Emotional PR

Sandwich board after mile 9 water station.

Sandwich board after the mile 9 water station.

I made it. Another 13.1 miles in the books. Only about 4 miles of that was ran and the rest I walked.  Mile 8 was the slowest and most painful mile I have ever walked.  But I kept telling myself to pull it together or I’m never going to finish.  I finally crossed the finish line at 3 hours and 43 minutes (an hour and 15 minutes slower then my PR) with hysterical tears.  I have never been more emotionally exhausted then when I landed in my Papa’s arms after crossing the finish line.

Before the race we #runForRun and I ran for my parents.

Before the race we #runForRon and I ran for my parents.

13 1/2 weeks ago my Dad had a heart attack, 8 weeks ago I hurt my foot, and 4 weeks ago I broke two of my toes.  Physically I’m overweight, out of shape, and dealing with injury. Emotionally…this weekend was going to be so different.  To top it off I was having a major problem finding childcare.  When I injured my foot I told Tim I wouldn’t be doing the race so he didn’t have to take time off. As time went on, I realized I had to do the race, even if I walked the whole thing.  My parents raised us to never quit anything we had started mid way through.  If we made a commitment we need to stick to it.  I needed to push myself physically because emotionally I was/am drowning.

The best part: after-race-ice!

The best part: after-race-ice!

So after reaching out to ever network I have about getting a triple stroller, a friend of mine graciously offered her triple.  My plan was just to push all three kids in the stroller for the half.  I check the course rules and was thanking Jesus that strollers were allowed.  I refused to give up and was going to make this race happen regardless of the obstacle.  I think my kids would even enjoy doing the race with me and the course was flat.  My dear friend and old running partner (old because she’s too fast for my old bones now), Kiri, thought this idea sounded crazy…so she negotiated with her parents to take my kids Friday-Saturday until Tim got off work. So, Kiri and I embarked on this 3 night trip to Montana without my kids and husband.

It was such a fun but incredibly hard weekend.  The shadows of an alternative universe followed me at every turn and every mile. An alternative universe where I was running my first full and my parents where there running the half marathon.  I didn’t even feel the full weight of what this weekend meant until I was picking up our bibs the day before.  It was a slap in the face to hold my parents bibs in my hand.  During the race every time someone asked about the bibs on my back it felt like a knife plunging into my stomach.  It was almost as if I was truly carrying them on my back the whole way.

Now I’m home and trying to process it all.  I’ve been walking with a limp from a possible stress fracture and having the oh so fun anxiety.  I do feel like this weekend was a healing one.  But mostly, this weekend just reopened old unhealed injuries.  Distance is making me forget and forgetting doesn’t make it go away.  I’m trying to navigate in the new reality and not hold onto the shadows of what could or should have been.

About 1/2 mile into the race.

About 1/2 mile into the race.

Grieving at The Ladies Recital

Yesterday was unexpectedly one of the hardest days.  The day was full of so much joy and pride in my daughters first ballet recital.  They looked like little dolls…and teenagers with all the make up.  But inside my body I was in anguish.  I didn’t even know I was having so much trouble until they came running on stage and I just started to cry.  I proceeded to cry the rest of the show…through dinner…and even now.

Right before their recital

Right before their recital

You see, the two people in the whole world who I wanted to be there, who wanted to be there, couldn’t make it. They supported me my whole career in dancing and sports. They paid for the girls to dance this past year and this was going to be such a highlight to see the end of the year performance.  But they are in Denver at a special brain injury hospital and Dad is slowly coming back to us.

June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015 Jared and PT helping Dad walk at South West Hospital in Boise, Idaho

How is Dad doing? Great! and there is a long road of recovery.  It’s just the long part that is the hardest part. The uncertainty of what his cognitive recovery will be is one of my biggest struggles. I do believe that he will have a good quality of life in the end.  I just know he won’t be the same man he was before April 9th.  I find my self grieving for a living person.  Grieving because he/we are forever changed.  I wish this was getting better.  It is getting better in that I don’t fear for his life.  It’s the part that is hidden that is getting harder.  The absents in presents is almost unbearable.  The calls to my mom when I can feel how heavy the weight is on her is crushing.  Thinking how “lucky” we are that he survived is the dull knife that stabs because this doesn’t feel like luck…just pain.  All these feeling have been buried until last night.

On stage after the recital singing "Thanks for dancing with me to day"

On stage after the recital singing “Thanks for dancing with me to day”

The girls walked off the stage with more flowers and love from family and friends then they could hold.  Thank you for everyone who could make it.  A special thanks to my aunt and uncle who sat in my parents seats and gave me hugs when I cried.  I’m not sure I could have pulled it together without all the support.

Family and friends loving on the girls.

Family and friends loving on the girls.

3 weeks

My life is forever changed. I called a friend from home today and cried when I heard her voice. I morn for my life that was three weeks ago.  The easiness and stability of it.  How have I come to this point in my life?  Are I not too young to be going through a season like this?

It has been a constant struggle with the darkest moments of trying to figure out how to say good bye to the bight glimmers of hope that he is going to make it through this.  Some days these emotions happen in the same hour…three weeks…my stomach is in knots.  Bile creeping up my throat as I type.  And worse, I should go home on Sunday but every time I think about it I start to get an acute anxiety attack.  

A couple of months ago, I was trying to get Dad to sign up for the full marathon instead of the half.  He has done a couple in the past but I wanted him to run another full for my first one.  He ended up signing up for the half. He told me he wanted to be able to wait at the finish line and enjoy me finishing my first marathon.  How am I going to be able to do this still? How CAN I NOT do the full? Every time I think about it I get emotional.  To make things worse, I haven’t been training well. 

Next weekend we are headed to my brothers collage graduation. We have been planning a family road trip down to Colorado for months. The van is rented, the house is rented, and time off of work is set.  This has been such a point of excitement and anticipation. I feel this emptiness as we fastly approach this date.  We need more time for him to heal and make the trip.  It might just be my youngest brother,Tim, and our kids that make the trek.  However sorrowful I am about this journey, I’m thrilled to have some joy and normalcy. 

What I would give to have some more normalcy…or rather my old normalcy back.  This new normal is unbearable at times but also has unitifies our family in a way I never expected.  The most comforting thing about this process has been to see and be proud of the family I come from and the legacies have been instilled in me.

I love this new artist that has displayed his work in the hallway in the hospital

Happy Birthday 

What are bithdays? 

Celebration of someone’s birth, a joyous reminder and thankfulness of a person being on this earth with us.  A reminder of all the years we have lived and memories we have created.  Milestones that have been crossed. 

Today is Dad’s birthday. 49 years old.  

Happy Birthday 49

The last long conversation we had a couple of weeks ago, I was teasing him about how he was getting old and approaching 50.  It was an on going joke for us.  He would give me a hard time about getting close to 30 and how I was still young but old.  

Now, I look at him and all the humor is gone. I would normally tell him how oldmanish he was and ask if it was a “dry birthday” (mean: he didn’t get any gifts).  To him, birthdays are just another day. But this year…this year is a big deal.  

We could experience a miracles but this might be his last birthday. He has had no change in 8 days.  The hardest part about this, and there are many, he looks so good.  Like he is just going to wake up and walk out of the hospital with us.  How can someone’s body be so perfect but their mind be gone?  How cruel is the world to leave us with a shell.

Today on his 49th birthday, I’m going to refect on the past 24 years I have been blessed enough to spend with him.  It just doesn’t seem enough or long enough. 

I was 4 when my mom married him.  For a couple of years we were close.  Life happened, being in a tangled complex family happened, and we had a strained relationship.  For the past 3 years we have worked on this relationship and grown closer.  This past year we have been very close. We text almost daily and talk on the phone weekly.  He called me Wednesday night before this happened, I called him back, he called me back and we never got to talk that one last time. I’m having a really hard time thinking about all those waisted years.  But I’m so glad I have had the past couple of years and felt his fatherly love.  I do know now, it is better to love than never love at all. 

Giving me away at my wedding 2008

Dry Bones

The first time I hurt like this the doctors were talking to us about terminating Ari at 20 weeks gestational with the girls.  It has almost been four years and I can still feel the tears warm my cheek as we froze the fresh picked berries. We had just come from the first bleak doctors appointment. The testes showed Ari not doing well and they feared that if she died, Kaia would die or have brain damage.  We felt the option wasn’t up to us and held onto hope.  Now, I look at them and see how wonderfully perfect they are. We maded the tough call to not intervene and it was the right one.

So here we are April 16, 2015…and that pain is back. Maybe years have dulled my memory of the pain, I don’t remember it being this hard.  This whole thing is cruel. My brothers and I are too young to lose a Dad.  My mom is too young to be a widow. He is too healthy to leave us.  My kids need their Papa.  I need my weekly call to check in on my training. The girls dance recital, brothers graduations, our family race in July, weddings, birth of more grandkids…endless list of life still left to live for a 48 year old.

Last Thursday, everything seemed to go right for someone to have a heart attack. CPR was started right away, EMT’s responded right away, they used the AED right away, airflight came right away and got him stable, surgery took 30 minutes to get the stent in, and they got him cooled right after the surgery.  Smooth and routine.  But we are day 7 in the hospital and day 5 from when his tempature was back to normal but he still hasn’t woke up. 

I have waited all my childhood and my early twenties to have a relationship with a dad.  Having my kids has opened the door and allowed my relationship with both my dads to grow.  After 24 years of having this hole in my life, I can’t open the hole back up after only 3 years.  I can’t lose either of them.  I can’t lose him.  I can’t do it.  It’s too cruel for all of us.  Not fair.

So, PLEASE wake up!

“my soul cries out/my soul cries out for you/these bones cry out/these dry bones cry/for you to live and move/only You can raise the dead/lift my head up”


As our friend and pastor said, “Stay clear of AnneMarie these days. Just not safe.”  The avalanche is coming down.  Or maybe it’s that f-ing offices lady who said bad things happen in threes after our storage got broken into.  It’s probably all her fault. The universe is coming to get us and I have to grasp onto something before I get swallowed whole.

I will never know fully what happened yesterday as my 48 year old dad (step-dad) was teaching his P.E. class and collapsed after running the track with his students.  Or what it was like for my mom to get the news right before she took a bite of soggy pizza that something was wrong. I can’t EVEN imagine running down to the field to see CPR bring preformed as he turned gray and the helicopter landing in the football field.  But I do know what it’s like to see tubes coming out of all direction of his healthy muscular body.  I’ll never forget sitting with my youngest brother looking at our dad…was this really real?

I packed up and Tim drove Finnian and I to the airport. After our flight, we went to the hospital and now are staying with my youngest brother. It’s about 18 hours in and I’m still in shock.  How can this have even happened? A heart attack?! He’s physically fit…he was going to running the Missoula half this summer while I run the full marathon. He’s young, too young for this. 

Finnian’s first plan ride

He did amazing and LOVED it! The silver lining.


I have no updates. We won’t know more until they wake him up.  They will slowly start tonight.  CPR was preformed by another teacher and a retired one within three minutes of him falling; why he is even alive. There is a good chance he will have a full recovery and there will be no brain damage. We just don’t know until he’s a wake.

I had trouble sleeping.  I have only had about 3 1/2 hours but I seem to not be able to fall back asleep.  Maybe the heaviness is starting to weigh on me.  My mind just won’t shut down.  I thought blogging about all of this might help. 

Thank you for all the kind thoughts, prayers, and good vibes our way.  Also, I hope everyone will be ok with us using the GoFundMe money to help fund the travel cost of this.  On that note the insurance guy should be coming today to look at the van…I hope it’s good news because I might be at my max.

Enough Already

Having kids, having twins, I get to hear a lot of outlandish comments and questions from strangers.  The worst twin question I have encountered was, “Were they natural?” Completely innocent question that is really hurtful and not something a stranger should ask.  Plus, what baby isn’t natural?!

Today, I got called a bad mom.  I’m only going to let this go surface deep because 1.) Big Eyed lady was pretty off 2.) it wasn’t true in this situation and 3.) she just simply can’t judge my motherhood skills by a one minute exchange.

I love Trader Joe’s but also loath it.  We shop there every week. By we, I mean Kaia, Ari, Finnian, and myself.  The store just isn’t great for twins or more than two bodies in an isle, and it attracts a diverse crowd. It seems there are really laid back people and people who are very posh with the “don’t breathe on me” look.

As we were going down the canned food isle for marinara sauce, Kaia grabbed a packaged of sun dried tomatoes. One of the rules for the girls is to ask before placing items in the cart. I’m not sure if I can count the number of times I have come home to extra things in the grocery bags…fully paid for but unnoticed by myself because my “hands are full.” Quick note, I cringe every time someone says to me, “You got your hands full!”  It happens, on average, three times a day.  As Kaia placed the tomatoes in the cart, I grabbed them out and told her she had to put them back.  In route, she approaches Big Eyed and the tensions start to snap. Kaia was trying to squeeze past Big Eyed’s cart and said “excuse me.”

Big Eyed looks at her repugnantly saying, “What do you want!”

Kaia, “My mom says to put this away.”

Big Eyed, “Well! Go around!”

Me with a mother bear glare to Big Eyed, “You could use nicer words.”

Big Eyed, “You’re a bad mom.”

Me, “Actually, I think I’m a good mom.” And we walk away.

The second half of the shopping trip was just dealing with the normal shenanigans of having two three and a half year olds pushing carts their size around the store and arm holding a 15 month old because I forgot the Ergo.  If they find Carl and get lollipops they have to wait until we are in the van and have listened in the check out.  Today didn’t go so well so they didn’t get the lollipops.

Ari crying because she wanted her Trader Joe’s lollipop

Big Eyed doesn’t know me or my kids. And to be honest, I don’t think Kaia was in the wrong.  My girls, and myself for that matter, are very assertive.  I think this lady was very uncomfortable with kids and a mom who stood up for her kid. I was concerned that Kaia would get her feelings hurt because of the briskly rude adult she had interacted with.  I hope my children know I’m there to stand up for them and be their biggest advocate.

I was upset for someone to asses this situation and deem it not good parenting. I don’t agree, but it hurts to be looked at in that light regardless if it is right or wrong.  I’m trying really hard.  I want my kids to listen and be respectful.  I know I fail and have a lot of work to do in improving my parenting.  It is hard…so incredibably hard at times. I wonder if Big Eyed has any kids and is able to really know what it’s like.

I brushed it all off, made spaghetti, and got ready for family movie night.  Tim went to the storage unit to get Finnian’s chair and once again, we have been stolen from. The girls watched a movie and had dinner as we called the cops and took care of all the pleasantness of theft.

I should have known this day would been ‘one of those days’ when I got an AM call from the insurance company explaining the next steps in our van saga.  One of their claims estimators is coming out tomorrow or Wednesday to quote what the damage is.  Sadly, the lady didn’t sound to optimistic about the van. Of course, she hasn’t seen it so there is hope.  I’m glad this is out of my hands and will all be over with soon.

So! Please send all your prayers, good vibes and good karma our way.  I truly don’t know how much more I can handle.  I’m maxed out and overwhelmed from this two week roller coaster.

Easter 2015

Easter 2015