Monday, July 30, 2012

God's Promise

We got some difficult news on Friday.

Nothing life one's sick, no one's hurt...still bad news.

News that will set us back.  News that will derail some plans.  News that is going to force us to take a hard look at things and make decisions.  Tough decisions.  But really, I don't want to talk about it.  Don't want to go into details.  That's not what this is about. 

After dinner Clif and I opened a couple of beers and watched the kids play in the water table on the deck until it started to rain. We packed it up and went inside.  As I finished cleaning up from dinner, Ainsley called us back to the window.

It was the brightest rainbow I had ever seen.  My iPhone camera doesn't do it justice.  I think, it was also the first full rainbow I had ever seen.

"It's God's promise, Mommy," Ainsley said.

Grandma's influence, not mine.

I nodded.  It's been a long time since I knew with all certainty that God was on my side.  That he was there making plans and carrying them through.  But in that moment, I believed it because I needed to.

So I'm trying to do what I am so terrible at doing, I'm trying to let it go and just pray that it all works out.

Now if only I could find that pot of gold, all my problems really would be solved!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Apparently, I've Lost My Mind

About a year ago I started running again.  I actually wouldn't call what I was doing back then "running" so much as "slow jogging."  I did the Couch to 5K program.  I really can't say enough about this program.  I am one to jump in head first and burn out fast.  This program makes you take your time and trains your tired, out-of-shape, body into one that can actually complete a 5K run.

So I followed it, and here I am a year later, still "running."  I'm a tiny bit faster now, so I guess I'll keep calling it running.  Up until this week, I've been pretty consistent.  I run three times a week, 30 minutes each time.  Some days that gives me 3 miles, sometimes it's closer to 2.5.  I'm pretty slow.

But I changed that up a bit this week.  After my 3 miles tonight, I will have run 4 times since Monday.  I will then do a 4 mile run sometime this weekend.


Two reasons.

1 - I went to the doctor for a complete physical and blood workup.  I passed with flying colors, but she mentioned that maybe I should lose a little weight.  I've lost 16 pounds in the last year.  Not great, but not too bad.  I'd like to lose another 15 to be within my ideal weight range.  Her best advice, since I'm eating healthy and seem to be getting all the nutrients I need...exercise more.  Take my 3 times a week to 5 times a week.  It doesn't have to be running, but I can't afford a gym and I've learned that unless I get out of my house, I find too many reasons not to do it.  So running gets me out and is the hardest, fastest workout I can do in the shortest amount of time.

2 - My sister.  See, I have this little sister and she is all super healthy and fit these days.  Awesome for her.  She looks and feels amazing.  She decided that we should run a half marathon, and though I know that I am more of a 3 - 6 mile kind of girl, I decided I should try and challenge myself.  So on October 20th I will attempt to not die while I run 13.1 miles.  In order to be as prepared as possible, I need to run more.  Nine miles a week wasn't going to cut it.  I know, I'm insane.

So that's why. 

I'm following a 12 week training program and I already know that it's going to be tough.  Fitting in a run 3 times a week was difficult, now fitting one in 4-5 times a week?  It's going to be close to impossible.  But, I'm going to try.  I did get a double jogging stroller so I can take my kids with me on runs.  But let me tell you something about a double jogging stroller...

HOLY HELL!!!!  It may kill me.  I did my first real run with both kids in it last night and I barely made it through 2 miles.  Adding the weight of the jogging stroller, plus the combined 65 pounds of my two children, plus the fact that you can't really move your arms to help propel's rough!

I was looking for information about how many additional calories I might burn using the stroller.  I couldn't find any formula or scientific answer but I did see multiple people saying things like "Well it can't be that many because there's no real resistance," or "I mean, it has wheels, so it can't be that difficult," or "No extra calories since it's moving with it's own momentum."

I say to those people...BULL SH*T!!!!!!!  I may go track down those answers/posts and leave some very descriptive language in their comment sections.  It was definitely one of the toughest runs I've completed in a long time.  But I guess that's what this is about...this whole half marathon craziness...pushing myself, getting myself that much closer to a healthy life, accomplishing something I never thought I could.

Ainsley looked back from her comfy seat in the stroller last night and said "Mommy?  Are you sweating?" 
"Yes," I gasped.
"But Mommy, I'm not sweating."

She said it with such amazement and shock that I had to laugh.  So if you see me huffing and puffing behind my children's chariot...I'll be okay, just have a glass of water and a massage waiting for me at the end.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Give Up

So this is what it's come to...

Ainsley's mattress on our bedroom floor. I'm tired. I'm over it. I'm done. I can't fight with her over bedtime anymore. And I'm done complaining about it on this blog.
So if she will go to sleep here and I can have one hour before my own bedtime, then I give in and she wins.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ew, Just Ew...

If you know me in real life, you know that I do not like to discuss bodily functions.  Bodily functions are super gross to me.  I'm not very intimate with many people, so this is not something I talk about with most.  I don't even talk about it with Clif much.  It just 'ewws' me out.

But, I have to write this why not share it with all of you...luckily, it's not about me.

If you know my husband in real life, you know that he is a bit...gassy.  Some of you, that really know my husband, are laughing hysterically at this since gassy is a very nice way of saying it.

Clif could win awards for his gassiness. 

Anyway, last week Clif, Freddie, and I are sitting at the table.  We had just finished dinner and I cleaned up and then gave Freddie a lollipop for dessert.  We are watching Freddie with his treat and all is quiet until I hear the oh familiar sound of Clif's rear end on a wooden chair.

I give him my typical disgusted look and Freddie says "What dat noisy-noisy?"

Clif and I laughed, which made him laugh.

Next thing we know, all is quiet again and Freddie is straining until we hear a little "POP" and he laughs hysterically.

Then again, strain, "POP," laugh.

"Freddie," I ask "did you just toot?"

"Yeah, me toot!"

Clif lost it.  He laughed so hard he had tears running out of his eyes.

Great Clif...great.  Awesome example for our 2 year old.  Heaven help me when he's old enough to compete with his father.  I may have to get my own apartment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Ponyrific Time Was Had By Every-pony!

My sweet little 5 year old.

Another birthday party in the books.  Phew!  This one?  Was stressful.

Let me introduce you to Ainsley's newest obsession...

My Little Pony. 

Not the My Little Pony from the 80's the My Little Pony from RIGHT NOW.  That's right, along with every other TV show and toy from our youth, My Little Pony has gotten the re-boot, with (as my sister in law says) "sluttier ponies."

I actually think they're pretty, and I asked my sister in law how they could be slutty if they don't wear clothes and she said "Those long eyelashes and flirty looks."

Okay, I guess I could see it, but I don't think that's why Ainsley likes it and actually, I prefer this show over some of the other things she watches used to watch.

But I'm getting off topic.

My Little Pony party...focus...

So these ponies are kind of new.  So guess what?  No stuff.  I had to actually plan a real party and be creative instead of picking up the picture plates and napkins from my local party store.  I so did not have time for that!

I searched and searched for invites...nada.  Anything that did come up was old MLP.  Ainsley was not amused.  Old MLP does not look like new MLP...remember slutty, flirty?  The party store had anything MLP related on clearance...because again, OLD stuff.  Which also meant they had a total of two packages of party hats and 3 plastic cups.

So I created my own theme.  These pics will probably mean nothing to you unless you are a fan, but here they are anyway...

Okay, quick explanations so you can fully understand my awesomness...Pinkie Pie is a pony and she love sweets and laughter and lives in a this is Pinkie Pie's sweet shop (you can't read it but the sign says that).  I made a Rainbow cake, fruity pony treats (rice krispy treats made with fruity pebbles) and haystacks to stick with the pony theme.

Twilight Sparkle is the main character.  She is super smart and is learning all about magic.  Here she lost her horn so the kids had to pin the horn on the unicorn.

Fluttershy's virtue is kindness.  She loves animals and is soft spoken and sweet.
So I created a little meadow filled with stuffed critters.  I meant it for decoration but some of the littler kids went to town with the furry pets.

Rainbow Dash is loyal and always up for adventure.

She's so fast that she sometimes creates a sonic rainboom.  This is the pinata we busted open on the front lawn.

Rarity is generous and loving.  She's the most beautiful unicorn in all of Equestria.

She's also a fashion designer, so here kids could decorate their own hats.

Finally, Applejack.  Applejack is hard working and honest.

She also runs the Orchard/Farm that supplies food for the ponies.  We had apples, carrots and lots of other yummy food to eat like ponies.

Ainsley even dressed up as one of the characters.

Princess Celestia is in charge of all the land and Ainsley's favorite.  I made her a unicorn horn as well but it didn't stay on so well.

And I sprayed my hair pink, you can see it a bit in this picture.  If you're wondering, it's still a bit pink.

It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun.  Ainsley had a ponytastic ball, and I guess that was the point.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Be Brave, Be Happy

Dear Ainsley,

Today you are five (and two days - we had so much fun Monday that I never got around to posting this, and last night, well - let's just not worry about the sleep issues for now).  Five.  Five years since I was handed the most precious little girl and told to go raise her.

Raising a little girl is wonderful.  But also...scary.  I've been a girl for almost 35 years and I'm still not really sure what this world expects from us.  We're supposed to be sweet and likable, but not too sweet or likable because then we're pushovers and sending the wrong message.  Society tells us to be strong and ambitious...but again, not too strong or ambitious because then we're bitches.

So it's not easy to know what to focus on.

I remember sitting in your nursery when you were so tiny.  I was rocking you to sleep and I was saying little prayers in my head.

Please let me be a good mom.  Please let me show her how to be stronger than me, smarter than me, kinder than me.  Please let her laugh more than me, do more than me, and go further than me.

When you have a baby, you have a lot of dreams for that kid.  A lot of hopes and you want her to have and be so much more than yourself.

Sometimes, those signals get mixed.  It's not always possible to teach strength and compassion in the same lesson.  But 5 years in to this whole parenting thing, I think I can boil it down to two things.

I hope that you're brave. 

Not necessarily brave in the sense of saving the world or throwing yourself in front of a speeding bullet.  Being brave doesn't have to be such a grand gesture.  Brave is that little thing you do to push yourself just a little bit further.  Brave is sharing your sandwich with the kid who forgot his lunch.  Brave is standing up for your little brother.  Brave is saying "I love you" when you feel it.  Brave is raising your hand in class. 

I've seen you be brave.  I've watched you introduce yourself to kids on the playground.  That's brave.  I've seen you dance on stage in front of lots of people.  That's brave. 

I want you to hold on to that.  Be brave enough to believe in yourself.  Be brave enough to do what's right, even if it's not easy.

I hope that you're happy. 

Happiness doesn't mean you get everything you want.  Happiness doesn't mean you're always right or you always succeed.  Being happy is being okay with you and your choices no matter the circumstances.  Happiness isn't fitting in or standing out.  It's not being normal or being different.  It's being exactly who you are.

You are a happy girl.  You never hide your feelings.  You never pretend to be something you're not.  You are you. 

Always remember who you are and you will always be happy.

Five is going to hold a lot of exciting new challenges for you.  It's the start to a whole new phase of life.  You'll be exposed to new things, new people, new ideas.  I can't teach you about all of them.  I can't protect you from everything.  But I hope I've given you the tools to take them all on.

Happy Birthday Ainsley Bug.  I love you,
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