Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Finally Following Through on My Intentions of Posting

I see something, do something, or hear something hilarious and have the best intentions of blogging about it.  Then, I don't.  Next thing I know, I haven't updated this blog in way too long.  Here is the last six (OK, seven) weeks, Reader's Digest Style.

Summer ended.  Jaley and I closed it out with a mother-daughter trip to Pismo Beach.  The weather was in the 60's, so there wasn't much sun worshipping.  Instead, we went ATVing in the sand dunes.  Jaley had a ball, I thought we were going to die.  It wasn't our ATVs that had me scared, it was the million other ATVs, motorcycles, dune buggies, and 4X4's zooming past that had me convinced our lives were in peril.  We also toured Hearst Castle and pretended to live the rich and famous lifestyle.

School started (almost a month ago).  The grades: Sarah-8th, Jaley-6th, Mick- 2nd.  Jaley is loving the new found freedom of middle school.  That freedom extends beyond switching classes and reaches right into the community.  The middle schoolers can bike all over town, hang out with friends, and frequent (possibly, torment) the local Jamba Juice and Starbucks.

The Great American Eclipse arrived.  Two days of travel for two minutes (actually 1' 53") of totality was totally worth it.  Last year, I got a wild hair and decided I wanted to see the Eclipse.  Much to my surprise, everything was already booked.  But, I'm persistent.  Eventually, I scored us a room south of Portland and tickets to a NASA viewing party in Salem, Oregon.  Crazy as it was, the kids and I flew up for the eclipse.  Traffic, crowds, and lining up before sunrise, but I would do it again.  It was amazing.

New Job began.  Scott is off to a new role at Cisco.  It takes what he was working on in enterprise networking and adds in engineering.  He is looking forward to the new challenge.

New (Old) Job began.  I'm back to nursing kiddos at the local school.  There is a new group of incredibly cute kindergartners, but the boo-boos, belly aches, and band-aids are pretty much the same.

19 Years & Counting Arrived.  Today is Scott and my 19th anniversary.  I can't believe how many years have passed, but I love him, even more, today than I did in on the day we said, "I do."  Scott is my rock, my best friend, and the love of my life.

I've left out lots of events, quips, and great stories, but that is the update.  Enjoy the start of Fall.

That is life in MomZania.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Already 11!

Last week was Jaley's 11th Birthday.  With plenty of rainbows and a bit of magic, we made sure our Jaley-corn, had a special, unicorn birthday.  She kicked it off a few days early with a drive-in movie & slumber party with her a few friends.  Then, she was off to a week of Camp for her actual birthday.  Don't worry the US Postal Service delivered a few surprises right to her cabin.  Finally, it was a family fiesta complete with friends (who are as close as family) visiting from NC.

It wasn't just Jaley at camp, all three of the kiddos were at overnight camp last week.  A glorious coming of age event for children and parents alike.  It has been a very long time since Scott and I enjoyed a week without kiddos.  While we weren't able to play the whole week, we did sneak away for a few two nights.  We explored north of San Francisco in Marin County. We slept in late and ate at the types of restaurants that don't readily welcome children.  We hiked Angel Island and enjoyed 360 degree views of the Bay, climbed Mt. Tam and enjoyed 360 degree views of fog, and biked through the Marin Headlands down to quiet beach cove.  We came home with our bellies full and our bodies tired.

After a couple of days of play, it was back to our very quiet, kid-free house.  I was a bit lost on the 27th with Jaley away for her birthday.  Lucky for me, the next day I was off to pick her and Mick up from camp.  The first thing I did was deliver Jaley a giant, birthday hug.

Even with her birthday and camp over, the fun continued.  The Fiedlers came to visit all the way from NC.  We hiked in the redwoods and hung out in Santa Cruz.  Best of all, we shared the weekend together.  That is the thing about lifetime friends, it doesn't matter how many miles separate you or time that spans between visits.  When you have the chance to connect again, you pick up right where you left off, with tons of great stories and endless laughs.

With August begun, the days of summer are coming to a close.  All this sun has led to taller kids this fall.  We hit the mall for some new shoes yesterday and will need to return again soon to grab some new clothes.

That is life in MomZania.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mom, Let's Race!

"Mom, let's race!"  How many times has every parent heard those words?  From toddler to teenager, all kids want to win, and beating mom and dad is an ultimate victory.

Back in the training wheel and stroller days of our family, I used to envision what family activities would look like as they grew up.  The kids would slowly improve until a magical time when we rode, ran, skied, fill-in-the-blanked at basically the same level.  Then, after enjoying a few years of playing as equals the baton would be handed off and the kids would be better than me at everything sporty.

Though like most of parenthood, the reality is never quite like the vision.  It turns out kids don't really improve athletically at a slow steady pace, instead they leap frog from level to level at an incredibly fast pace.  That magical time of being at the same level is minutes not years.

This year all three kids in their own individual way have left me in their athletic dust.  It started with Jaley on the ski slope. We were at the top of the mountain and she said, "Mom, let's race." She was headed down the mountain before I even answered.  I really did try to catch her, but I didn't have a chance.  She was back in line for the lift by the time I made it to the bottom of the hill.

Then, it was Sarah at spring break.  While I'm happy to hike for hiking's sake, she wanted to make the trail a little more interesting.  She set a spot and said, "Mom, let's race."  Off we went.  It was kind of like racing my minivan against a Maserati.  I was hopelessly outmatched against her.

Last, it was Mick this weekend.  He is only 7 and, yes, he schooled me.  Scott and Sarah were out of town, so I grabbed Jaley, Mick, and a friend and headed for a mud run at the Kids Obstacle Challenge Race.  We were the first wave of the day and Mick yells "Mom, let's race." just before he darted off like a jack rabbit.  I wasn't worried, it was a long course, he would tire quickly and I could catch him.  Ha!  Next thing I knew he wasn't in my line of site.  Ego aside, I didn't know if the course was well marked or if he would be able to make it over the obstacles without help.  I went from jog to sprint.  I made up enough of the gap.  At least I could see him.  Every time I got close, he took it as a challenge and picked up the pace.   Over walls, through tunnels, scaling netting, and Tarzan swinging into massive mud, he was ahead of me right through the finish line.  What do I expect? Mick hiked Yosemite's Mist Trail at age 5.

I'm sure there will be many family athletic endeavors ahead, but the baton has officially been passed.  The kids will either be holding back to hang with me or cheering me on at the finish line.

Beyond getting passed by the kids, we have been making the most of summer vacation.  After our travels East, we finished all the new puzzles and maxed out on junk TV before the real world caught up with us.  It turns out bills, laundry, and grocery shopping do not take a summer vacation.  With less than a month left of break, I'm back to busy ways.  I'm finally getting to several house projects that never happened when we moved in, the girls are back to field hockey and taekwondo, and for Scott work is business as usual.  Without the pressure of Saturday sport games and homework, we are saving our weekends for fun. While Jaley, Mick, and I were playing in the mud, Sarah and Scott checked out the sites in Chicago.  Sarah is on her way home now and Scott is staying for work tomorrow.  If our plans hold, the next few weekend will be just as much fun.

That is life in MomZania.