Monthly Archives: August 2013

On Hold…

IMG_4651

For the past few weeks  I’ve felt that my life is on hold. Time keeps moving, days are getting shorter, school is starting, the State Fair is happening, but I feel stuck. We hoped to be in a new house by this time. Or at least be packing up the last of the wine glasses and shampoo bottles and have an idea where we’ll unpack them. Instead, we’re still vacuuming and dusting and hauling dogs to various sitters so we can open our house, yet again, to curious eyes.

I’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere else. I’m looking forward to unpacking and tossing everything we didn’t miss while it was in storage. I’m looking forward to telling daughter, “Yes, I know where that is.” Rather than, “Sorry honey, it’s in storage.”

We will sell. Or we’ll take a break and sell in the spring. I’m getting impatient, but I have to remember that I love where we are. I love where daughter goes every day. I love waking up to the sun rising over the river. I love greeting neighbors that we’ve known for years. We thought we’d be gone by now, on to something new and different, and hopefully better. Until then we’ll just wait and enjoy what we have.

Last week I went out on a friends boat and thanks to wildfires out west (Thank you, Idaho!) we were treated to an amazing sunset. I don’t get many moments to just sit and stare at the sky. But there I sat, gently bobbing in the bay with a (plastic) glass of wine in my hand.

Things aren’t so bad. Even if we are in a holding pattern.

Pre-K

IMG_4670

Yesterday was daughter’s first official day of Pre-Kindergarten. For nearly four and a half years we knew this day was coming. For the past year she’s been preparing in Preschool A and Preschool B. For two weeks she’s been transitioning to the classroom. But yesterday was the first day that I dropped her off in the “big kid” room. And it was yesterday that I looked at my little baby, with the long, lean legs and the quick smile, and realized that, Yes, she is a big kid.

She’s riding a bike and learning what sounds letters make. She’s adding and subtracting M&Ms. She’s swimming, and I mean really swimming (front stroke and back!). She’s smart and opinionated and funny and so so so sweet.
Pre-K is a big step. Next year she’ll be starting Kindergarten and I’m so not ready for that. But I know it will be here before I know it. And then first grade, and someday fourth grade and then, well, we’ll cross that bridge then. Right now I’m the proud mother of a Pre-Kindergartner. And that’s perfect.

My Third Triathlon

photo-228

I did my third triathlon this weekend. Now that it’s behind me, I can say it was a blast. But up until that moment where my toes hit the water, I felt totally unprepared. The first time I did this triathlon, two years ago, I followed the training schedule faithfully. I packed my bag carefully, made notes and asked advice. And I was nervous as hell. Last year I was much more relaxed, but again trained aggressively and I beat my time by about two minutes. This year I started the summer with a strong training program, but by Mid-July my training fell apart. We listed our house, Daughter’s day care fell apart and my Dad passed away. I continued to train just to maintain my sanity. I went into the race very relaxed, probably too much. And maybe even too confident. I had no jitters and no concerns. I really just wanted to have fun. I didn’t expect to get a PR. Here’s what happened.

The Swim

I didn’t realize that the first wave had even started until I saw people running out of the water. What? Yeah, Jenn, they’re on the third wave already, my training partner told me. What? We were in the ninth wave, so we had a few minutes, but still, pay attention, Jenn! It’s a good thing she was there or I’d probably still be standing on the beach waiting to start. Anyway, I started the swim fast, too fast. I ran out ahead, dove in and swam with everything I had. And then I couldn’t breathe. I got kicked and then I kicked someone. Then I had to flip over and just breathe kick breathe. By the first turn I was starting to calm down but was still offered a noodle. All the crazy thoughts I expected came racing through my mind. “What are you thinking doing a triathlon? Just grab that kayak over there and you can be done. You still need to bike and run after this, are you crazy?” But just like in writing, I told my mind to shut up. I closed my eyes and started to swim. Every few strokes I looked up to make sure I was going in the right direction. I was. By the second turn I was encouraging another swimmer who seemed to be struggling. By the time I reached the shore I was grateful for strong legs and sand to run on.

T1

I dried my feet, struggled with socks, velcroed my bike shoes, clipped on my race belt and helmet and ran outta there in just over two minutes.

The Bike

I have a love/hate relationship with the bike. I love the bike because I have water and food with me and I can get my head settled after the swim, but I hate it because it’s long and I have a slow bike and I inevitably get bored by mile 12 of so. This year I really worked on concentrating, mostly because I figured out my bike computer and now know how fast I’m going. Even then, by mile 14 I was slowing down and a friendly biker passed me and encouraged me to finish strong. It was exactly what I needed, so I kicked my speed back up and sped in.

T2

I really only had to rack my bike and switch shoes, but as I leaned down to tie them (darn laces) I got a bad cramp in my upper abs (old yoga injury) and had to sit down. Sit Down? Just to put on shoes? Even sitting I could barely reach my feet without the cramp flaring up but I told myself as soon as I had them tied I could run away and stretch it as much as I wanted.

 The Swim

So, off I went to the trail and nobody else was there. Seriously. There were dozens of fans and I new I went the right way, but there were no other runners! I actually had to ask some spectators  if I was going the right away. I was, and moments later I caught some slower runners. (I might have a slow bike, but I pass all those racing-bike-types on the run). The first mile was hard. Really hard. My legs were tired and I felt like I was barely moving. But it’s so mental at that point and I really really didn’t want to walk. so I just kept moving my legs over and over and over. A half-mile into the run I caught my breathe and started to have fun. I encouraged walkers to run with me. I complimented a woman on her cute top (Athleta, of course!). I shouted out my calories burned when it hit 950. And I yelled just one mile to go when we had just one mile to go. Then with 800 yards left, I thought I was going to puke. That darn Gatorade I tried at the last water stop. I new it was a bad choice, but I just put the thought out of my head and new that at that finish line were my Husband, My In-laws and the sweetest little girl i knew. And I knew she wanted to finish with me. When I could finally see the finish line (I love that you can’t see the finish line until there’s only about 150 feet to go) I knew I was nearly there. I looked in the crowd for Husband and saw his head peeking over the crowd. I waved and out popped Daughter. Dressed in her favorite party dress and her new running shoes. She grabbed my hand and ran with me all the way to the end. We crossed and stopped and as I leaned down to hug her she looked up and asked, “Did we win?” “Yeah, Baby, we won all right.”

I didn’t look at the clock when I finished, but I knew from my watch that I had probably gotten a PR. I think the big difference is that I pushed it on the bike. I totally messed up the swim, but with the stronger bike and a consistent run (my best and favorite portion) I reached the PR. And after everything that happened this summer, everything that tried to derail my training and didn’t, I couldn’t be happier. Now, I just can’t wait until next year. Seriously. It can’t come soon enough!!

A Month Later

photo-227

(Daughter and her newest cousin)

A month ago today we put our house on the market, our daycare fell apart and my Dad went into end stage dementia. All in the same day. We also had our first showing that day. I spent the evening sitting at my Dad’s bed side. And then spent an hour on the phone, late into the night, with fellow parents.

The next day was a Saturday and we spent the morning at a birthday party for a classmate, where most of the talk was about which teachers we lost rather than what flavor the cake was. That afternoon I spent four hours in my Dad’s room, listening to his bed inflate and deflate, and hoping that each cough wouldn’t be his last. My Mom was driving back from Iowa as quickly as she could. The Hospice nurse gave him oxygen and told me that he didn’t have much time.

Sunday morning we were up early, prepping for our first open house, when the phone rang. It wasn’t quite 8am and I knew who was on the other line. It was Mom calling to say that Dad was gone.

We knew it was coming. We didn’t think it was coming that soon.

Even a month later, it’s hard to write about it.

The next few weeks were full of plans and hugs and new teachers and house showings. My sister came home for a few days, we spent hours at the pool with Mom, high school friends called to share their memories and new friends offered their shoulders to cry on. Last weekend we held the funeral and there were crowds of people sharing stories, laughter, more hugs and kind words.

This week we had yet another open house, more showings, and more new teachers.

I’m starting to come out of the fog. It’s been a rough summer. But I am grateful for so many things.

Stay tuned….