Day #140: Sometimes Frozen Yogurt is a Spiritual Experience

She placed her hand in mine as we walked from her school to the truck, “Are we going to Goody’s?”

“Of course,” I smile, “It’s play practice day.”

Sometimes routines are nice, I think, especially ones that include frozen yogurt! But honestly, it all felt so good…the familiarity of this afternoon.

We went to the gym after dropping her off, and cross trained. I did a newer elliptical machine for 45 minutes. It was different, so different, from running. I had no pressure on my knees, my shins didn’t feel like they were on fire, and my lungs were operating with the wheeze breathing that often accompanies me on a run. And I giggled to myself as I realized, “Different is okay too.”

Life really is an oxymoron. Just when you think you have it all figured out, a curve ball comes and you haven’t a clue what to do with it! Sometimes it curves toward you, hits you square in the shin, and hurts like hell. Other times, you swing at it anyway, make a solid connection, and knock it out of the park. The aliveness comes in the breath in between the knowing…the dash where hope clashes with reality and we hide our face but peek between our fingers, because in all honesty…we need to know what happens when our familiar grinds against the unknown…it is both thrilling and terrifying–but it’s all the business of living…

“Close Up Strawberry Ice Cream” by rakratchada torsap via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Day #138: Strength is Beauty and Sometimes Your Legs Fall Off

Today we ran five miles…a maintenance run at this point in our training…I huffed and puffed a little…had some water…and cranked it out in about an hour…like its no big deal…

Little love got a new bike today. Her old bike was WAY too small and so let her pick out a new one for Easter. She was SO excited and wanted to immediately ride it to Mimi’s house to show it off.

Oh how she struggled…up the hills was hard, steering was “iffy”, and I about had a heart attach every time she almost didn’t stop. She was a little discouraged and a lot tired by the time we got back home.

I reminded her…”remember when Craigy and I first started running?” She nodded her head, “I could barely go a mile without feeling like my legs were going to fall off!” She giggled a little, “But now we can run 12 miles without stopping!” She looked at me like ‘Get to the point, lady.’ “You practice riding your bike like we practice running and you will be going all over in no time!”

Later, I hear her reporting to her Craigy, “I just have to practice so I can get strong legs.”

And that, dear friends, is why I run, why strength is beauty, and health is vibrant…because I have one little human that sees all that I do and trusts that it is good enough for her too…

Day #133: Time Makes a Fool of All of Us

April Fools…sometimes I truly feel like life is one big joke…you invest so much in this space in time…and then it’s gone…

A marriage…

A child…

A job…

In living present one gives all they have to the day…and it’s beautiful and vibrant and so much more authentic that way…

But every once in a while I mourn the days gone by…the people who have walked in and out…the baby that has blossomed into girl…every so often I resent the time and energy “wasted” on ideals that didn’t pan out and loves that fizzled…and today I feel terrified at how time goes so quickly and can never be retrieved…how the next twenty will go fast than the last…

I’m incredibly thankful for this scientific miracle of my own creation…for this one opportunity to exist…to be in this space with 7 billion others at this time…but damn, does it have to be such a short stay?

So much more to do, my dear friend!

Blonde girl with victorious, clenched-fists holding a rewards card.
How fast they grow.

Days 120-130: Spring Break and Big Decisions

It’s been a crazy mixed up world the last week or so…I went to my training and we endured a very anxious, very whiny six year old the whole time we were in Little Rock. Then we went to Magnolia to visit family for a few days…it was a roller coaster of a time due mostly to heavy decisions that needed to be made. We came back to Fort Smith and little love was off to her dad for a few days. I worked on papers and notes and cleaned her closet…and did other meaningless but entirely necessary tasks (i.e., the laundry). On Sunday, little love re-entered our world.

A run girl sleeping among a mountain of white blankets.

It was a tough day for me.

I had to tell her father that a decision had been made without him regarding his daughter. I have enough empathy in me that my heart is sad about this. Although he and I were not a good match for the long haul, I know he loves his daughter. It’s a terribly rough moment to look someone in the eye and say,”I’m taking the thing you love best…”

And here we stand in mid-step…seasons changing…confused order…beautiful chaos…

I am trying my hardest to flow and not control…I once had a friend describe these types of moments as a snow globe…it’s like being shaken and just watching all your life’s details float down around you…you hope they land well…and honestly, so far, they have…details are coming together…pleasant surprises have popped up…and love has been all around…

Purple pansies and tulips in a barrel with a watering can in the background.

It’s Sunday evening and as I walk into the house to share a meal with some of my most loved people, I notice my winter pansies dancing around my graceful spring tulips and I smile. Seasons are always changing and they are all beautiful…

 

We are moving and it’s all going to be okay.

Day 112: Feeling at Home in a Fleeting Moment

After another day of cross training while my little love was at play practice, we came home to BBQ chicken and sweet potato fries. It was a beautiful day… the first truly spring-like day this year. While eating outside at our little table on the porch, I thought of all the meals we have eaten out there in spring and summer the last couple of years. Some with a glass of wine, some with little bit pretending to be a horse, some with the company of friends, but always with contentment in my heart. That feeling of “this is right, this is home.”

Then little love asks to go for a walk so she can ride her scooter. So off we go and again, I reflect on this time last year and how she could barely operate the scooter last summer.

But some things do change with time. As I watched her charge down the road, half a block ahead of me the whole time, I thought about the saying regarding motherhood that the day’s seem to stand still but the years fly by. Here we are… another year… another spring… another moment to love.

Blonde girl with pink shirt and black pants riding her scooter off into the distance.

Day #106: Don’t Blink, the Present is Becoming the Past

I was abruptly woken up at 5am by a little love complaining about her tummy hurting. Initially, I was very disappointed about being awake so early on a snow day but the next thing I knew we were running for the bathroom. And that pretty well summed up the rest of my day…

Finally about 4:00pm, after medicine and a nap, her stomach seemed to stop waging war with her. For some reason as she began to feel better, she got in her head she wanted to look at pictures. So we got out the baby books (yes, plural, she is the first!). As we looked and talked and laughed and sat side by side, I felt such nostalgia but such pride too.

What once was so little now is so strong… so helpless–now screams with independence… she has developed such intelligence, creativity, and personality… she is becoming right now… learning who she is and deciding what she likes and dislikes… she is beautiful in so many vibrant ways.

But I mourn too… the squishy and the toothless grins… being able to snuggle and dress her without her opinion about either… I miss watching her learn to walk and talk… I miss the mispronounced words and the squeaky voice… I miss the littlest versions of her.

I stayed up after she was asleep and looked through hundreds of digital pictures… remembering… reliving… re-loving that girl that I have always seemed to grow, first physically and now emotionally and intellectually…

Don’t blink, gentle readers, or the present most certainly becomes the past…

A girl sleeping in a colorful bed.

Day #97: Weird Day

School was out today due to the snow but it warmed up quickly so the snow didn’t stay for long. The theme of my day was flexibility.

I wasn’t planning to take off work today but with little love out of school I really had no choice. So we spent the morning getting laundry finished, house work done, and of course, a little coloring was in order.

Little love then had a play date with her favorite friend at school this year. They played beautifully and I was able to get my cloest cleaned out. I took them to lunch and it was from there that things went a bit awry. On the way home, having a strained esophagus, little friend threw up all over my backseat. We got home, got her and the car cleaned up, and the girls went back to playing.

Weird day!” I thought.

We then went to the gym to run a bit later. I took 5 steps into my run and felt my calves seizing up on me. I tried running slower, I tried running faster, I tried walking… the pain would not stop. So I hobbled my way through my hardest run yet and made it three miles. I was disappointed but decided it was better to be careful than injured. So I went and stretched for a long time and did some ab work.

The night ended with a quickish dip with my Love in the therapy heated pool to hopefully loosen those muscles and a quick dinner at Chickfila.

We made it home and my legs and back continued to scream at me so I took some Tylenol and after making sure little love was tucked in and passed out, I hit the bed myself.

Not the day I was expecting or really even wanting, but it was the day I was given and while it wasn’t perfect it was full of love and lovely moments.

And that’s all I really need…

Blonde girl coloring with 101 Dalmations movie playing in the background.

Day #95: Safety, Love, and Contentment

After a grueling week of training, I was thrilled to finally get a “rest day.” It was also the much anticipated trip to Tulsa to watch the Sleeping Beauty Ballet.

It was quite the experience to get to our seats… having had a late breakfast we mostly snacked on the way there… this proved to be a grave error as little love got car sick in a potato chip bag just minutes after changing into her beautiful dress… she did so well though…we walked in the foyer, threw the bag away, and went straight to the bathroom to wash her hands and face. She never cried or really even whined… I called her my trooper the rest of the night. She was proud of herself.

As the ballet started and progressed, I felt the tears as always… first in my throat, then teasing my eyes. It seems as if any time I watch art… become… I have this reaction: at ballets, plays, and symphonies, to name a few. Because first of all it is truly like creativity breathing and there is something so magical about being in that moment with an artist.

Secondly, I can never NOT think about all the hours and work that has gone into giving me this experience and I am always overwhelming grateful. The artist picked up the brush and started with one unsure stroke, the dancer with warm ups and blisters and hope, the musician who has practiced every day for the last several decades. There is a nobility in fine tuning one’s craft but there is a joy in watching their art come alive on stage.

It made me appreciate the marathon training more. Made me feel confident that I could endure four months of training to create the finish line moment. My art in the making!

P.S. My favorite moment of the evening was little trooper sitting on my lap with her head leaned up against mine and feeling the pressure of my Love leaning against her on the other side. It dawned on me that she will not remember the details of this show or even possibly forget her unfortunate meeting with chip bag, but she will hold this moment of feeling completely safe, loved, and content in her heart.

And that is all a mama ever really wants…

A mom and daughter with heads together smiling down at the camera. adalie-dave-and-busters adalie-and-craig-at-dave-and-bustersBearded man with short hair and brunette woman with heads together smiling.

Day #92: Mole Hills are Really Just Mole Hills

She lost her tooth today! She dreaded it, begged me not to touch (even though it was hanging by a thread), and cried when I asked her to let me give it one tug. She had built up in her mind as horrifically painful and scary.

I understand… I do that with my training runs. Today was only four miles (cue eye roll here) but I had a tough run Tuesday so I have been dreading today. Strangely, a toe on my left foot hurts and it has made my form difficult this week. Funny how something so small can wreak so much havoc…

I finally convinced her to let me put my hand in her mouth. She gave me permission for one tug. The tooth was laying completely flat on its side so I knew it was beyond ready. I tugged, the tooth popped out, my little love screamed then cried, then laughed, then cried some more. About ten minutes later with a cool washrag in her mouth looking down at her tooth in the tiny treasure chest, she says, “That really wasn’t too bad.”

As wrapped up four miles of nonstop running that I took in small chunks of changed paced, different hill patterns, and awesome trance music — I realized, “I’m done and I could keep running; that wasn’t so bad.”

Little love and I walked around the house tonight with a slight swag that only comes from both facing and conquering our fear.

We are human; hear us roar!

Six year old girl close up of first lost tooth.
First lost tooth. Tears and laughter sometimes come together.

Day #89: Watching the Snow Dust the World

Snow day! Probably the only one we will get this year. It was pretty unexpected and thoroughly enjoyed!

I lounged around, read, stayed in PJs, drank my hot tea, slowly. I lay in my bed propped up staring out the window watching the snow dust the world with beauty. I read lovely words that nourished my soul. I enjoyed the softness of my sheets and comfy PJs. I breathed in the joy of minutes undefined and agendas taken apart.

Little love occupied herself playing and my Love made breakfast and did some work on the computer. It was a quiet, gentle morning… and for me that is a rarity for mornings. Brunette woman giving the thumbs up.

We went to lunch and then little love got to go with a friend to a movie. We went to the gym and I actually completed a five mile run without stopping to walk. Also, unexpected and exciting! It was one of my best runs yet! A brunette child with head phones sitting in a zebra-striped chair.

Mr Meander shared today… I love to read his voice… his thoughts… I fell for his words first and I love every opportunity to read them again. I was not expecting his post and it was a sweet surprise. Don’t forget to read it, too!

I love unexpected gifts and today was definitely that… I am thankful to the universe for weather that can stop hectic Mondays in their tracks giving us one last luxurious taste of the weekend.

Blonde child looking at a phone in her lap.