A Long Day and Failure

It had been a long 12 hour day of teaching restless students with an early release day due to parent/teacher conferences on top of emotional conversations with parents. When I finally walked through my door, my fur babies greeted me enthusiastically, yet my first gaze fell upon the dirty dishes all over the counters and the ½ full gallon of milk – now warm – left out. *sigh* Really? And what was that smell?

My daughter was at work. My oldest son was MIA. Apparently telling your mother where you are when you’re 19 is optional. I only knew that he didn’t work that day. My youngest son was laying on his bed with bloodshot eyes playing Xbox.

I exhaled and tried to convince myself that it’s okay. But it sure didn’t feel that way. I felt like a failure again.

I probably should have gone for a run or done some yoga. Mistake #1. Instead I looked up grades on my phone and about had a heart attack when I saw that not only did my daughter have 4 D’s, she had 2 of them that were less than 1% from F’s. (We’re working through some issues at the moment and she’s working hard at getting them better.) Mistake #2. Refer back to Mistake #1. So I started working on upcoming paperwork for my attorney because due to budget cuts within the school district it’s affected my health insurance and, therefore, my paycheck. My ex is ignoring my emails. Panic mode set in filling in the numbers and realized that there wasn’t anything on vision listed on the plan. Now I had to hold off and look for more information. Mistake #3. And on and on it went. I went to bed in an attempt to relax but couldn’t stop the tears. Refer back to Mistake #1.

LOL!!!:

Needless to say, it was a rough night. My first thought when I awoke was “Oh, no, here we go again”. A song popped into my head, “Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson.

Yes, God is constantly giving me reminders that He is with me and that I don’t have to do this thing called LIFE alone. On my drive to work this morning, another long day of conferences, I not only heard “Eye of the Storm” again, but “Fix My Eyes” by King and Country and “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns. One thing I miss about being married is physical touch. After a long day of work it’s nice to be listened to, someone to brew a cup of tea for me, and hold me. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that affection. I think last night would have gone much smoother if God could have physically held me. I don’t need a man, though, just God. Even as I’m typing this post WAY-FM is playing “In My Arms” by Plumb. Just what I needed. Thank you, WAY-FM and thank you, God.

God is big enough to handle our disappointments, even when we feel like it is Him who disappointed us.:

God is good.:

Only God can fill an empty heart. Psalm 4:

And Just Like That, Another School Year Is Over

I honestly can’t believe that another school year has come and gone.  My mother once told me not to wish time away as before I’ll know it, it will have just zoomed by.  Well, maybe not exactly in those words but you get the point.  Granted, due to budget issues the school ended a couple of days early for the students, which might have made it seem a little shorter but it didn’t shorten my days by much! I still have at least 1 1/2 days next week. Now dreams of summer are a reality.

So this morning I awoke to put my 8th grader on the bus for the last time before he became a high schooler and my 10th grader finished up her finals.  They have grown SO much this year!

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Pics on the left are from August 2015, pics on the right from May 2016.

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My 2 handsome boys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I brag a moment about my son’s promotional clothing?  He had a hard time deciding what to wear but finally decided on something simple and classic.  I paid $12.99 for the shirt from TJMaxx, $5.99 (not including the 10% discount) for the pants from Goodwill, and $3.48 for the black dress shoes from the DAV. He already had the belt (required dress uniform from school) and borrowed the black tie from big bro.  We had picked out another one but didn’t realize it was navy so the navy/black combo didn’t look good.  Not to worry, the tie was only $0.95 from the DAV. He looked just as handsome and polished as the fellow student whose parents spent over $500 for their son’s attire. My son was very happy with his classy wear, and so was I – and my wallet!

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Being goofy with the dogs photobombing in the background before going to school

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My beautiful daughter and I before she went off to finish her finals.

a blessing   god-has-plans-jeremiah-29-11

The above Bible verses say it nicely – a blessing from Numbers and one of my favorites, Jeremiah 29:11. Many blessings to you and yours today on this special day/season of promotions/graduations and always!

 

 

Brrr, Chilly Colorado!

Boxing Day (Dec. 26th for those that don’t know) was the day we once again loaded up the van for our traditional Colorado trip. We usually stay through Dec. 31st but due to my crazy desire to do something I’ve never done before, I decided we’d come back a day early (see previous post on the Hangover Series!). My oldest couldn’t come as the restaurant industry’s busiest time allowed him none off. I, however, needed a mental break and some get-away time!

It was bitterly, bitterly cold but if you were dressed appropriately, it didn’t feel too miserable.  It hadn’t been THIS cold in many, many years.

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This was what my phone said when I awoke on the 27th. I was going to go for a run but changed my mind until it had warmed up a little! Yes, it says NEGATIVE 18 degrees real feel!!!!

I was even more excited to be there this year as my brother and his wife and daughter from Hilton Head Island, SC were coming too!  I hadn’t seen my brother in 4 years since he’d moved. We had a blast ice skating, tubing, skiing, and snowshoeing. Before I knew it, it was time to pack back up and make the drive home.

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Skiing at the A-Basin, a first for me. Although the runs weren’t as long and there was only 1 quad lift, the crowds weren’t bad at all.

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My big bro and I.

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Trying out my new snowshoes. Hard work but LOVED it! We did a perimeter hike around the course and then my mum and I headed up the back mountain for some more miles.

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3 Generations – my mum, daughter, and I.

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Ice skating and hockey at the Adventure Center!

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2 of my crazy offspring on the tubing hill at the Nordic Center. They had a blast!

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We had to show my niece the Chocolate Village! It had a Star Wars theme this year (but not shown here).

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Might I add that I love it here?! Even though it was so cold, the magnificence never ceases to amaze me. Absolutely beautiful. I took this pic on the way to Mountain House.

Once again I didn’t get to do everything I would have liked to have done but that’s part of the fun of returning.  I was, however, disappointed that there wasn’t an ice sculpture for the New Year by the Village Lake this year. I guess they put it in River Run instead, somewhere else I didn’t make it to!

A Race to the End & the Beginning

4433 Oz Endurance

3 races in 24 hours offered by Oz Endurance?! Absolutely crazy, right? Yeah, so I signed up for 2 of the 3 instead. Yeah, still crazy. But doing something I enjoy ending one year and beginning a new one sounded FANTASTIC.

Race #1: Run Into the New Year

The race began at 11:45 PM but due to being out-of-town I still needed to pick up my race packet.  Talk about some cool stuff!  A bright, long-sleeve t-shirt and hat along with some new promotional information on upcoming races.

It was a cold, cold night. What do you wear to race in when it’s 21 degrees? I wore an Under Armor base layer, a dry-wicking top, then another dry-wicking top along with a 2 pairs of running tights, a neck-warmer, a hat, mittens, and thick socks. I was freezing until I warmed up with 1/4 mile run prior to the horn and was pretty warm for most of the run except for my cheeks. There was ice on the course with tight corners and it was, unfortunately, a little short of a 5K – 2.91 miles instead of 3.1. My time wasn’t too disappointing considering the ice and cold and the fact that I nearly threw up after I finished. Giving it my all, literally! I came in 2nd in my age group with a time of 24:56.0 (the exact time of my Garmin), missing 1st place by about 13 seconds!!!!

The best part? Seeing the fireworks at midnight, party buses stopping by the river and welcoming in 2016. Such a neat experience! Back at the finish, I received my finisher’s medal, a cookie, water & hot chocolate before I headed home to set my alarm for the next race in just a few short hours!

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Race #2: Hangover Half

Yep, a half marathon to start off 2016! I slept in my running clothes since I only had a few hours of sleep before this race.  More cool stuff – another long sleeve T-shirt and a pair of gloves!  Although the sun was out, it was still cold -23 degrees – and there was a lot of ice on the course. I’ll admit, it was a tough race for me. I’d done my training but after my blood donation, stress from the holidays and traveling, it was a struggle. I came in 6th in my age group with a time of 2:06:41. My Garmin said that I only ran 12.94 miles so I had to add some cool-down time to get my miles right for the day.

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A selfie at the starting line. Horn went off at 9:00 AM!

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All of my goodies – 2 finisher medals, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a hat, and a pair of gloves!

I had a lot of fun, though, and it was something I’d never done before! Would I do it again? Not sure.  I’ll see what happens when it rolls around again to sign up next year, and how my muscles feel later as they sure are sore at the moment.  For now, I’ll need to decide what race is next!

Miles, Moose & Memories

I think my Honda Odyssey knows the route to Keystone, CO, where I love to spend as much time as I’m able.  I saw the weather forecast for our fair city and thought, uh-oh, I can’t be stuck for a miserable sleet/ice-y long weekend! I made it out before the weather came in and back in as it was over. Perfect! Food was prepacked so our only expense is gas and hot coffee while traveling. (Yummy Mighty Mocha Latte from QuikTrip set the trip off to a great start!)  Oh, and Adele’s new CD – 25.

So we left early - 6 am - but still ran into a bit of funky fog. But all of a sudden, poof! It was gone! Weird KS weather!

So we left early – 6 am – but still ran into a bit of funky fog. But all of a sudden, poof! It was gone! Weird KS weather!

So, there’s no back yard where we are when we’re in Keystone which means when the dogs need to potty, we have to take them out on leashes.  I was up early Thanksgiving Day, maybe due to the time change, maybe due to the fabulous silence of being in the mountains or not wanting to waste a moment being inside in Colorful Colorado and God’s gorgeous mountains. I leashed up Buddy and Cooper and headed out.  I was walking through the parking lot when a large shape caught my eye by the tennis courts. By golly, there were 2 HUGE moose meandering up the walk!  I fumbled for my phone in an attempt to get evidence but alas, for such large animals, they move quite quickly. I went in search of them to be sure my eyes had not deceived me and saw them again by the townhouses before they likely headed back up the mountain as a loud bus taking skiiers to the slopes rounded the corner.  WOW.  Majestic moose were the words that came to mind as I marveled at their sheer size.  And the fact that I’ve been coming here for YEARS and only just saw this by the homes!

No, REALLY! There were 2 moose by the tennis courts!

No, REALLY! There were 2 moose by the tennis courts! (center of the pic kind of by the brown house)

Our first full day there consisted of a Turkey Day Fun Run in Frisco, supposedly a 5K.  My Garmin measured it at 2.68 miles. No timing, just for fun (really!). I ran with my daughter. We did it for the first time last year.  Fortunately there wasn’t anywhere near as much snow as there was last year (knee high and mushy. Think mashed potatoes!) and only some ice. We enjoyed watching all of the dogs dressed up and running with their owners. Dogs are so accepted everywhere there.  LOVE.

By the "start" line. Me & my fellow runner/daughter.

By the “start” line. Me & my fellow runner/daughter.

The Finish Line banner - perfect for Turkey Day!

The Finish Line banner – perfect for Turkey Day!

Got a pic like this last year with just my daughter. Had to get one with both of us this year.

Got a pic like this last year with just my daughter. Had to get one with both of us this year.

Our "official" finish picture. Yes, I grabbed my daughter's hand so we could finish together. I know, too sweet.

Our “official” finish picture. Yes, I grabbed my daughter’s hand so we could finish together. I know, too sweet.

My parents walked it. Not too strenuously as my mother had just had her 2nd cataract surgery 3 days earlier!

My parents walked it. Not too strenuously as my mother had just had her 2nd cataract surgery 3 days earlier!

A Thanksgiving tradition we've been doing since 2008, a balloon launch in memory of my sweet nephew,Weston, who went home to be with the Lord at the young age of 22 months.

A Thanksgiving tradition we’ve been doing since 2008, a balloon launch in memory of my sweet nephew,Weston, who went home to be with the Lord at the young age of 22 months.

Always loved, never forgotten. We write messages on the balloons.

Always loved, never forgotten. We write messages on the balloons.

A glorious sunset during an evening hike up what we call the "Back Mountain".

A glorious sunset during an evening hike up what we call the “Back Mountain”.

We took the dogs out several times a day to run and we hiked the “Back Mountain” several times as well, almost getting caught in the dark once! Cooper scared me on one of these hikes as he came toward me, crying, then trying to bury himself in the snow.  Great, I thought. He’s having a stroke of some kind and I’m going to lose him. Not to mention we’re over a mile up the mountain! Fortunately, he had a drink from my water bottle, cooled down in the snow, and then took off like nothing had happened. Geesh. Now to calm my beating heart.

Salmon for Thanksgiving dinner since 3 out of 4 of us are vegetarians!

Salmon for Thanksgiving dinner since 3 out of 4 of us are vegetarians!

My dogs love Colorado and playing in the snow! They particularly enjoy running without their leashes.

My dogs love Colorado and playing in the snow! They particularly enjoy running without their leashes.

We left to go home very early Sunday morning as not only did I have to go back to teaching and the kids to school, my two sons were back home. My youngest hates the long drive so we compromised this trip.  I can’t help but feel sad each time I leave there. I feel so at peace and more in-tune with my body, feelings and spirituality. Maybe some day this will be my home. In the meantime, I’ll visit as often as I can.

“You are Faithful”

It was amazing that I even made it up this morning.  I’d had such vivid dreams that I couldn’t distinguish them from reality and my phone alarm didn’t go off. Fortunately my body alarm kicked in instead.  By the time I’d gotten up my youngest son and headed to the kitchen to make lunch and breakfast, I couldn’t get these particular song lyrics out of my head.  I LOVED this song when I’d heard and sang it at church but they hadn’t played it for several weeks.  That’s bizarre, I thought.  I felt God must be speaking to me through this song.

By the time I got to work I knew I had to find the rest of the lyrics and the artist for the song.  That, my friends, was a challenge when I couldn’t remember very much of it, not even the entire chorus!  Here’s a section of it:

Never once did we ever walk alone

Never once did You leave us on our own

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Turns out it the song was by One Sonic Society and it was called Never Once.  I immediately purchased a copy for my phone. Want one? Buy yours HERE.

Never Once

Never Once

Check out the youtube official video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocd8mbGNxdI

By the time my afternoon was over, I knew why I needed this song.

God's Word

God’s Word