0615 just a date

all those years ago today date was just a date, then about 1995 all of that changed, bob was born.

so i actually dont know  if 6/15 was the real date, it may have been written on her papers, i vaguely remember that, but it was the day i celebrated her birth, and it was near the date, so it counts.

dogs give this gift, the gift of unconditional love.
you feed them
you snggle them
you scratch them
you love them

but none of that can compare to the unconditional love they always give back, and that is just what bob gave to me.

bob came to me in a time i desperately needed something to be just mine.  i was so in limbo, in a period of my life where i just had no clue what the hell i was going to do.   i had zero direction, no mentors, wasnt accomplishing much, didnt have any goals, heck, i didnt even know what goal setting was!  i dont regret those years, they were extremely fun, and drunk, but fun, and shaped me along with several more years of that.  looking back on it now i dont regret it.  could i have done it different, of course, but i do not regret it.

i was getting a dog, and naming it bob.  that was my direction.  i found her in the paper, you remember, that black and white thing they used to print daily and would end up on your doorstep! she was $375 which to me and my budget equated about $375,000.00, but i scounged it together somehow.  My friend Chris Tindera and I drove the 60 minutes to Ashland and rolled home minutes later with the cutest little ball of wrinkles on my lap.

She was with me constantly, when i did get a ‘job’ she went with me, my first house purchase was based on the yard and space for her, she walked me down the aisle at my wedding, she was an ice sculpture at the reception and she prepped me for the greatest journey of my life, becoming a mom.

when i was pregnant with grace i used to worry, worry i could never love my baby as much as i loved bob. (dont worry, i quickly learned i could).  bob adapted so perfectly to life with a baby, and grace become her baby to love and protect.

when i lost bob a piece of my heart was torn from my chest, never to return.  thankfully, she filled that same heart i was able to move on, after days in bed sobbing.  yes…i spent days in bed sobbing over the loss of my dog. the guilt of her life being cut short will always be with me, haunting me, but the joy of her dog years pushes the guilt away too.

we still talk about bob.  my kids still joke i love bob more than them.  there are still pictures of her around the house, a little cement replica of her in the flower bed. 0615 is a date to most people, but to me it is a daily reminder of the unconditional love that was given to me.  the love that gave me a purpose.  dog years that i am forever grateful i had.

xoxoxoxoxox

the boy, his arm and the guilt.

the boy has been bouncing on the trampoline for years.  since he was a small chubby little guy.

 

he has always gone out there on his own and would just jump, up and down on his own for the longest time.  it has always been like he goes in a zone, time in his own head, scheming and imagining.  it would calm him, it has always been his go to when he got shooed outside.

well, yesterday was the day that came to an end, snap.
the boy broke his arm.

yes, it was bound to happen
yes, trampolines are an accident waiting to happen
no, there is not a net around it
yes, i am an awful mom

so now that we have gotten that out of the way.

it went down like this, the first day of summer break, the boy got shooed outside and off fortnite. jumping away he goes, and attempts the cardinal trampoline sin, a flip.  doesn’t land the flip and snap, just like a pencil snapping as he would describe it.

Clean break of both bones in his forearm.

where am i? work.
i get a picture message of the snapped S shaped arm, ummmm so gross!  i will spare you posting it here. gross, and not what you want to see pop up on your message from your kid.  him laying his head on the table with his S shaped arm = mild heart attack.

at that exact moment i was out and about running errands, not in my car i might add.  so i need to get back to work.

this is when it went by really fast.
I am: 
trying to pull over to try to talk to him
he is in route to the er
i am calling the ortho office
sending a picture of the insurance card
my boy is in pain and i am not able to get right to him.

by the time i get back to work and i can get to my car to make the 30 minute drive to the hospital, the boy is being numbed up and are ready to cast him.
so no point in me racing there, he is on his way home with a quarter pounder.

i finish up my work, head to drug mart to get him some necessities and head home.
i walk in the door, he comes right up to me before i am in and just hugs me.  he is a wreck!  my boy is so upset…queue the mom guilt, like a water pipe just burst and the mom guilt is shooting directly at me.  my boy is so stinking mad at himself for this injury.  he had big plans this summer.

The numbing is wearing off, he is in pain and he is beating himself up.
I am beating myself up
+
I have allowed the trampoline all these years
=

I am the worst mom in the world 

I wasn’t there when it happened, I wasn’t there to take him to the hospital, I wasn’t there to have him squeeze my hand when it hurt, I wasn’t there when they gave him the Novocaine shots, I wasn’t there when they showed the xray, I wasn’t there to tell him it was going to be ok, I wasn’t there when he picked his cast color, I wasn’t there when they casted it, I wasn’t there to make the follow up appointment, I wasn’t there to get him the quarter pounder meal after (that is probably a good thing).

yes, it is dangerous, honestly my whole back yard/home is a danger zone.
we have:
a climber set
an above ground pool
scooters
basketball hoop
bikes
slip and slides
sprinklers
pogo sticks
the list goes on and on.

Every single time they walk out that door to play, an accident can happen.  I cant switch my mindset to wrapping them in a bubble and sending them off, unless they are those fun bubble balls you slam into each other in!

Accidents are always going to happen, I just have to
pray
pray
pray
and have faith that they have been raised well enough to make decisions that can keep them safe as possible.  Yes, a flip on the trampoline is a dumb decision. the rule is no flips.  An accident happened, it could have been worse, it could have been better.  Either way I cant lock him up.  I want him to live, I want him to do his thing, get dirty, take risks (not crazy risks, but some risks) and he learned from this risk.  So I will take a broken bone and the lesson he learned.  I don’t have to punish him, he is doing that to himself.  A great lesson in choices, because he is going to be making choices for the rest of his years.

As for me, the guilt is going away, it wasn’t like he drove himself to the hospital, he was in good hands with his dad, who is calm, calm, calm in these situations.  There is a reason I wasn’t there, because I most likely would have yaked, cried and been a wreck.  That being said, the mom guilt is still strong and hopefully in 25 years, when they are grown and visiting me at my beach house, (because that is the only way I will get them to visit me) this will be a mom guilt story i will be crying tears of laughter from.

Road Tripping

Wow… we just pulled in from a great, warm sun filled vacation.  The last days unexpected twist was the road trip part of it all.  I watched airfare for the past month, looking at every combo of days and cities and for the number of people to fly, well it was just not in the trying to pay off everything budget.  I really did not want to give up my week in the sun, so grateful for the generous company I work for we had the house in Naples for 7 sunny days pool/beach side was what I very, very much needed.  More on that  in a later post, this post is all about road tripping with 4 kids and how to make it manageable.

This wasn’t our first OH -> FL trek. We have driven there multiple times to Disney, but we were going a bit further this time, Naples, so adding another 3-4 hours on the trip.  Also, in previous trips the kids were smaller, not just in age, but in height.  We have driven to Hilton Head several times, but 12 hours is a lot more doable than 22, but like I said, I was determined to get to the sun.

Here are some tips when traveling with big and little kids, since it is a mix in my car: get on the road when they can sleep.  Not everyone agrees with this one, but it works great for us.  they are excited to go, happy to wake up in the middle of the night and shuffle into the car.  I always have great intentions to be packed and ready to get sleep and then start the trek, but well, my intentions are always good.  Either way, the plan is usually to leave about 3am and it ends up being 4.  I drive first, pop headphones in and tune into a podcast, this trip I was getting caught up on this one, started this one and this one I just love! 🙂

I get us about 5 hours in, just into West Virginia and watch the sun come up over the hills, we then need gas and make the switch.  It works well and we are well into the journey by the time any kids are stirring.  Any other driver switches are done on the fly, usually at a gas station while filling up or just pulling off an exit, a quick run around the car, and back onto the freeway.  It is like we are a well versed pit crew.

stop for 1 meal –  like get out of the car and stretch those legs.  Most times we are blasting right through, this trip was a bit different on the way down, we were heading to North Carolina to check out all of the One Tree Hill spots, so we were just plowing through to get there.

On the way out we ate on the go, in the car.  I loaded up on Spark for the second half of my driving and we blasted through.  On the way home we did it a bit different, drove all night, again, blasting through, so we did do the early morning stop for breakfast at Bob Evans.  Everyone slept on and off through the night and was stirring with about  4 hours to go in the trip, so it was a perfect time for a breakfast break.

put the bigger kids in the way back –  I love my car, and one of the things I love is the 2 captains seats in the middle row that allows for an aisle down the middle.  The 2 big kids, which now means they are taller in height too, head straight for the back.  They switch on and off stretching their legs down the middle and falling into a nook in the floor, but it works for them back there.  Yes, there is always the argument of someone’s feet coming up into the front 2 seats to the younger kids,  J is mad at someone for touching her arm rest with their foot, but overall, having the 2 bigger ones in the back works best.

devices, just let them have them –  They do all pick movies and watch  together, but iPod’s, iPhone’s & iPads are in high demand during the travel.  Yes, I could be that mom that finds the fun travel games, license plate bingo etc, but honestly, that is going to end bad.  Someone is going to think they saw it first or it will get too competitive and a fight will break out.  We are on our way for quality family time, so I am totally on board for them to have their head in a device on the road.  It turns out they don’t use them the whole time, actually, they get bored with it as with everything else.  Chargers are key here, portable chargers that can be used to reload those batteries during movie time and chargers for every outlet,  keep those devices charged.  I cant tell you how many time in our 50+ hours in the car did I hear, I need to plug in.  Pull out all the cords, all the portable chargers you have picked up over the years and get them all in a big ziplock bag to keep handy and keep charging.  Rotate the devices and the chargers and don’t let the device with the GPS get low!

speaking of ziplock bags, keep some in the glove box –  Those mountain roads get curvy and if it is during the day and a kid is coloring, while expect the car sickness and puking to come soon after.  I learned this one the hard way years ago in Virginia which had me running into a Target in flip flops buying some new pj’s.  Keep those wipes and ziplock bags handy in case the car sickness strikes.  Nothing worse that a packed car that smells like puke.

my favorite part – there are more laughs than tears.  I love that they are having sibling road trip memories together, squished in together, sometimes actually snuggling, laughing and watching movies (usually a Disney movie!) together.

Looking that rear view mirror and seeing them together and knowing they have these memories, stories and treasures in their heart to tell years later fills my heart so stinking full!  I can picture it now, sitting on the outdoor patio, together, years later, they are in college probably one still high school, tears of laughter rolling down our faces as they tell the war stories of traveling 24+ hours in the car together.

get out in South Carolina – Just do it, it doesn’t matter if it is a rest stop, Starbucks or shopping plaza, getting out in South Carolina and taking in that amazing, fresh smelling, moss in the trees, salt water air is so so good for the soul, or at least mine.  Each and every time I have crossed into South Carolina a sense of peace falls over me and my heart feels full.  If you are heading that way, do yourself a favor and stop off for a breather in South Carolina.  It can be simply for just minutes, just take in that air.

it may not have went as planned

i do this to myself every time.  i have this vision in my head, and i don’t get things done i want to do, because i do not have them exactly as i have planned in my head.  then i get annoyed, angry, frustrated, the usual.  my head is really not a forgiving place to be.

anyway, that is how it went down for watch the polar express on our holiday bucket list.
time was crucial, we were running out of time, we had wrapped up the basketball tournament and were on the last night before christmas eve.  we were grouping have a ‘hot chocolate bar’ and the ‘watch polar express’ together into one night of fun.

you see, when i added have a hot chocolate bar to the holiday bucket list, i pictured it to look like this:

 or this

mine wasn’t even worthy of a picture.  i laid on the couch and the kids popped some hot chocolate cups in the kurig and grabbed the redi whip out of the fridge and most likely squirted it in their mouth.  im am not certain of that why you ask?  oh that is because i was asleep on the couch as i had fallen asleep during the polar express.

this holiday season has kicked my butt, well leading up to it i should say.   between basketball games, work, more work holiday sale i am just done.  getting sick for 4 days didn’t help either, i just couldn’t muster up the energy.

but you know what?  we did spend an entire evening together at home.  we did snuggle in on the couch and i am certain that the 4 biggest blessing in my life believe.  the christmas spirit was there and that is a success with whipped cream on the top.

now, to finish up that holiday bucket list.

why run?

it is that time of year, cleveland marathon time, well in my case cleveland half marathon.

several years back, after the slowest jog over the finish line of the chicago marathon, i decided i was going to be a halfer girl for my remaining running years.  it is about time for me to run my annual 13.2 miles which also means i have started training to do so.  if you call running a few times a week and maybe throw a 6 miler in on the weekends training, but hey, that is training for me!
i have been a consistent runner for about the last 20 years, initially i started running because it burns lots of calories = weight loss.  that is not the case any more, not that i don’t still burn a lot of calories, but the weight loss doesn’t come with it and that really isn’t my goal or my why. 
I was recently asked…
 ‘why do you run?’
i run because it keeps me sane, or as sane as i can be. 🙂
i know this doesn’t just apply to me, nor am i the first to talk about it,as with every workout i do, but especially running there are several reason why.
it gives me time to just think
clears my mind
releases stress
makes me a better person
chases away the crabbiness
makes me a better mom, friend, co-worker etc.
make me productive, seriously… i get so much more done after a good run!
it also makes me eat, like a lot!
my children know this too…they can tell, they sense my irritation increase when the day is moving along and i have yet to break a sweat.  often times they are the ones pushing me out the door.
‘please mom, you just need to go workout, please go do something!’
they, being grace (14), wyatt (12), jesse (8) mae (5), are main motivators as to why i run. my hope is that over time they may want to join me and maybe, just maybe they themselves will be consistent runners one day.  as for now though, they are pushing me out the door.
generally i work out 6-7 days a week,  at the minimum i need 3 of those workouts to be a run.  i need that sweat
the banging of my knees
the mindless netflix show
or loud music
the chaffing
the blisters
the heart rate increase
the burn of sweat dripping in my eye
the mind game
the thought wandering
the negotiations i make with my self along the way
running, at times it can be the hardest thing to gear myself up for, those are usually the best runs, and other times i just pop right up and go.  but nothing tops that feeling of being done.  it doesnt matter if it is a quarter of a mile or 26.2, when i have that distance in my head that i am going to do, hitting cool down on the treadmill or the buzz of the watch telling me i have hit that distance is satisfaction.  a double strike through on my list of things to do.  one that cannot be compared to many others on the accomplishment rating.
it has taken me years to call myself a runner, but regardless of my pace or distance i am just that, a runner, and i am grateful to be.

the birthday gal

i know, all the moms and dads say it. they warn you when you have kids it flies by, and that has happened…

this sweet baby is 5 today.


breaks
my
heart

what a perfect piece to complete the puzzle of our squad. she is a little piece of everyone wrapped into her crazy self and i don’t even remember life before her.

this here was my favorite picture:

i so remember laying her sweet little sleeping head down on this wood deck, thinking, most people would not lay their newborn baby on this, but it is going to be the cutest darn pic, the things we do for a great picture. you will be happy to know i did brush all the debris and ants away first. 

anyway you can read the original post with these shots here

so for today, as you can imagine i am super grateful for this sweet gal and all the joy she has brought to my life and i am sure a few others too. 
super
super 
grateful

for her love of her sisters and brother
for her kindness
she is a good listener (at school)
her raspy party girl voice
her fierce competitive attitude
her determination
her sweet sweet snuggles at night
and her dragon breath in the morning. 

there is so much to be grateful for with my mae mae liz. 

 i miss those sweet little feet! 


oh hey friday…grateful edition

I’m still keeping on with my grateful posts and mixing it in with oh hey friday.

i havent lined up in awhile, so lets go back to it.
5 anything, 5 something, you pick just link it back here to september farm and the farmers wife. leave a comment here too so i know who to go and read along with. 

                            

oh and how cute is this summer badge that goes with it?? 

so lets talk grateful, these of course are in no particular order. 🙂 

1//     my virtual beachbody groups – so grateful for this, for so many different reasons. when these girls get together on an app and get to encouraging, swapping stories, tips and recipes only good comes from it all. these peeps are from all over and working hard to crush fitness goals. now of course that makes me super grateful but more so is that these gals have become my friends, like real friends and i love that. we are in the trenches together making changes within ourselves that is making us better friends, moms, wives, daughters, aunts, uncles, husbands, coworkers…you get the drift. hearing from them day in and out, sometimes multiple times, sometimes day in between, but still hearing from them and the positivity that is happening i am just so darn grateful for that. 

the good news we are always starting again, adding new focused virtual boot campers and setting new goals. you can get in on this!! so lets talk about what works best for you to be successful! 


2//   my bleacher/insanity pals – in addition to my virtual boot camp there is still a group of us that get together each week and sweet it out with insanity. ummm….there is a lot of sweat going on with these groups and it is just awesome. these peeps inspire me to push harder and dig deeper each week to get the most out of our workout. so so grateful for their insertion week after week. 


3//  my beachbody business – totally grateful, mainly, it keeps me accountable and checked in with my goals. those goals are always evolving but one thing remains constant, the satisfaction that is amazing when i reach that goal. right now my extra beachbody money is getting stored away for christmas, in hopes of a cash christmas morning. so having the opportunity to have my own business, working it when i can around my families schedule and getting results spiritually, mentally and physically, i am grateful for that opportunity. but again, what i am grateful for the most is the relationships i have gained from that opportunity. livelong relationships i would not have it wasn’t for fitness – family – fun! 


4//  my family values fitness – yes, this one i am super grateful for. my kids have learned so much from this example of fitness. they see first hand and understand:

  • hard work
  • setting goals and reaching them
  • good healthy habits
  • fitness is fun
  • it is about being strong and secure
  • a good sweat rejuvenates you
  • exhaustion is a good thing
  • the love of chocolate chip cookies, because yes, we love chocolate chip cookies!
my girls (and my boy) know we are not focused on the scale, the weight or if you made the all star team, but you have to give 100%, be coachable and be strong and confident in yourself and what you give in all you do. i am grateful for this lesson because it has made me a better confident and strong me. 
                                     
5//  fitness – yes, i realize that is what i talked about in all of these ^^^^^^ but i am super grateful to live in a country and world where fitness is an option and spreading that love of fitness is contagious. in the past few years, since starting the spread my fitness love, it has taken me to such a better place in my life and a happier me. so i am super super grateful for that. 

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