July 11, 2014

other stuff

It seems my family can't get too far away from baseball even when we are doing other stuff. But that's okay because we are together and having fun which is really all that matters.
Last weekend we loaded up the car on a whim and hit up a local Aquasox game. We walked right into a very lucky happenstance. Miss Divine was rewarded a first pitch prize.
And throw out the first pitch she did.

She had a blast and loved every minute of it.

The rest of the crew took a lap around the parade loop and was chosen to play a game after the second inning. Webbly wasn't too thrilled by their skills as you can tell. C'mon Webbly!!

In the end Webbly was cool and everyone was happy. The kids ran the bases after the game and the Aquasox brought in a win. Fun Day!!



July 5, 2014

boom shakalaka

Confession. Holidays always make me a tad blue. I get excited and caught up with all the possibilities. I let the commercialism and the perfectly staged interactions swarm around in my head. I envision family and friends and smiley people having fun and being together. Norman Rockwell-esque. But the reality of it all is it's never really like that. The reality is the people I love are spread out far and wide. The reality is not as much Norman Rockwell as it is Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion.

I woke up yesterday, July 4th, knowing we had nothing planned. No holiday hoopla. I went to an early morning yoga class. And, I dropped my five pound pooch off for a grooming appointment. (Those were the only two things I had planned for Independence day.) The rest of the day was up in the air. I decided to set my expectations very low. Read: none. And, vowed as long as the four people I call my own were together, even if were together on the couch, then that was enough.

Slowly the day developed into buying some smoke bombs and sparklers at the fireworks stand which made my almost 13 year old happy. Eating pizza and ice cream which made my 11 year old happy. And, dancing in front of the stage of a live band which made my 8 year old happy. We then settled down on a hillside with a group people (I like to call the "good ones") to watch our community fireworks display. Afterwards we walked through hoards of people to a neighbors' house to make s'mores and light flying paper lanterns. Which proved to be more magical than I anticipated. We closed the evening by catching a ride home, because we had walked to the community commons for the festivities, and making shapes in the dark with eight boxes of sparklers before bed.

So here's the truth. I went to bed on July 3rd feeling a little down. I was anticipating grief and allowing it to win. I came face to face with some uncomfortable-ness much like Romy and Michelle at their High School reunion and I felt the ping stab me between the eyeballs. But, around 12:23 am that night .....er very early this morning,  I realized the smoke bombs, the ice cream, the dancing, the awesome fireworks display, the s'mores, the flying paper lanterns, the sparklers....these are the moments Norman Rockwell would have painted. The little moments of nothing special but pure and simple sweetness.

July 3, 2014

challenge = change

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

Hoo-boy, when I read that this afternoon, it struck a major nerve. I feel like I've been challenged in all aspects of my daily life as of late. From raising kids and going back to work to personal relationships and mid-life crisis. I keep struggling to push myself forward while balancing on this tight rope of life.

Several times, I've come back to this place to share news, report a hilarious misstep, express joy or relay a thought. But for some reason, I keep falling short. Unable to find just the right words. Plus, with the arrival of Spring and baseball/softball season, my life jumped into warp speed. I mean like "Sir, the coordinates they have set, they are on a direct course to Sector 001." (You know what I'm saying, right Trekkies, right?!) All I was really able to focus on was providing clean uniforms and arriving at the right ball field at the right time with the right child. (Which proved difficult at times, believe me!)

Life, as we all know, ebbs and flows. Growing smallish people into bigger people, with all the crap they throw at us, isn't easy. We all know that too. Add a dusty ball field and gather a group of people together and then, call them a team has it's challenges. I will say this, three out of the four teams my family was involved with this season have been great. And, I felt much reprieve when I was able to come back to those groups and know everything was ok. Standing up for myself (and advocating for my child) with that fourth group proved to be more of a challenge I cared it to be. A challenge partly brought on by my own doing I will admit. However, the most hurtful challenge wasn't my doing at all. It changed my hope for a fun season and turned it into something I had to "get through". Lies and gossip and bullies aren't something I've had to face head-on in my personal life before. Although, through navigating it, I proved to myself that I am strong and it opened my eyes to some true colors of those around me which I'm grateful for. However, I was very sad and disappointed in my community for a while. Lost my mojo for a bit. But as I realized I could control my reaction to the situation I was handed, I was able to pull myself out of the funk. I dusted myself off, took stock of the behaviors around me, reevaluated, focused on my kid and moved on.

Growing up, when my parents turned the magical age of forty, I didn't think much about it. I never thought it was old or young. Just an age. But as I inch closer to the tipping point myself, I've thought quite a bit about what I'm doing with my life. Or rather, what am I going to do with the rest of my life. No one needs to fear I will cash out my social security account, change my name to Rainbow Rose and flea to some island, somewhere. It's just that my babies aren't in diapers needing naps anymore. All three go to school full time and for the most part are pretty self sufficient, aside from the reminders to brush teeth and wear weather appropriate clothing. And, I spend much of my time twiddling around doing this and that. Don't get me wrong, having three kids doesn't come without challenge, stress and chaos that REQUIRES my attention but as they get bigger and are needing me less, I'm left with myself more, wondering what's next.

So one rainy day in April, I decided to apply for a substitute teaching certificate. I have had teaching credentials under my belt but when my wee family was just a family of three and our bread winner was commuting three+ hours a day, I let things expire and put it all on the back burner. I'm not sure I want to be a classroom teacher again, but I wanted a way to have a flexible schedule and contribute the bank account. This seemed like the perfect solution. My summer surprise was an envelope in the mail making me officially official. I will get myself put in the system for the Fall and get my subbing on. Different challenges and more change ahead I'm sure.

Since September I have been actively practicing yoga. I found a spot that fit and it made me happy. Yoga challenges my strength mostly, but sometimes how I thought and perceived myself and life around me as well. I aspire to get "better" and continue to challenge myself in ways I never thought possible. You know all that self doubt and negative talk kept getting in the way. "I'm not strong enough", "I'll never be able to do that", "Only young people can sit like that". But the more I practiced and peeled those labels away, the more my physical and spiritual self changed and grew. It was so nice to roll my mat out and move from one sweaty asana to the next , knowing I was building strength and exfoliating the challenges of the outside world. Changing. Growing. And, I am grateful.

Summer vacation is in full swing now. Our routine has evolved from getting up early and rushing out the door to sleeping in and hanging around in our pajamas. It's a welcomed change of pace. Although summer time doesn't come without challenges. This just in. What the heck am I supposed to be doing with these three people that keep calling me Mom???