Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy 13th Anniversary !!

Today, I will be celebrating my 13th year anniversary!

SO,

DON'T call, because I WON'T be answering my phone,
DON'T stop by, because I WON'T be answering the door
DON'T email ,because I WON'T be any where near my computer
DON'T text, because I WON'T be able to respond-
AND PLEASE DON'T BE OFFENDED,
because I WILL be spending all day with my best friend, the love of my life, and the most amazing husband any one could ever ask for...in bed, with lots of kissing, and other stuff, TMI? TOO BAD!
TODAY, I am celebrating the greatest gift I have ever gotten, my marriage, you see I think a great marriage is a gift from God and I think it is fun and Sexy to be happily married after 13 yrs!and counting. and that is worth Celebrating!!

Thank you Bob, for making the last 13 yrs of my life, the most amazing, exciting, incredible, challenging, passionate, adventurous and fuller than I ever could have imagined!
I Love you! You are my density! (he will get it) I'll stop the world and melt with you... you complete me..okay, okay, now you can all go throw-up!! ha ha ha.. but really don't call:)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Homeschooling 101


I had three mom's from Regan's old school want to meet me last Monday for information on homeschooling. Apparently, after one year of homeschooling, I am an expert, trend setting, homeschooling rebel mom! When I decided to home school last year, I think they all thought I went nuts,and that Regan would be coming to Jr. Girl scouts in dresses made out of my living room drapes! Not the case, my drapes are WAY too expensive!!

Anyway, I was both flattered and excited to share what I have learned during my first year at homeschooling! I showed them the curriculum I used, what worked for me, and what didn't. I showed them my lesson plans and how I kept myself organized.
I told them about the unbridled passion I now have for something I thought I would loathe, and started out only doing for the "mom Badge" that would surely be presented to me at the end of this first and only year!
I encouraged them with all the logistics of homeschooling.I quoted someone who said to me "In order for homeschooling to be successful you must home school and not bring school home!" and after it was all said and done(5hrs later!) all three are planning to commit to homeschooling next year, one has already told the school.
What I couldn't express to them was how much their lives would change. How they will get to know their children better than anyone else. That they will experience emotions that run the gamut,at times extreme joy and other times threatening to call the local school and sign them up immediately the next day!!(empty threats!)it works!
That they will get to watch, first hand, your child who struggles at something finally "get it", and the excitement that shows in your child's eyes , melts your heart with pride! That the growth that will take place within themselves is indescribable, that how I thought I would "teach" Regan so much, but I actually became the "student" this last year.
That learning, not only about who my child is and celebrating how God created her, but that I learned so much about myself and how God created ME. That our family life is no longer passing by on the hamster wheel of life, but that it has slowly become intertwined with each others passions,hopes and dreams.
That my daughter has gained confidence in her ability to do "math" and that its not just for "boys", that she can spend time reading leisurely, cooking in the kitchen, and learning to sew. That sometimes she is "bored",and that's okay! and most importantly that I have decided on what my "legacy" will be to my children, not anyone else.

No, I couldn't describe these things to them, because it will be different for each one. They will make their own memories, they will see their own changes within themselves and their families, it will become their own legacy. AND next year they will each have three friends wanting to know why their life is "different", and they will become the experts on homeschooling!

Regan and I just finished our First year in homeschooling! We are so excited, We did it! Regan is now officially a 5th grader! Way to go Regan, You Rock.

Kindergarten Ready!


We had our "end of the year" teacher conference with Nolan's pre-k teacher. Yes, he is coloring in the lines, can say his ABC's, and can count to 15, hop on one foot, and knows all his colors/shapes. It was a great review.

The teacher also went on to say that he is a wonderful little boy:) That he is polite, a good friend and an intense listener. She said that Nolan had this quiet confidence about him, that whether he is placed in a group setting or alone, he could handle any situation. She then told us that she used him as an example during group work , because he always wanted to do his best work( where is my son and what have you done with him?!). And that he definately was kindergarten ready!

It is so good to hear what the fruit of you labor produces, when you are not around your children. because when he is around us, all he talks about is burping, farting, boogers, bugs, dirt, and of course butts!

He is such a joy!

Unwanted Gift

okay, can someone be mad at you if they get you a present that you told them the week before you didn't want? then they come home really excited about giving you your present and it is the thing you told them you didn't want? and then you try to be happy about it, but can't-then you've made them feel bad and then you feel bad, and well, too bad! so now they are taking it back:)
Bob brought me home a battery extra pack thingy for my camera for our anniversary! Now, it wasn't a "cheap" present by any means$$$ it is just HELLO our 13 yr anniversary! Diamonds,flowers,spa gift certificate?! He was so excited, that I would be able to take 100 million pictures without ever changing the battery...this may sound exciting to some of you, but for me, I don't get it?! I guess it is a really cool camera accessory, and it could be useful.
Unfortuanley, I don't want useful, I want romance! unless it is a 300 lens for the camera, that would be pretty cool, I would LOVE that.(hint if Bob is reading this)-
Well , you gotta love a man for trying, at least I didn't get a toaster or vacuum for Christmas!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wise Words

Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till "some other time."

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby.... somebody doesn't know that once you're a Mother, "normal" is history.

Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first. ..somebody doesn't have two or more children.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a Mother is labor and delivery... somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten...or on a plane headed for military "boot camp."

Somebody said a Mother can stop worrying after her child gets married... somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a Mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a Mother's job is done when her last child leaves home... somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your Mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her. ..somebody isn't a Mother.

This isn't just about being a Mother; it's about appreciating the people in your lives while you have them....no matter who that person is.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your Habits, they become character.
Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting somekind of battle".

'As you mature, you realize it's better to find someone who's got your back than someone who turns your head.

'There comes a time in your life when you realize who matters, who never did and who always will. Don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason they didn't make it to your future.'

In Remembrance Dad 11/26/40-04/25/2005


It has been three years since my Dad's death and it hasn't gotten any easier. I keep waiting for him to call. 'Hey Bren" , I can hear his laugh , I can still smell his cologne. I still miss him. I have days that I think he is not gone. and then I have bad "dad" days. I don't know if it gets any easier, or when. I just miss him.

I wish I would have answered the phone more, told him "I love you" more, listened to his advice, (oh what I wouldn't give for some of dad's advice), laughed with him more, hugged him a little longer the last time I saw him, touch him once more.. one more time.. if only's.. what I wouldn't give... time.. don't waste it, forgive, forget, love,love again, laugh harder, play longer, slow down, Enjoy Life... it is only a brief moment of time. Time.. to have a little more of it, it is never long enough.

I love you Dad, you may be gone but, never forgotten.
My dad in the Chicago Marathon, Dad ran his"race" well! Go Dad!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

These Pictures of You!


I was going through pictures yesterday. I found so many of Bob and I pre-marriage and post marriage. Boy, that man must really love me! Let's see, I have had long hair, short hair, short bangs, long bangs, big hair(the perm), flat hair,- I have weighed 185lbs (giving birth to Regan)#1 of my reasons to not do "that" again! the least 110, too skinny.

I wore bell bottoms, skinny jeans, rolled -up jeans, faded jeans, ripped jeans, and overalls! I had no tan, tanning bed tan, and the what I like to call the "what about Mary" tan!

I was a vegetarian, protester, Democrat, liberal, turned conservative, Republican! WOW! and let's not forget I went from a 19 yr old firm, perky breasted girl, to a 37 yr old woman with stretch marks(from kids) to not so "perky" boobs,and if not colored, grey hair!

I am always changing, but what hasn't changed in 18 years, is the way he always looks at me even when I am looking my worst! He has always seen the best part of me, not on the outside, but what is "inside" of me, he has always loved me for who I am. and who I am is because of his unfailing love!

Looking back is always fun to do, our style has changed, our music, our clothes, our waistline:),our cars (bob drove a 280Z, now a minivan!),our politics. Even our love for one another has changed, it has grown to depths unimaginable, it has changed into something stronger,deeper, more passionate.

The past is always fun to look at and reminisce about, even laugh at, but for me, I look forward to our future, our plans, our dreams , our ever-changing love for one another!

Oh, and as for Bob,he looks the exact same to me, I still see him today as that same 22yr.old boy I met 18 years ago at Chi Chi's, when my heart started pounding, my breath caught in my chest, my head started spinning, and I began feeling a little dizzy, and right then at that moment knowing that I would spend the rest of my life with him.






these picture are from Bob and I in May 1991-8 months after we started dating!

Celebrate

I always get nostalgic in April. I have Two anniversaries , one the most tragic, my father's death, and the other the happiest day of my life, my wedding- Ironic-Two days that I feel the most intense feelings. From sadness to Joy! all within a few days of each other. It is just another reminder that Joy does come in the morning. That to really grow, to live, in life we cannot and will not experience one without the other. They are inseparable, united.
To love means inevitably you will not only feel, but experience pain, at times unbearable. I do not know how anyone gets through either without Christ!
For me, I welcome both, it is when I am truly feeling the depths of both that I experience life, and understand God's amazing love and Grace-So, tomorrow I will go down to my father's niche and celebrate his life, and then five days later, I will go out and celebrate my life,my marriage!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Friend


This is an email from my "new" friend and fellow triathlete! This is Becky, the one in the other articles I told you about! I am so thrilled and amazed how God places people in your lives, when you least expect it. Gail and I went there to complete a race , and we were blessed with a new friend! God is good. I thought I would share some of her email with you. It is just another reminder that every day God give us, there is new opportunity, to meet someone new or do something new and sometimes both! I just love that!
From Becky to Me:
I read your blog and have now both laughed and cried :-) Your articles were wonderful, inspirational, funny, and now I think I may actually want to do another one!
I feel like I have made 2 great new friends. I believe God put us in each others path (well, more like I joined your path) to help us complete that race.
By the way, on a positive note I looked on the results page and we were not actually last. TECHNICALLY, one guy came in after me, but that was pretty much because he didn't finish at all. That must have been the guy who we passed during our walk, and then we never saw him again! :-) Hey, all I know is that there was one name listed after mine on the results page!!
I enjoyed meeting both of you so much

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bob's New Toy








This is Bob's new Challenger 300 as it is today on the production line! They will take delivery of it in Oct.2008! Awesome-This is a sweet ride! This really does excite us, just think when I met my man he was impressing me by taking me in rides on a Cessna 172 ( I was easy!) It was a 4 seater) My,my Bob has come a long way.This plane Rocks!


Dad


This week is the anniversary week of my father's death. I have joined the "club of losing a parent. One that you wish to never become a part of, a club that you wish you could be forever "excluded" from- But unfortunately none of us are.We will all become members at one time or another, I just never thought my membership would be so early.
My dad was an amazing man. He was brilliant, he loved to read and do the New York Times crossword puzzles every morning! He loved words. He was a romantic. he taught us early on that life is all about relationships, that money is not real, and that knowledge is power. If you were lucky enough to learn this early in life, than your life would be filled with joy and happiness. He was the forever optimist! He always looked at the glass half full. He was full of energy, you knew when you spent a day with dad you would never be bored sitting around. I remember one time visiting him in Chicago, he wanted to know which restaurant really did serve the "best" hamburger, so we spent the whole day traveling around the city taking one bite of about 20 hamburgers, and rating each one to decide.I think he also had a drink at each joint, and with my dad that could have been the whole purpose of the venture! My dad was the epitome of life. He had few regrets, while other people wish they could, he did. When my dad walked into the room the energy increased, he was that kind of person. You were just drawn to him, he would make you feel good, he was always happy. He knew the secret to life. Live ,love, laugh and I can't forget drink!
My dad was a runner enthusiast. He completed marathons all over the world. Chicago,California,New York,Hawaii, San Fransisco,Orlando,Tampa..and the list continues. He instilled in us the importance of staying fit, keeping active.
I am my father's favorite! or so he always made me believe:) but I know that he had a unique relationship with each of us. I was the "baby",Vik the "daddy's little girl", Robbie the "boy",and Bobbie,the"black sheep"!
My dad was not perfect -I remember the normal father-daughter issues, but when someone is gone you seem to forget the bad stuff and focus on the good that they left behind! Especially because the good stuff always out ways the bad. Thank God.
So this week I wanted to introduce you to him,I want to share a few stories about my memories of my father, this is the way he will continue to live forever in my heart. His Legacy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Show Me the Money

Bob had some fancy, schmancy fund raiser to go to this weekend, and guess who decided to ride on his pilot wings and enjoy a few fringe benefits of being a Pilot's Wife? That's right, ME
In the morning, we took a ride in a challenger 300, this was courtesy of Bombardier, it seems when you decide to buy one of their planes for 24 million (I had to spell this-I do not know how many zeros that is!) they take you on a "demo" flight, so that you can "try' out your new plane, before actually taking delivery of it (October)! It rocked!
After this, we had to slum it and proceed to go to this function in the "Old" plane (the Lear 60) Ha ha- It would not be hard for me to get used to traveling this way, especially because the airlines suck, its a hurry up and wait at the airport,the pilots are drunk, and the stewardess.. well lets just say the standards have defiantly been lowered. I'm just kidding, the pilots aren't drunk.
Anyway, I cannot disclose the name of the function that we attended but, I can tell you it is awesome to see millionaires and billionaires (yes that is what I said) help out children who are suffering from illnesses and may have wishes that only this organization can fulfill! I realize now that Bob's career has allowed me, through the years, to experience not only destinations, but functions that only few people get to enjoy;) Although, with this does come the anxiety of what to wear, jewelry, nails, hair etc. I shop at Ross, I have a feeling these people think Ross is still dating Rachel!
I chose my Ross dress special, hey if I would have bought it at the fancy store it would have been a $59.99 dress, being the smart shopper that I am, I purchased this dress for $17.99, did my own hair, had nails done with "Diane", used my knock off NY special Coach purse, and picked up a few choice bobbles at Dillard's! I looked good!
So, this is what happens, I go to the bathroom to primp, and touch up my make-up, before I walk into function. I use new make-up ,check dress, and decide I need a little spray for my hair. I pick up one of the cans, and continue to spray my hair, fix it and spray again. Only to notice that instead of using hairspray, it was deodorant! Yes, it was arm pit juice! So now not only do I have to walk into this thing with my $17.99 Ross dress, my hair smells like armpits! I didn't really know what else to do , except to proceed to the party. I mingled, had a glass of wine, was hit on by a "swinging couple"(another story, but true),and saw some things that just,well no one should have to see,(it is a different world), and do you know I got so many compliments on the "perfume" that I was wearing and "I must tell them who the designer was"!! Okay, I think it was Ban, or was it Secret? There was so many "plastic surgery"victims I thought I was in a mannequin shop! It was like being in an episode of 90210 on Prozac! Okay, so I am sorry if any of my readers are billionaires, their not all bad (my husband's bosses' family-exception!) It was just surreal. But after the drinks flow, and the people let down their guard, you realize they are just like us, only lonelier. But, they were donating to a great cause so I don't want to forget that.
All in all we had a great time. It puts my life into perspective. I know that I will never be rich in their world, I will never be a billionaire or millionaire, but I realize that after being around them for an evening, I am the "wealthiest" person in the world! At home with my hubby and kids , in our minivan, in our "modest" neighborhood, wearing my Ross dress, no, I wouldn't trade my life for all the money in the world, to get into the DuPont registry or to drive a car that is worth twice,who am I kidding, three times my house!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unanswered Questions


Why does your gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed?

Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why is it called Alcoholics Anonymous when the first thing you do is stand up and say, 'My name is Bob and I am an alcoholic'?

If you mated a bulldog and a shitsu, would it be called a bullshit?

Why are they called stairs inside but steps outside?

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Why does mineral water that 'has trickled through mountains for centuries' have a 'use by' date?

Is French kissing in France just called kissing?

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out'?

What do people in China call their good plates?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

What do you call male ballerinas?

Can blind people see in their dreams?

Why is a person that handles your money called a 'Broker'?

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

If a man is talking in the forest, and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?

Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tri Series Part Three-The Run


These Tri-series articles have almost become as long as the race! Well, we are on the final stretch here-As Gail and I got back from the bike and changed in the transition area, again, she informed me that she was not and could not do the run. I was trying to encourager her, but she would hear nothing of it, she simply felt that she had exhausted all of her energy. Her legs felt like jello. I tried to convince her to finish, but she was probably afraid she would have to listen to my mouth the whole way, and she couldn't take it anymore! At the moment I was going to have to go on without her, the lady that was behind us in the bike came over. This was divine intervention as I know it! The woman said to Gail, "Please, can I come with you, I can't do this on my own. If I don't stay with you guys I know I won't be able to finish this race." (paraphrasing,here) That was all it took, maybe I should have felt offended , but I was so happy that this was the deciding factor for Gail. She knew she could not let this woman, a stranger down. This is what life is about, reaching out to someone, anyone in need. Knowing that you will make a difference in their life. That her decision to say yes, decided not only her fate, but that of a stranger's, on whether they would have completed the triathlon. I am thankful to this woman(Rebbecca),whom we befriended on this last leg. She told us that this was her first triathlon,she was doing this with her father.(who by the way had, had a stroke and did not wait for her,but was finishing his race,Awesome!)

So off we go. As we start to place one foot in front of the other something happens. It begins to get easier. Our legs relax, the blood flows back into the right places, our energy is once again revived, we can visualize the finish line, we believe once again in ourselves. This is also what happens in life. We give up far too easy, on ourselves & on others, instead of pressing forward, pushing past the pain that feels intolerable & unbearable, to see it through, to cross that finish line, we decide too early we are defeated, to not finish our race. We convince ourselves that we are not going to be victorious.
Until, we decide to pick ourselves up, and lean on someone to help us go that extra mile and that is when we learn that we are stronger then we think, we remember our goal and we make it, together side by side-Victory,Winners,Tri-Athletes!

Yes, we were almost, well okay, dead last, police escort and all. But, life isn't perfect, our races are long, and tiresome, with many aches and pains along the way, but with God's grace, love, patience and the kindness of strangers, it can be completed victoriously, wonderfully and full of exhilarated joy!

I can not wait to do another triathlon, I am already training. I have learned a lot from this first one, the mistakes, things that need improvement and things that worked. I will take these lessons and apply them to my next one, I will probably forget some of the mistakes and make them again, I will try to do better on my times, maybe I won't come in last,but Whatever happens I will continue on this journey, trying to learn from my mistakes, maybe make better choices, take advice from the ones who have done "it" before, pressing forward, reaching towards my goal to live life in victory, in the "winner's" circle, enjoying all that Christ has to offer me, unabashedly giving praise to him, who has never stopped believing in me, loving me, or forgiving me.
So, run your race, run it in victory, because you have already won the "prize"!!!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tri Series Part two-The BIke


Gail and I grab our bikes after the "transition" process and we head to the BIKE START/FINISH line ,you technically walk your bike really fast because you can't get on it until a certain point. So we are just getting ready to mount our bikes and we look up to see the direction we will be heading towards. I look left ,no sign, I look right, no sign I look straight up SIGN ,arrow points in the straight up direction! UGH!I turn to the guide, Are we going up that? yes, and you better get going.

Gail and I take off and try to gain as much speed as we can before starting the climb up this mini-monster hill (you will understand why I call this a Minnie hill later) I push and push on my peddles, trying to use my strength in my legs. I finally have to stand on this bike to make it up the hill, I did make it! Now I will interject to explain one thing about my bike. I had to borrow a bike from my friend. Although this bike has been great on flat surfaces, it is not made to go up hills, it is an everyday family friendly bike. I am not putting it down, because it did carry me through (at some point I thought I might carry it!) this race, it is not efficient for a triathlon.

We made it through the first hill, yes 1st, and I thought Okay, I can do this. That was tough when you are already gasping for breath from swimming, but doable. We go around a corner and it is downhill baby, we are feeling the wind in our hair, relaxing, taking a breather when around the bend there is another hill, a little bigger(this is my perspective), oh crap! start peddling, stop relaxing, go faster, go faster to make it. I had to struggle up this one and it was uglier than the last one, but we made it. Oh I forgot to mention about the bike, it has gears, mine would not change past a six, (you should be doing your hill on 1!) so it was extra hard for me,but I am an overachiever!

After this hill, we have some flat land, with minor hill and road humps. We are riding for awhile now and have noticed no other people on the road, until I hear this hhhh,hhhh behind me, I try to turn around but I am afraid I will tip over on the bike, so I scream "go around us if you need to!" She says, "no I am trying to keep up with you!" Alright, we must not being too bad, this girl can't keep up with us speed demons. Little did I know until a few nano seconds later, I see that we are being escorted by the police themselves! This either means, we are so good the police can't believe it, or we are all three dead last and they want to go home!

We now come to a long stretch of the race where Gail is getting tired, I am trying to encourage her with my words, she is getting more and more irritated! When I get tired or nervous I have to keep talking (okay I talk even when I am not tired or nervous) so I kept talking, "we can do this, your doing great, keep it up, how are you doing up there?, that house is beautiful, I want to bring the kids, do you think this lake has amoebas in it, I wonder what I will make for dinner?" "SHUT THE @&$^#%$#%& UP! or I AM GONNA KILL YOU!!!! that is from Gail. I think I was about to be her new ex-best friend! and she may not have cursed, but I know she was thinking it! I have never seen Gail this mad! I shut up, well not really but for a few seconds anyway:) We go around another corner and see another cop, "hey I yell out ,we must be half way right?." He give me a thumbs up "Yeah right, you keep telling yourselves that" sarcasm.

We are finally on the home stretch, I can see the park. "Gail, Gail, there it is we are almost there!"and this being my biggest mistake that I said to her that day."and look no more hills!" That is when we look up, there it is, the momma of all hills, laughing at us, mocking us - Gail is about to blow a gasket now. "Gail I must go as fast as I can to make it up this one, I will meet you at the top". I start to peddle as fast as my legs can go, well the bike only goes in gear six, and then it only goes so fast and once it achieves its maximum fastness it stops not allowing me to peddle until I it slows way down for the chain to catch, I have to put my legs to the side because the peddles are going around so fast they are hitting my ankles, thump, thumpity thump, I am never going to make it up this hill. As soon as I am able to start peddling again I do, I stand to put more strength in it, I hear a loud intercom speaker coming from our police escort, I turn I see Gail trying to get up the hill, she is going very slowly, the police (on microphone) says to Gail "Mame are you gonna ride that bike or get off it and walk?" They have a very southern drawl, Gail hops off, she is really pissed now, she pushes her bike towards me, Come on Gail you can do it, come on! She gets to me, "I can't go any further!,I must stop. my legs are hurting!" "Yes Gail we will do it together,see there is our turn, a few more feet!" the second mistake I said. We are turning, I see relief on Gail's face, loud intercom again "Ladies, that is not your turn, you must go to the top of the hill!" there were daggers coming out of Gail's eyes, straight at me!

We make it to the top, and around one more downhill corner, and we are at the bike finish line. Gail tells me,she is not going to run, she is done, I secretly smile, -oh yes she is!

Later that day, we were talking about where we did our triathlon, and someone says, "you know that place is the USAT's training center for triathlons!" I said "Wow, why is that?" she says"Oh because of all the hills!!" that little bit of information may have been helpful, I mean we looked at the map of the bike course, and well, the map was flat!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tri Seris part one-The Swim





Okay, so we get to Clermont so early it is still dark out. It is an ungodly hour and I start to question my own motives as to why on earth I would wake up this early to do something so horrific to my own body! As we pulled into the parking lot I could feel my adrenaline increasing by the moment, my heart was pumping as I was watching the other Tri-athletes, getting there bikes off the rack. We went to registration, and walked into the "Newbie" section. This is where you must present your UAST membership, we were not yet members therefore needed to purchase one. We had to fill out multiple papers with signatures and initials every where, at some point I asked "What is this our will?", but we signed away. Next you go into the room where you must show a picture ID so that you can pick up your packet, with race cap, numbers etc. As we are here we run into a few friends from the Legacy group and chat!
Next you set up your bike in the transition area so that you are ready when you come out of the swim. After that you put your number on your bike, helmet, legs ,arms and they put your age on your right leg, apparently I found out "how many people does it take to write your number all over your body? well,three. I must interject here and let you know they were VERY surprised when I told them how old I was:)
We ran into our friends to compare numbers, one of them had just gotten in from a trip from Israel, yes, and she still came to this thing, the creepy part, her number was 666, I am not lying, bizarre,right?
We head to the swim area, we put on swim caps, goggles and get in line. It is freezing outside, the wind has picked up. Others venture to the water, I am too afraid if I feel how cold it is , I will cop out of this thing .(note to self:get used to water before running into it) As we are standing getting ready to approach the front line, Gail says "I am going to throw up", now it is our turn, they call out your name individually as you take off. I go full speed like some Olympian goddess, straight through the water, I run as fast as I can, I run so far that there is a drop off that I am unaware of, and I sink, yup, straight down. The water is so cold, I lose my breathe, the water is so black ,I can't see my hand in front of my face! I emerge,only my neck sticks out of the water and begin to swim, well more like a dog paddle! I can't get my mind to function, I was like how do I swim? really, I could not remember.There are other swimmers around me that are passing to the right, to the left, I pull with my arms, kick with my feet, I still am just a head out of the water, I go around one buoy. My body feels tight and heavy. I can't keep my back legs up, I am not parallel to the water. The rescuer in the canoe comes closer and is eyeing me, I force my head back in the water, try to pull my legs up, it doesn't help. Now I have swallowed water and I am coughing. Screw it, I begin to breast stroke it and decide just get the hell out of this water.Don't die. Meanwhile, Gail is swimming like she is a water polo player. She keeps saying"well can you at least try to float? She is flipping around from her back to her front graceful, as if she is a frigging mermaid. I am flailing in the water, and I swear the wind was blowing , so it felt as if I was treading water in one place and not moving forward.
I finally get to where I can stand and I am up on both legs, running for security, pounding my feet on the sand , I can't catch my breath, I am just about to start walking to the transition area and then I see the camera, so I keep running, Pose, I hear a click, click, click----then walk.
Whew! I had made it through part one, with two events to go! We ran to the transition area, eat two bites of banana, drink water, put on hat, shoes, socks, bike helmet and race towards the bike path!
BTW I checked my times for my swim today, I did it in 6min&43sec, I rock! So dog paddling should be an Olympic sport!

Tri This


I am now an official Triathlete-I can not begin to describe to you what I am feeling. It is so hard to put into words! This is not going to be a quick read, and it will most likely be more than one post to be able to tell you all that has happened, but I promise it will be funny,uplifting and encouraging if you continue to finish the story!

First, I must start by telling you, I really did have a life changing experience this weekend! I am overwhelmed with the change that has taken place.

This thing started out 9 months ago at my daughter's school when the headmaster, Linda, told the school how she was going to do a triathlon. I could not get her message out of my head for days. I knew that this was something I not only wanted to try, but needed to do! So when the opportunity came to be a part of this Legacy Ladies group, to train and meet together to participate in a triathlon, I knew that was my sign to "go for it". AND then I dragged Gail into it!

What started out as one person who shared her desire, has turned into 17 women of all shapes, sizes,ages,and all different,personal reasons joining together to accomplish a triathlon! I did not know at that moment what exactly I had gotten myself into. What started out as just a silly "race", has become even bigger now that I have completed one !

I have had the most incredible year, this year has been one personal growth,it has been one of the best years of my life. I knew I would see the physical changes, and possibly some emotional changes, but I was not expecting the spiritual changes. This may be different for others that begin this journey, but for me it really was life altering. It was not just the race that has done this for me, that is only for one moment, one day, it was all of the training along the way, physical & mental.

You see when I crossed that finish line, it was so empowering. I realized nothing is impossible to do, I can do anything. I have learn that I have discipline, and courage and strength that I did not believe I had before. Too many times I have decided things I "couldn't" do, because of the negative self talk that I daily contribute, oh so freely to myself! Unknowingly,I was placing limits on myself. Never again. I know now that I can and will set out goals that may seem unattainable, and then I will complete them.

I learned that God created our bodies, my body, so uniquely designed that I can push through physical pain with his strength. God uses so many of our daily lives to change our character, shape us, build us, and if we recognize his hand in all we do, we grow closer to him. For me it was this triathlon. Maybe it is something different for you? I promise deciding to do this thing was not my "choice", he already had the plan, he already knew what I would learn and how I would grow through this! I am not naive enough to think that I did this all on my own, there were friends,and family encouraging and praying,yes-However, I was able to accomplish this personal goal only through Christ. Yes, I did have to do all the hard work, I did my part, but he was beside me every step of the way, he was running, biking and swimming with me, whispering in my ear, teaching, training me, for a race much bigger than a triathlon. He has been training me for life, and all that I have faced in my past and all that I will face in my future, he was training and continues to train me every day, so that I know with out a doubt that I will/can conquer anything thorough him, anything that I have or will face, I am not facing it alone, never alone.

Today, I just wanted to tell you where my head is at. How I feel. I desperately want to share the whole race with you all, and I most definatly will! It is a funny story, that I will tell and reenact for years to come, but not today, today I am still enjoying the warmth of my father's arms around me, I am still in the glow of being proud of myself, that I completed what I had set out to do. Is it going to save the world? probably not, Will it bring world peace? definatly not, but it has changed me,it has changed my perspective of me, and It has changed my world.")

Friday, April 4, 2008

'Twas The Night Before

This is it! Tomorrow I leave @ 5am for my Triathlon! Yes, I said 5am. They want you there early to make sure you fill out your will! Anyway, we are really doing this thing. Did a re-check on gear and everything is packed. The one part that is really gonna suck is that it is so early in the morning and I can't have any DD before the race, so as not to upset my stomach. This pisses me off. The anticipation is killing me. I am excited with a mixture of nerves. I am driving Bob nuts going checking and re-checking. Oh, did I mention Bob won't be able to make it? Yes ,he was called yesterday and was told he will be flying to Texas to go to the Final Four. I am going with two of my best girl-friends. Gail who I talked into doing this with me, and Maryanne who is our personal photographer (no, really she is a professional photographer, hey I know people!)They must love me to go anywhere with me at 5am without my coffee!!
Its amazing , its taken me all year to train and it will probably only take about 1-to 1& 1/2 hours to complete? I will then be going to the beach with the Legacy Ladies until Sunday Night-You will have to wait until Monday to
1.See how I finished
2.See if I drowned
3. See the pictures._
Whoo- Hoo I know the suspense is killing you!
Here is a little poem I wrote just for you!

'Twas the night before my Triathlon
I am nervous as hell,
The bike is in the car and my friends have wished me well.

I ate my fill of carbs tonight, and checked over the map,
I 've packed my goggles, helmet, my bathing suit and lucky cap!

I have biked and ran and swam now, for almost a year,
So I am really glad that this race is finally, here.

Please pray for me tomorrow, that I will survive
I just want to cross that finish line, partially alive!

By the time the sun comes up, I will be a Tri-athlete,
So I better go to bed now and get some much needed sleep!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Too High

I went to a new park today with the kids. Nolan being the expert at the swing headed straight for them. I find a seat. I suddenly hear"Mommy come push me, its too high!". He can only start the pump if he can touch the ground and give himself a push first. I look over, the swing is way too high:) I delight in this. Not because he can't do it on his own, but because he needs me. I go over happy to oblige him, even if it is only to get him started, just one push.
As I sit back and watch him, I realize that no matter how old my children get, no matter how many things they will learn to do without me, no matter how independent they become in accomplishing their own endeavors, they are always going to need me! There is always going to be that swing that is just too high, a little out of their reach. I realize that just because they are growing up, doesn't mean sometimes they will still need a little push, a help up, a safe place to land. This makes me happy, you see the role I play in their lives will change as they grow, but being their mother, that lasts a lifetime!

Legacy

Regan and I went on a bike ride yesterday. She told me how proud of me she was that I am doing a triathlon! I will tell you that I was so choked up. Regan is such an encourager. She told me that she has told her friends and her Sunday School teacher.
As we were riding our bikes, she said "Mommy, I want to do a triathlon too!" I am so happy, at this point I don't care what I look like on race day, I know that I am a winner in my daughter's eyes. I am so glad that I have trained all year for this moment. I thought it would be for crossing the finish line in my race, but over this year, I have crossed many finish lines. This has been the best one. To know that I have been an example for my children. That dedication, hard work and perseverance pays off. Even if it is for only one moment to be seen in her eyes as a winner, as her hero, I know that I have already won.
My journey this year has been to determine what legacy that I would choose to leave my children and their children when I am gone from this place. I had made a conscious decision that which path I chose, would not only impact my life, but theirs and my future generations. How will they remember me? What will be my history? What will they tell their children?
They won't remember if our house was spotless, or if the laundry was done (yes, I do those things too!), but they will remember the small moments, riding a bike with her mom training for a triathlon, running in pouring rain to our car getting soaking wet, camping in our living room(tent and all),dancing to the oldies(okay 70's but it will be the oldies by the time they remember), piling on top of each other to see who can get the most kisses, their mother spending time with her heavenly father, the stories of when God showed up for them/us, time and time again, this is where it starts, now, the memories that they will pass down, who I was/am. My Legacy.
I am so excited to finish my first triathlon this week, I am glad I didn't wait, for the "perfect time" to achieve this goal, I am glad that the time is now-I am glad that I have experienced this with new/old friends, with family, with my spouse, and my children, but the most important experience I have had through this, has been with my God, through the discipline it has taken to "stay on course", I have learned many new things about my self, his grace, his mercy and his love. What started as just a "race", has become so much more. It has helped shape me in so many ways, physically,yes, emotionally, yes, but what I wasn't expecting was spiritually. This has truly been an amazing season in my life!
The percentage of people who complete a triathlon is very small. I will be one of those people now, me, just an anybody, but somebody to a lot of people. Thank you for the encouragement,the prayer, the accolades. I could not have done it without you!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nail Nazis

I went to Our local grocery store and ran into my nail lady. The one who has been doing my nails for the past 6 months. She is Vietnamese and works at a typical nail salon that you can find on every corner in our state with the same name,Lee Nails. I wonder who this Lee guy is? is it like "Smith" in their country?
Her nail place is in front of my grocery store, so it wasn't a surprise to run into her. She says "Hello", grabs my hands and tells me my nails look bad. "They need fill" ,she tells me. I already know this, I have an appointment in 10 min. with the nail place next to my grocery store. I do not tell her this because I am afraid of her, she was really great until about 2 months ago, and then she started to suck. I had referred many people to her and the word must have gotten around,because she has gotten so busy with regulars, that whenever I go in she would be taking care of three people at once, so never really putting the quality into mine. She would start on mine and then look over her shoulder the whole time not wanting her regulars to go to someone else, so hurried through mine, leaving me with less than desirable nails. Also, for those of you who do not get your nails done, the "nail lady" can become very protective over their customers turning them into "Nail Nazis"!
Now that I had run into her, I was very nervous, because I had to make it to my appointment without her detecting any deception on my part. I did not want her to find out in case I needed to return to her salon if this new nail lady was no good. She would never take me back if she knew I had tried out someone new.
Remember her nail salon is in front, the new one in back. I was really scared. I knew when I would venture into the new one, I would have to wear a disguise, and slink into the store,giving a false name, the whole time hoping the other nail lady did not notice I had switched nail salons, and therefore was "cheating" on her.
After I spoke briefly to her, I acted as if I was going to my car, waited until I saw her walking toward her salon, slipped on baseball cap, and different sunglasses, and bolted like a bat out of hell, praying I reached the door to the new salon before she turned around-Breathing heavy, panting like a dog who had just run after its tail numerous times, I made it to the door, without her turning around!! I quickly helped the door shut behind me. I felt safe. I sat down at chair 2, ( her name,Diane) she said"What is your name", I avoided the question"Where you get your nails done before" quick, I knew I couldn't tell her about the competition salon, afraid of the repercussions (she does use a drill) so I lied, in Oviedo somewhere. She nods convinced. I am safe now. I throw in "The last person did a terrible job" for good measure,nail ladies like this, "I fix for you" ,okay. "you want pedicure too?" no, just the nails. I decided I would wait on this until I knew if she was any good. "Yes, your feet ugly", they are very subtle, "Its fine, I don't want the pedicure". She better be good for this abuse. "Okay,I do for you special" No, just the nails. she stares, I must have convinced her I was not budging on this because she began scrapping, filing, shaping my nails into perfection.
My nails look better than they have ever looked! They look so natural.I love them , I have not been able to stop staring at them, I love this new Nail Lady. I will continue to go to her until the secret gets out about how good she is! I will not be telling anyone about her, I hope to keep her a secret for awhile:) I also think I will get that pedicure next time, since my feet are so ugly!