Thursday, January 28, 2016

This still happens sometimes



  •  Yesterday was a super shitty day & I had one too many "I just want my mom" moments. 

    Luckily, she's never far from me and it's pretty easy to conjure her (metaphorical) spirit. When you watch somebody you love die, it's impossible to unsee those last moments. It was really hard to see my beautiful, youthful mom literally crumble, unravel, and...die. 

    Physically, it's quite jarring and kinda scary and ugly. It's hard to unsee it, but I also have 39 years full...bursting-at-the-seams-full, of images like these (the ones above; dancing on NYE Mom, Snowshoeing Mom, Dressed for her grandson's birthday party Mom, chillin on the beach Cool Mom...and so many, many many more, thank god).


    If you knew my mom, I bet you can still hear her laugh...I bet you can still picture her grooving to her favorite songs...I bet you can envision her face light up when you enter the room. 

    Because if you knew Mare, I bet you were one of her favorite people. Her heart was big enough for everyone...and then some. 

    See? Wherever she is, she is still finding ways to pick me up when I'm down. 

    Love you, mom. xo



    And.
    Thank you, mom.
    I'm quite sure she is the one who made me pay really close attention to all the normal, everyday stuff so that someday I would be able to enjoy this gift and never be longing or searching for memories.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

And a happy new year...

Spent New Years Eve in Ocean City (on the short list of my happy places) with my dad, his gal, my family, and my bestie & her crew. 
We ate delicious food, listened (and of course danced) to good tunes, played Heads Up, drank Prosecco (cut mine with pomegranate juice, so as to increase my odds of making it to midnight), laughed, dodged wily toddlers, and basically made merry. 
As midnight struck, we popped a bottle of bubbly, kissed our respective beloveds, toasted to 2016, and wished BP a happy birthday.
At 12:01, Lindsay & I gleefully (drunkenly?) headed out for our first run of 2016. We dashed to the beach, paused for a shot of Cuervo, caught the last few fireworks, then hustled back to the house.
Upon thawing out, we all sang happy birthday to my dad & proceeded to demolish the delicious spice cake.
It was a lovely, low key evening (maybe we broke up a few toddler brawls, but that's nothing...the girls were content to jump on the bed and the boys commiserated about whatever preteen boys with endless common threads commiserate about).
I made it.
2016, let's be healthy first & foremost, okay? Health begets happiness, so let's strive for that.
2016, let's preserve some of our amazing memories. How about we take lots of pictures & print them out?
2016, let's get creative & make art. Let's hustle and sell some art.
2016, let's get our shit together. How about we replace that janky window that is about to fall out of the house? How about we try even harder not to live hand to mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck? Nobody needs that stress.
2016, let's keep running running running, but let's get on the bike, too. Even better, how about riding together?? (Me & my love)
2016, let's be great parents. Potty training sucks. Giving up the binky sucks. Nagging about homework & hygiene sucks. How about we try something else because the current situation is wearing us down (kids included)?
2016, let's chill the fuck out. How about we enjoy our blessings instead of counting them? You never know what tomorrow brings, let alone a whole year, so let's take it day by day. Okay?
Cool.
Happy Happy Happy New Year! xo

Saturday, December 26, 2015

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

We gave my mom such shit every time she wore her Christmas chucks...they became slightly more tolerable after she cut the jingle bells off...
Now they're mine and obviously I think they're awesome.
I've got my Christmas spirit back this year thanks to my amazing husband, friends, and family.
Jingle jingle jingle 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Just a few thoughts

Can't believe this is the third Christmas(time) without my brother...
I really miss holiday shenanigans with him.
I can't wait til he's out and I get at least one piece of my family back.
Yes, the kids make this time of year exciting and magical and fun;
It's tough, too, though.
Maeve was scrawling on a Christmas card from a neighbor & saying "Love, Grammy...right, mommy? It says love Grammy."
So sweet and unexpected.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Talk (well, one of them...)

Delivering Christmas cards to our neighbor's mailboxes tonight, Max and I commenced our usual end-of-day big idea/silly questions/ponderings/worries/chit chat...
One house had two green bulbs illuminating their porch lights.
"Do you think they switched them out because they're pro-legal-marijuana?"
He asked (in the eleven year-old I'm kind of joking but actually want to know about something manner).
Pause.
"And Grampy's porch lights are red because he's Anti?"
Um. Whuttttttt?? Bwhahahaha...
Doing my best to stifle all kinds of snide remarks & honor his curiosity without making him feel like an ass (it's paramount to hone this particular skill as a parent from the get go, just a heads up),
I replied, "Well, I'm guessing the red & green light bulbs have more to do with Christmas than you know, their stance on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana."
"Right. Mom, do you know there are a lot of names for it?" (Max, for real? We're going there?)
"Mom, there's, like, tons. Weed. Reefer. Mary Jane. Ganja...pot..."
I thought better of adding to his list. 
Side note: weed has come up quite a bit in polite conversation in our family; it's no secret that Uncle Rob is in the clink for a loooooong ass time because of his irresponsible dalliances with weed, coupled with our antiquated & twisted legal system. We've talked about it at length. I have been talking to my kid about drugs and alcohol for a long time. I don't want him to be scared to ask questions or approach me or somebody he trusts in our family when he is confronted with a situation. I want him to understand consequences, responsibility...plainly, I want him to know. 
Growing up, my parents (my dad in particular) were completely open & transparent when it came to all things drug (and alcohol).
While there were times in my childhood that left me scared or conflicted (worried that my parents were "bad" because they smoked a little weed sometimes), my big takeaway was quite simple..
It's not enough to drill into kids Just Say No (which was the big tenet when we started talking about & learning about drugs in school).
My dad told me about bad trips & scrapes with the law near Mexico...he told me about a cousin that was never the same after a bad experience with acid. He lamented about friends who never got away from "occasional" cocaine use. He taught me to be responsible & take control. He taught me how to say no and how not to get caught up in that crap in the first place.
Mostly, he instilled a sense of trust...he trusted me with some pretty personal & compelling information from a young age. In turn, I took those lessons and dialogs to heart and chose not do anything harmful that would disappoint my parents.
I was taught to look at the big picture (and perhaps because of my anxious nature, I was simply scared to mess with my biochemistry or do harm to my distant future unborn children...seriously, I worried about that shit. Ecstasy?? No way...what if it messes with my DNA? What if I snap? Pills? HELL no. And so on and so on...snorting anything? Are you serious? And ruin my already wacky sinuses? You want me to put WHAT up my nose?! I'm so clumsy & awkward, I'd probably do it wrong. Not to mention buggin out...).
Anyway.
Weed. 
Back to The Talk...
"You can ask me anything, any time, and I'll answer you honestly, hopefully in a way that is easy to understand."
"Did you ever try it, mom?"
"Weed? Yes. In moderation. And I liked it if I was with the right people in a safe environment. I never got out of control with it."
"There are supposed to be, like, medical benefits. Like for cancer patients and stuff..." Max told me. "It can help with seizures and stuff. It's legal in some states, right?"
Which led to a frank conversation about laws and legislation and government and addiction and other drugs...
As a parent, one of my biggest fears is that my kid(s) will get wrapped up in some bad sh*t like pills (or, god forbid, heroin). 
Hopefully, continuing to have these easy, honest talks will at least provoke some introspection. Maybe something will stick, maybe something will help them feel comfortable about making smart choices or...at least they'll know we can talk about it. About anything.
Raising children is terrifying & awesome.

As we made our way back to our house, conversation flipped to the new Star Wars movie, Christmas break, candy...
(kid stuff).

Oh...and yes, I have reflected on the fact that my parents raised my brother & I the same way and yes, one of us is incarcerated. 
We were given the same tools/conversations/answers/experiences; it was up to us, as adults, to decide how we were going to handle it.
To imply my parents are somehow responsible for the choices he made is ludicrous. 
And that is something I hope I don't have to remind myself if my kids find themselves in the same kind of trouble someday.

How do you talk to your kids about drugs & alcohol? How old were they when the dialog began? Would you have handled it differently? Have any insight? I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How it goes

Yay! (Loading bike into car)
Wait. Did it rain last night?
Yay! Yay! Yay! (Pulling into parking lot, unloading bike)
This weather is crazy! Jacket? No jacket? Jacket.
Wrong gloves. Overkill.
No gloves? No, wear them.
(Pedaling towards the woods excitedly)
Hmmmm. Kinda muddy, bummer.
I'll stay away from the lowers sections.
(Auto pilot commences. Immediately descend toward aforementioned lower section)
Reaaaaaaaaally muddy. I'm an asshole.
Slovenly sloth. That's what I feel like.
Fucking slow ass sloth.
Wait. I'm in the WOODS on my BIKE and this is FUN!
It's not fun.
I'm an asshole.
Quick, get to the paved path, asshole.
(Hits pavement, reluctantly...spots another asshole in periphery riding on wet, muddy trail. Wearing headphones. Not earbuds. Headphones. And no helmet. Triple asshole)
Decide: climb up road (the long way) back to car or take most direct route through woods?
Woods.
It'll be drier as I climb out.
It is drier.
I'm still slow and suffering. It has only been thirty five minutes.
Oh, look, a cardinal!
No bunnies.
No (visible) hunters!
Call it? It's been 37 minutes.
WTF. 
I am overheating.
Why is the parking lot empty?
Do I have coffee money?
How come running fitness doesn't parlay into riding fitness?
This sucks.
I'm not having fun.
I want coffee.
And a hot shower.
I want my legs back.

And there you have it...first ride back in a while.
I found out the hard way that running on pavement often is pretty abusive on my body.
I need to mix it up & focus on strength training/core work blah blah blah.
And.
I need to be patient.
And.
Two half-marathons just a few weeks apart probably wasn't the best idea I've ever had.

That's all I got.
(For today)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Lazy Sunday or...

I can't tell if I'm depressed, destroyed from yesterday, or getting sick.
Perhaps all of the above.
All I know is I've been in bed since 12:30 this afternoon and it's nearly 5.
I slept for three hours (after sleeping late this morning).
When I woke up from my "nap"/hibernation, I ate some Cheezits and drank a bottle of Goya coconut soda.
In bed.
Maybe yesterday was too much?
I woke up at 5am to run nine brisk miles in the freezing cold, barely ate anything after, and hightailed it to work at noon.
Later (still at work), I noticed I was breaking out in hives all over my face & torso.
I hadn't eaten or drank anything different, so I have no idea what caused such a weird and sudden reaction.
For that matter, I didn't eat or drink enough after a nine mile run. 
In any case, I took three little shots of liquid Benedryl and don't remember much after that.
Figures I'd be the fool who ODs on Benedryl. I'm so wild. 
Thankfully, a coworker promptly brought me home and suffice it to say, my hives cleared up and I slept the night away.
Apparently, 25mg is the typical adult dosage & I took roughly 5 times that (I don't know what chart I was reading).

Which brings me back to today.
My daughter is napping and my son isn't expected home for another hour, so I really don't feel the need to leave my bed.

I'm all for a lazy Sunday now and then, but this is a little ridiculous.
Thank god for my husband, the voice of reason who loves me despite my quirks & flaws; I could not have handled today alone.