June Wrap-up

I cannot believe June has ended already, and with it the first month of summer vacation! The summer got off to a slow start, but has since picked up speed and is just flying by!

My sweet BooBerry!

Hard to believe Liam turned 15 back on the 6th. Wow. Looking back through pictures reminded me of the deal he and I made back when he was 4 years old. He was a thumb-sucker, and as he approached his 5th birthday, I really tried to get him to break the habit. He was resistant, of course, so I decided to bargain with him. I would give up my favorite part of the day (which happened to be nap time…) if he would give up his thumb. He told me that on his 5th birthday, he would stop sucking his thumb. Well, true to his word, he woke up on his 5th birthday and that thumb never went into his mouth again. I still miss nap time… That was 10 years ago now! It seems like just a few months ago…

Happy 15th Birthday, Boo!

Speaking of Liam, he has been doing football conditioning three times a week since the second week of June. Conditioning is optional, but it is really getting the boys who can attend into great shape! Official practice starts on August 6, and Liam is really excited for high school practice. It is looking to be a good year for the team.

Back on the 17th, Rob and I celebrated our 17th Anniversary! Once again, how time doth fly! Hard to believe we are coming up on 20 years of knowing each other! Are we really old enough to have known each other that long? Why yes, yes we are… I think I will insert another ‘Wow’ here!

Love, Love, LOVE this man!

The twins and I have been staying busy while Liam has been in football. There are a lot of activities around the area that we have been attending. They have also been doing a lot of swimming. Catheryn is getting ready for the start of the cross-country season on July 23 and Nathan is looking forward to the start of football on August 13. I have already received school registration dates, which tells me just how fast the summer is going!

July is looking to be another busy month. For those of you who remember the 50th birthday trip to Alaska we surprised Rob with months ago, you may be surprised to hear that he is leaving TOMORROW! It was months away and now it is tomorrow! I think he is going to have a blast.

Many of you may know that we are required to live here in the park. We requested to move out last summer, but were denied. We decided to try again this year, and they granted our request! After 8 years of our kids sharing a room (yes, EIGHT…) they will finally have their own rooms in the little house we are purchasing in town! We close on July 25 and could not be more excited!

I think that is about it for now. I am hoping that once we move into town we will have better internet so I will be able to load pictures and updates more regularly. For now, though, I am grateful for the library. 🙂

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!!!!!

Another Chapter Complete

I always have a hard time around this time of year. You see, today is the last day of school. And while I am excited to have my kids home for the summer, it breaks my heart to know that another chapter in their childhoods is coming to a close.

This is the last day of 8th grade for Liam. He is moving on to high school now, which means I only have four years left with him at home. Four years. He has always been a challenging child, and there have been countless times when I was not sure if I would survive from one day to the next. Now here we are, a few short years away from graduation, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. I still see my little baby, his sideways smile forever etched on my heart.

My twins are now 8th graders. Seriously. Teenagers. Only a short year behind their brother when it comes to graduation. One more year of middle school, and it is high school for them as well. I am watching them grow into amazing, beautiful people, and my heart smiles. And it cries. And I find myself spinning in circles, not exactly sure what to do. How is one to hold them close and set them free at the same time?

I try to live in the moment, enjoy what is in front of me at this exact moment in time and not worry about what is to come. Sometimes I fail miserably at this. Like right now. This will pass, and pretty soon we will be enjoying summer and I will not be thinking about school and how old my kids are getting and how ridiculously fast time is going. But right now I just want to hit the rewind button. I want to go back and be a better mom, enjoy the little moments more than I did back when I was in them and completely exhausted.

I used to work with a woman back when the kids were little. The twins were 2 and Liam was 3. Her daughter was older, so every time she would see my kids, she would comment on how much she missed her toddler, but how much she loved her teenager. I remember trying at the time to imagine what it would be like to be the mom of teenagers, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t picture my babies as teens. It was impossible, not to mention so far off that it would never actually happen. Now here we sit, three teenagers in our family, and all I can think is, I really miss my toddlers, but I sure do love my teenagers. Life is funny.

I wish I were one of those people who could stash my emotions away somewhere, always wearing my brave face no matter what, but unfortunately I am not one of those people. Every emotion I feel seems to stamp itself right on my face. There is no hiding anything. I know that growing up is perfectly natural, a simple fact of life, Babies grow up, life goes on. And I know that every moment is precious and meant to be cherished. My head knows and understands this, but my heart does not always agree. I should be excited for the next chapter to begin, but I am still a little sad about the ending of the previous one.

Oh, but I am so very grateful for this life and these beautiful young adults who call me mom. I am grateful to get be a part of their journey. As I sit here thinking back over the last school year, I know that I would not change a thing…

Five Events for Five Decades

As you already know, Rob will be turning 50 (!!!!!) this summer. I have really been wanting to do something crazy, or at least out of the ordinary for us, so I started looking up running events. One event didn’t seem like quite enough to mark such a momentous birthday, but 50 was a few too many, so we decided on one event for each decade of Rob’s life. I found five events, all slightly different, and all close to home. Rob has been wanting to get into better shape, so he has agreed to participate in these events with me.

We are going to kick off our Five Events for Five Decades at the Albuquerque Half Marathon. Of course the title is a little misleading because while the half marathon is the main run of the day, they also have smaller runs. Since it will be our first run of the year, we decided to run the 10k together while the kids are all going to run the 5k. We will be running this event in mid-April.

Our original plan was to participate in the Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in May, but the shortest distance there is 15 miles. Rob has never run a half marathon, so this distance seemed a little too much too fast. And since we do not need any injuries or craziness, we decided to skip that run for this year and add it to the calendar next year.

Next up is the Los Alamos Triathlon in July. This is a sprint distance tri with the swimming taking place in the local pool. It is a good triathlon to start with since it is both short, and there is no open-water swimming involved. Since I already have Rob talked into participating in an Ironman 70.3 (Weee!) with me next year, this will be a good starter race to see how we like it.

Come August we are heading up to run the Red River High Mountain Half Marathon. In this event we will actually be running the half marathon while the kids are planning on doing the 5k again. Liam has expressed interest in running the half with us, but we will have to see how he feels when the time comes to register. This will be Rob’s first half marathon, and I am really excited for him! The course looks amazing, so it should be a great experience!

In September we have the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon. I have not asked the kids about this one yet, but I think they will probably be up for running another 5k. There is at least one other person from the park who will be running this one as well, perhaps more, so it will be a small group event. Should be a fun run!

To wrap up our Five Events for Five Decades, we are going to tackle the Duke City Marathon in October. I think after a year of training and running smaller events, this will be a great place for Rob’s first marathon. Plus, according to their website, it is ranked as one of the top 25 marathons in the world. Not to mention it is a Boston Qualifier, so who knows, we just may get lucky in our old age!

The only run we are currently registered for is the 10k in April, so of course everything is subject to change. This is our plan for the year, though and we will do our best to see it through. I’m thinking we will end this year in pretty good shape! Then it will be time to get ready for Boulder 70.3!!

Sugar-Free Challenge

Last January, our family decided to participate in a year-long sugar-free challenge.

Basically what it meant was that on a regular basis, we were not to have treats of any kind. No cookies or candy, soda or cake. This went for home, work, and at school. If someone gave into the temptation and had a treat, they were to put a mark on the tally sheet. Holidays and birthdays were exceptions to the no-sugar rule. (Oh, and a very long two week break during our summer vacation!)

As incentive, we put a jar in the kitchen and money would randomly be added. Whoever managed to win the sugar-free challenge would win the money that was in the jar.

As you can see by our tally sheet, Nathan and I were the weakest when it came to giving in, and Catheryn was as stubborn as a mule. She, of course, won the challenge. It was a tough challenge, though, and I am extremely impressed with how few marks there ended up being over the entire year!

This year we have decided to continue being sugar-free, although we are no longer taking marks for eating treats. We have just all agreed that we would keep our treats to a minimum and they would not become a daily thing.

This year we are having a fitness challenge. The goal is to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three days per week. The more the better, but it has to be at least three days. At the end of the week, if you have not gotten in your three days, then you will have to put a mark on the tally sheet. If someone is sick or is physically unable to get in their days, they will be able to make up for it the following week by exercising five days. We are off to a late start this year due to sickness, but we have all agreed to start our challenge this Tuesday.

Rob and I are working on our own little fitness project that we are calling “Five Events for Five Decades,” so hopefully this family challenge will help keep us motivated. I will share more about those events later.

Wish us luck!

Better Late than Never…

Happy New Year!

Our family did not exactly get off to the best start this year. For the last two weeks, we have all taken turns being sick. In a way it was good because it fell over winter break, so the kids were out of school anyway, and in another way it was bad, because that was by far the worse winter break we have ever had. School started back up on Tuesday and while the twins were able to go, Liam needed one more day at home. Rob was also able to go back to work yesterday after taking an addition week off to help care for my sickly self. So yesterday was the first day we are all standing on our own feet again, and I must say, I am so happy for that. We do not get sick very often, but when we do, it is a nice reminder of just how wonderful it feels to be healthy.

While I was laying in the dark last week with nothing but some relaxing piano music and my own thoughts to keep me company, I found myself thinking about many things that had happened over the last year. I would not exactly call 2017 our best year ever, but it definitely had its moments. I have a hard time being glad when a year is over, no matter how bad it may have been. I know that with it goes all the bad associated with it, but the good has to go as well. All the events of the year become memories, time never to be had again. For some reason, I have a hard time with that. Especially when I look at my family and realize just fast time is flying by.

The babes of yesterday are the young adults of today, and I fear that if I simply blink, it will be time to remove the word “young” from that statement. The years truly are short…

2018 is looking to be an eventful year for our family, though. The twins will join the teenage world in a couple short weeks, Liam will be able to get his learner’s permit once school lets out, Rob and I will both change decades this summer, and we will have a high schooler come fall. We have southern states to visit, runs to participate in, camping to do. Last summer we were limited on time since I worked the weekends, so this year we decided to change that. Time with the kids at home is fleeting, and time to do things together is by far more important than a few extra dollars in the bank. This year I hope to find us out in nature more, camping, fishing, hiking, taking new roads. Making new memories.

So here’s to 2018. May it bring health and happiness to all!

On This Date…

February 5…

Today… We watched the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. The Falcons had such a good lead at one point and we were so hopeful that they would be able to pull it off. Slowly but surely, we watched their lead slip away until the game was tied. And then they lost it. Sigh. I am not a Falcons fan, but I would have liked to see them win tonight.

One Year Ago… It is hard to believe that one year ago today we arrived in New Mexico. The kids are loving school here, Rob enjoys his job, I love being a stay-at-home mom, even though the kids are older now. I think we are in a good place for everyone. We are in such a routine now that it almost feels as if we have been here forever.

17 Years Ago… We walked into the Missoula Humane Society and met Remington P. Cat. Who would have guessed what a huge part that kitty would play in our lives. He traveled all over with us and never complained about a thing. I loved how easy-going he was, and how much love he showed. I loved absolutely everything about that cat. Everything.

19 Years Ago… Since Remi was about two when we adopted him, we made his adoption date his birthday, so, Happy Birthday, Remi! You were one in a million, Lovely Boy. I miss you every day…

Nine

After two wonderful weeks off, it was time for the kids to head back to school today. I know many parents look forward to the kids returning to school, but I rather enjoy my kids being home, so am never too anxious to get back into the school routine. It is nice not having to get up early, rush around getting ready in the morning, stress over homework, worry about staying up too late.

But alas, no break can last forever, so back into the routine we go. Nathan started his wrestling season with the YMCA tonight. He only has practice two nights a week, so it will not be quite as demanding as the middle school practice was for Liam. Catheryn told me after practice tonight that she would like to join Nathan when he goes back on Wednesday. As we were leaving, the coach told us a lot of sisters will end up joining after they see how much fun the brothers are having. I think she would enjoy being out there with Nathan. If nothing else, it will get her some really good exercise!

It is hard to believe that second semester has begun already. The twins are wrapping up their elementary career while Liam moves that much closer to the 8th grade. I find myself looking at my kids and being amazed at just how fast they are growing up, and I try not to count how few years we have left with them at home. Do not worry about that yet, I remind myself, enjoy what is in front of you this very minute… And yet in the back of mind a little voice whispers ‘Liam will be 14 this year. Oh time, please slow down, I beg you…’

We are quickly approaching our one year anniversary here in New Mexico. See what I mean? How time doth fly…

For now, though, homework is done, showers are taken, and it is time for bed. We have school in the morning…