Thursday, May 18, 2017

You Can't Relive Your Youth - But Sometimes You Can Try

This year marks 25th years since I graduated high school.  It is unbelievable to even contemplate that milestone, but it is here.  Like many milestones, it leaves me a bit nostalgic.  While I can never relive my youth (once was probably enough anyhow), every once in a while I get that chance to relive the forgotten promises of yesteryear.  Yesterday, was one of those chances.

Grab your scrunchies, Keds, and acid-wash jeans, we are rewinding back to 1992.  Who was topping the music charts?  U2, of course.  Where did U2 decide to kick-off their 1992 Zoo TV tour?  None other than Lakeland, Florida.  Never heard of Lakeland?  That's OK.  Lakeland is a small town (just 25,000 back then) a few miles from where I grew up in Orlando.  Like every music fan in the area, I was going to get tickets for that show.  There were no online purchases back then.  If you wanted tickets, you had to prove it, earn it, camp for it.  The night before, like zillions of other fans, my friends and I lined up outside of the JC Penny, an authorized TicketMaster retailer.  I don't remember what we did all night, but we definitely waited, and waited, and waited.  When tickets went on sale the next morning, we raced inside, only to find out the concert was already sold out.  No U2 concert for my friends and me. Just the promise that we would catch the next tour.

Here I am 25 years later, I still love U2 and I have still never seen them in concert.  Until last night.  It wasn't the intimate, tiny venue of the Lakeland Civic Center; it was giant, outdoor mega complex of Levi's Stadium.  It was great nonetheless.  They played Joshua Tree from beginning to end.  For just a few minutes, I was that 18-year-old once again.

While I don't want to go back and relive my youth again, it was quite a night, a night 25 years in the making.  It was fun to be 18, if only for a moment.  It was definitely fun to finally see U2 so many years after I camped out for tickets.

That is life in MomZania.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Are you an National Park person?

I've decided there are two types of people in this world - National Park People and Everyone Else.  Jaley, Mick, and I are most definitely a National Park People.  Scott and Sarah fall into the Everyone Else.  Don't get me wrong, the people of Everyone Else visit, appreciate, and fully enjoy our country's National Parks.  But, Park People are a different breed.  We love the Parks, we love talking about the Parks, we love planning to go to the Parks, we love dragging our family to the Parks, and we love Teddy Roosevelt for creating them.  Like I said, we are a different breed.  But we are a mighty large breed.  Want to book a lodge in Yellowstone for Summer of 2018?  You better be online May 1, 2017 at 7AM, because that is when reservations open.  All of us Park People will be queuing up to secure our visit.

Since I am a self-described Park Person and, conveniently, the person who plans our family trips, where did we go this Spring Break?  National Parks, of course.  We hit the Mighty 5 in Utah.  Today, we were off to Pinnacles National Park, America's newest national park.  That is how I picked to spend my birthday, so the family had to say yes. Is that all? No, that is not all, no, no that is not all.   I have plans for a few more this year.  Of course, living within driving distance of so many parks is quite the unfair advantage.  Heck, Pinnacles was just over an hour away.

Today, marked the end of National Park Week.  It meant free entrance to the parks, but don't worry, they have free days through out the year.  Plus fourth graders (and their families) get in free all year.  Even if you can't score free entrance, it is still a deal.  The per person cost is usually good for a week and costs less than a movie ticket.

With April closing out, it means summer is around the corner.  Track season, Little League, and end of grade testing are all past the midway point.  Jaley had an amazing time at Science Camp last week.  A week away with her 5th grade classmates, what a fabulous right-of-passage.  The weather is (finally) nice and our calendar is quickly with the many celebrations that mark the end of a 21st century school year.  That has left the kids (and I) suffering from a bit of endofschool-itis.  It will be here before we know it.

That is life in MomZania.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hurry Up! We're Running Late.

I have a mantra and that mantra is, "Hurry Up! We're running late!"  It doesn't matter where I'm going or what I'm doing, I'm running late in the process.  It wasn't always this way; I was once a timely person.  If an appointment was at 9, I was there at 9 or (gasp) a few minutes early.   That time was a long time ago, dare I say about 13 years ago.

With the arrival of each Harrell baby, I slipped further and further behind.  There were unexpected diaper changes and sippy cups spilling in the car and a zillion other baby things that left me racing to make up time.  We are long past the diapers and sippy cups, but here I am still running late.  Sometimes, I can blame it on the kids - like when we are half-way to school and one of my posse realizes his/her backpack/instrument/lunch/other important item is still sitting on the kitchen counter.  Most times, I don't have the kiddos as an excuse.  I overestimate how quickly I can get out of the house and underestimate how long it will take to get where I'm going.  The perfect recipe for "Hurry Up! We're Running Late."

This week, as daylight saving arrived and we sprang forward, I decided to spring my backside into on-time gear.  How's it going?  Well, I'm batting about 500. (Can tell baseball season has started?) Though I'm not sure if picking a week when you loose an hour is the best week to start trying to be on-time, I'm trying nonetheless.


With Scott out of town and new activities starting, I have ample chance to try. The rain finally stopped and swim lessons started. Fingers crossed this is finally the year, I can sit on a lounge chair at the pool reading a magazine, while the kids splash unaccompanied. Baseball is well underway for Mick and Opening Day scheduled for this Saturday.  Who knew that a) Opening Day of Little League was an all-day affair and b) Opening Day was actually many weeks into the season.  Jaley got a medal at the Science Fair (no worries, everyone got a medal).  Sarah is busy with all the things that middle schoolers do.  If you know exactly what that is, please share.

Best of all this month, my mom came to visit.  As moms often do, she spoiled us. She cooked and made cookies.  She had "Nana time" with the kids, so Scott and I could have a date night.  She even timed her visit to share her birthday with us.  As a gift, I made her hike through miles of sand and cold, windy weather to look at wildlife.  I'm not sure if it was what she wanted, but you can be guaranteed no one else gave her a beach side elephant seal tour.

There is lots more to write, but "Hurry Up! I'm Running Late" to pick up Sarah.  That is life in MomZania.