just fell in love with this kid all over again.  I wish everyone could see just how awesome he is.  I asked his teacher how he did, and she said he was great today.  He made eye contact, didn’t kick his leg like he had been doing and told everyone he was mad because I made him choose only five events from his life.

That kid- total charmer.

SO…I had four of these written and per usual, they are gone.

:: We went to Virginia for Labor Day weekend.  My friend’s daughter got married.  And let’s just stop right there…I am old enough that I have friends whose kids are getting married.  Rarely do I feel old.  But man, how did that happen?

The trip was great, but too fast.  We flew into DC and spent the afternoon there.  We waited an hour to get the rental car which affected some of the sites we were able to see, but overall, it was a great day.  Just made me excited to take the kids there in the next few years.

My friend Sarah is the best cook I know, and I have a lot of friends who can cook.  Saturday she hosted a breakfast at her place.  Lance kept asking why I didn’t make her recipes more often.  Same thing happened Sunday at lunch.

The wedding itself was awesome, tons of great details that were so Sarah, but really it was just great to see my friend.  Even in that setting where she was entertaining everyone.  Made me miss her even more, but I am so glad we went.

:: We took Sunshine with us on that trip.  Something about being Daddy’s little girl.  She was great though.  We went to Monticello, and she still walks around saying Monticello with an Italian accent like our guide taught her to say.  She can tell you it’s Jefferson’s home too.  She was awesome.  Especially on the plane ride. She helped me with some of my anxiety as well.  I didn’t have my Xanax so I was slightly manic but having to pretend for her was good for me.  That and the Titos vodka.

:: I’ve yet to post about our awesome trip to SF, and I plan to soon.  Until then, this is my story.  Any reader knows I can’t stand to fly.  I hate it, don’t care about statistics and how driving is more dangerous.  I can’t stand it.  Period.  I take more Xanax than most people my size take and I still get a racing heart and sweaty palms every time I fly.

My entire family went to SF- meaning my parents and brother’s family.  Everyone went.  Except Drake.  He was taking classes and couldn’t go with us.  And boy did he miss us.  I sent him a text from the airport telling him to say a quick prayer for his mom and that  I’d see him soon.  We got on the plane and waited.

And waited.

I told Lance something was up because we were taking too long to take off.  He brushed me off, then two seconds later, the captain is talking about how they are checking to make sure the plane is flight worthy due to a scratch on the wing.

I about flipped.

I heard my mom say, “well, she’s going to lose it.”

I implored my husband to get off the plane.  What about Drake?  He was home waiting for us.  Us- the people on a plane that might not be flight worthy.

He ignored me.  I went to my father who was less interested. I tried to play on his guilt.  We were Drake’s family- with one drop from the sky, he’d be all alone.  How could we leave him alone to make his way in the world.

It didn’t work.  Nobody listened.  And fine, we made it home safely.  Late, but safe.  In fact, Drake was asleep by the time we walked in the door.

So yes, the ride was okay, but I still hate flying.  HATE IT.

:: Tomorrow night is game night.  I can’t wait.  It’s one of my favorite things ever.  We always play games with Paul and Brian, but rarely with our friends here.  And never with our families.  Which sucks because how awesome would that be?   Years ago we used to play cards with my uncles, but we haven’t done that since I got married.  And I love games, I have an entire closet full of them.  We’ve played a few times over the last year with friends, and I’m hoping to make it a quarterly thing.  Anyway, my friend Laura is hosting, and I’m psyched.  It should be a simple yet fun night.  With lots of wine.  I’m pretty happy!

So I made it to five.  I have lots swirling in my mind, and hopefully, I find some rhythm and start writing again on a regular basis.

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All Smiles

By | Posted August 25, 2014

Posted in pictures, school | 1 Comment »

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This morning didn’t go quite as planned.  We certainly weren’t early, but instead got there just in time.  Somebody changed clothing plans this morning, then another remembered they had new shoes in the closet, then we tried to take pictures at home…but we made it.  Found a friend to retake our picture in front of the school and waved Goose good-bye. I walked Snax and Baby Hulk to class.  It was sweet listening to the teachers talk to the kids, then Sunshine and I were on our way to the gym.  We went back for lunch, and the boys were all smiles.  Here’s praying for a good year!

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At Summers End

By | Posted August 25, 2014

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With the sound of a whistle and the call of adult swim, summer is officially over.  We spent the afternoon swimming, rushed through showers, made pizzas, read books and prayed.  Kids in bed by 9:30.  Lance’s goal was 8:15~ no clue what he was thinking.  Snax didn’t fall asleep until after 10.  Tomorrow is going to be hard for him.  And the others.  Even my early bird child hasn’t been awake before 7:30 this past week.

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Tomorrow it starts.  Another year of school.  We talked about expectations for the year, goals and ways to make things happen.  I had small instructions for Snax and BH~ stay away from each other on the playground if you can’t control yourself.  Reminded Snax to write his full name and try and spell our last name correctly.  And for him to just write and not over think it.  I’ll admit I’m worried about him, not enough to spend time over the summer working on handwriting or anything else, but I just can’t see him doing as much as is expected this year.

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Really, I just want the kids to have a great year.  As far as learning goes, it’s nothing big or grand.  Much to my dismay, this school is full of ordinary, uninspired curriculum and work.  The same tired stories, same worksheets, same spelling words (not kidding, I compared Goose and BH’s), same projects…nothing changes to make the learning inspired.  Since the learning isn’t inspired, I just want good friends, nice teachers that will push when necessary and help when needed.  Not too much to ask.

But at home..we’ll do inspired.  I’m putting together my evening basket.  A version of a home schoolers morning basket and I’m so excited about it.  It won’t be what I want overall, but it’s a small something to ground our day and come together through reading, poetry, art, history and religion.

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I mentioned that our summer was intentional, not rushed or forced.  This last week was rushed.  I had a list of several things I wanted to do with the kids from bowling and skating to buying clothes to a playdate with a friend we haven’t seen in awhile to taking Goose to a movie with a friend to swimming at least three days.  We managed to do it all.  And yet, I still found my boys playing nonstop with their Legos and matchbox cars.  We did a lot, too much probably, but we kept things in small doses and it was great fun.  Of all things, my ten year old was having some sort of battle with matchbox cars~ the ones I refused to donate just a month ago.

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Summer was great.  And sure, I’m going to miss my boys like crazy tomorrow and for the days to come.  But thankfully, we have some great memories from this summer.

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