1993 Kindergarden-first dance recital
I still remember that first dance recital. Walking the dark hallway single file behind my class mates towards the stage, the feeling of my stomach clinching as my brain brought everything into slow-motion, and the steady thump of my heart pulsing through my ears. After the show was over and we had been reunited with our family, I collapse into my step-dad’s arms unable to walk as adrenaline left my body.
Dance became my life for 7 years. I started out at five with ballet, tap, and tumbling later dabbled in modern dance and finally settled in ballet. I ended my career on point in six grade after we moved to a small town that didn’t have any advance studios. Apart of my heart will always be in the dance studios spending hours at the bar excited to start leaping across the room.
Last Tuesday I took the girls to try out a ballet/tap class at a studio close by.
Right before I took this video I burst into big fat crocodile tears as the instructor had them ACTUALLY chassé! They are capable of really learning how to dance with an instructor?! Heart break came when I learned what it would cost for two kids to be in this class. I called my mom that night and told her all about the girls and took a stroll down memory lane to my formative years. After a feeble attempt to talk to Tim about how we could make this happen, I went to bed and dreamt about winning the lottery.
The next day I got a text from my step-dad, “I would like to pay for both girls to join dance.” Talk about a torrential down pour of tears moment. The dad who held me after my first recital, who gave me the legacy of the importance to be active in sports, is making sure his grandkids have the same opportunity. I am so thankful.
Don’t Drop Teddy Bear
Because I was watching old home videos
Because I live 30 minutes without traffic from the stadium
Because the Seahawks just won…
I have to post this video again of my beloved little fan who was only 25 1/2 months at the time of this video.
She is in…I guess we all are now!
I have been wanting to get the girls balance bikes for a couple years now. They LOVE bikes. One of the first songs that they started to sing was Queen’s “Bicycle Race.” One of their favorite persons just went on a cross country bike tour. They gravitate toward anyone who has a bike and are always asking to ride them.
The hunt has been on…and we finally, last night, used some of their birthday money and bought some from a friend.
We told them we were going to get a surprise. I wish I had captured the look on their face when we got to the house to pick them up. Sheer unrated joy. After picking up some helmets with their gift cards we got home at 9:30 pm. Past their bed time but we still had to give their bikes a go (and eat dinner!).
Times like last night are why I love being a parent. Seeing joy through new fresh eyes.
I got a text today with this picture.
Coast to coast victory
I’m not sure that I’m going to do this picture justice and explain the past 54 days of the journey it took to get this shot. As I stayed nice and toasty in the summer heat wave of Seattle, this lady got on her bicycle in Astoria, Oregon until she reached Portland, Maine.
THREE DAYS! That is how many days of the 54 were not spent on a bike…only 3 free days over the past 2 months. Her lowest milage was clocked in at 30 and her highest a whopping 134! That is an average of almost 70 miles on the days she biked. I could go maybe a mile down hill with no gear. She faced mountain passes and carried the weight of all her essentials on her bike.
She was able to pedal her body physically across the States. The part that I find would be the hardest is the mental battles. There is nothing but your feet pushing you on and nature guiding and hindering the way. It would be interesting to see the internal dialog going on and how she really made it during the hardest times.
I’m honored to have her as a bestie. I couldn’t be more proud of her journey this summer. This is a moment in time that will stay with her forever. Simply life changing.
A couple of months ago I had lunch with a friend of mine who is the writer of the Between series. She has a handful of novels written and an expert when it comes to making your dreams come true. I spent our four hour lunch digging inside her brain for the tools it takes to be a writer. I’m sure she was exhausted after the first 10 minutes when I had already pressed her with 64 questions. What does it take to be a writer? How do you have time to have a full time job, be a wife, a mother, and still write? Where did you get your ideas from? On and on and on I kept drilling her until her food was cold. She graciously answered all my questions. I walked away feeling empowered.
I’m currently in two book clubs. I just read My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock for one of the book clubs. It is another fad book where the author is doing one thing a day for a year. What made this book intriguing to me was she faced a fear she had everyday between her 29th and 30th birthdays. It was about her finding herself with Eleanor Roosevelt as her mentor. Sure, she wasn’t changing lives and making a huge impact on society by going skydiving but she was changing herself. I found it really moving. Why can’t I face my fears and leap, knowing this is my time.
So…here I go…
Anyone close to me knows this, but I WANT to be a writer. I feel the flood of questions coming but to be honest, I don’t really know what that means. My writer friend said that an important question to ask is, “Why do you want to be a writer?” I was sitting in a crowed room of people days later and realized I have my answer:
So people can hear my VOICE.
I have a quiet voice that is muffled and I mutter. When I’m writing people will be able to hear what I’m trying to say without asking me a hundred times “huh?” It is quite comical sitting around the dinner table with Tim’s family. My brother-in-law and I are kindred spirits. Sometimes we have private conversations sitting on opposite sides of the table in our decrescendo voices. It is a on going family joke among us and we end up laughing about it at every dinner together.
I can find humor in it but it feeds my insecurities of feeling invisible and unmemorable to people. I’m sure this is irrational and not true but it is how I feel. So here I go, I’m leaping off the boat…I’m going to make it happen even if the only person to read what I have to say is Tim.
When I was younger my parents would come into my room and kiss me goodnight. My mom would sing me a song and my step-dad would give me a hug and a kiss. I remember one night as my step-dad was giving me a kiss his face was really scratchy from not shaving that day. It tickled so much that I started to play a game with him where I would try as hard as I could to not let him kiss my cheek. I would shake my head back and forth as fast as I could trying to detour his goodnight kiss. I would laugh and laugh. This game was short lived. One night he came in and I started shaking my head and saying, “no you can’t kiss me!” He said, “Okay, fine.” and walked away to never give me another goodnight kiss again. I can’t tell you how old I was but I remember being so confused and hurt at the time.
To recall the memory now makes me really sad. There is so much I missed out on with a relationship with him because of miss read signals. If only I could have told him no I do want your goodnight kisses and I’m not trying to hurt your feelings…I just thought it was a fun game. It’s too hard as a kid to fully understand what is going on. Looking back now, I know it was a loaded situation with a lot of things stacked agains us having a father-daughter relationship.
All this to say I don’t want to make the same mistakes with my kids. The girls have hurt my feelings this week and it has been a harder few days. I really love how much they love their Daddy. He is the best daddy after all. But its still hard for me when I’m with them all day and try and put their needs before mine and I they make little comments that sting. Kaia this morning crawled into bed with us and told me “I don’t want to snuggle. Can you go sleep on the couch.” I have NO idea where she got that from! Tim has never said that. I have never said that. Ouch it stung. Ari the other day told me to “Go away” when I was accidentally blocking her view of the TV. I’m hoping it was because I was blocking her view and not because I was having Tim get up and help me get dinner ready.
Both times I talked to the girls about how they hurt my feelings and how we need to find nicer ways to use our words and express what we want. Words hurt no matter the size of the mouth.
Finnian picking blueberries
Being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Being in charge of these three growing and developing minds and personalities is a lot to take in. We are given the charge to shape and guide them to be people who can make it in the world. I just hope we give them as many tools and resources as possible with this short time we have to influence them.
With great power comes great responsibility!
Tim and I look at each other with big smiles the other days and said, “How did we get so lucky?” We were both looking at our kids as we said this. The girls are two and a half months away from being three, and Finnian is pushing close to eight months. Life, as you can imagine, is busy. A joyful pulling hair out as we go busy.
I am also out of the postpartum fog. I was feeling more normal by the sixth month but now seven and a half months later I am pretty much my fun loving self. I’m also happy to report that I haven’t had anxiety like I did after the girls. I think having our own space has really helped me awaken and breath.
Our new place is oxygen. I love it. If we become millionaires tomorrow I would still want to live here. Truly, I have no desire to own a house and have all those responsibilities that tie you down. Not that we have plans to move but it’s nice to know if we need to, there is not a lot to hold us back. This place has everything we want in a place and it is new, clean, and kid friendly.
We also celebrated our six year anniversary at the beginning of July. I’m pleased to say that I am MORE in love and head over heals for Tim then when we first got married. I don’t believe in soul mate or prince charming. I believe in hard work of ups and downs. Finding someone who you are compatible with and will be able to face the worlds challenges side by side with and laugh along the way. Tim is simply the perfect match for me. I feel blessed to be in the place we are right now despite getting married young and the odds not being in our favor.
One thing that has been weighing heavily on me is how finically limited we are. We are quite simply poor. I actually have no concern about not making very much and being within the poverty level. What has been eating at me is what we are going to be able to offer our children. I have looked at swim lessens, sports, music, preschool…and all of them cost $$$…times two…times three when Finnian is older. Because it is so important and the legacy that my parents bestowed on me, I know our kids will do extra curricular activities but it will be limited. UGH!! I don’t want my kids to be limited to one activity a year. It is hard to think that they might want to be involved in something and we have to say no just because we can’t afford it. I’m sure many parents feel this way and want to offer their kids the moon. But I just want to make sure they are well rounded and cultured individuals.
Free things in the area!
The first Thursday of the month many museums are free. The third Friday of the month the Imagine Children’s Museum is free. So we are trying to exploit all of the free stuff our area has to offer. I’m hopping with frequent trips to the library and lots of reading they will be ready with their peers to enter kindergarden. I just want them to be able to experience the world, to know that anything is within their grasp and more so I hope that their lives will be richer and fuller than mine.
We are very blessed to have endless resources at our disposal and I am blessed to have an incredible family to enjoy it with.