Monday, May 28, 2012


Memories and remembrance have been a theme for this long weekend. It began last Thursday with Memory Day for my 8th grader. Mass was followed by a morning of awards, speeches and photos. Watching the sideshow looking back and remembering days gone by made me sad on so many levels. I was sad that moments in time had slipped away. I was sad that friends and teachers had passed on. I was sad that my little curly girl had grown up right before my eyes and was leaving the safe place she had called home for 11 years. Sadness permeated my soul.

I was reminded by the priest at Mass that we remember the bad more than the good. Why is that? I wanted her to remember every moment of her time in school. Not just the bad. I wanted her to remember the good and great times too. I wanted to pause, breathe and commit this morning to memory. I wanted to freeze this moment in time. So I took pictures and mental snapshots of this last morning together. Her final day as an 8th grader.

This weekend was also Memorial Day. Saturday morning I ran a 10 mile race dedicated to freedom and veterans. I really focused my energy on those who have given their all for my freedom. Crossing the finish line was done with a dance....a dance of liberation and freedom. A dance of gratitude.

I am grateful for all those men and women who have put on and will put on a uniform to protect the warm blanket of security and freedom I sleep under each night. If there is one thing I hope to instill in my own children and the children I teach is gratitude to our military men and women as well as their families. Our military sacrifice so much on a daily basis and some pay the highest price for all we hold dear. There is a time and place to disagree with the government and politicians. Taking these frustrations and aggravations out on our military is not only unfair to them but disrespectful. The average age of enlisted personnel is 20 years old. Many join up not being able to legally drink but they can legally die for their country. Many enlist to gain education and assist in supporting a family. Many have never left their home state and before they know it they are halfway around the world in a place they have only seen in books or on t

Military service is a task many of us would not choose for ourselves or our children. It is not easy nor glamorous but it can be rewarding. It is our job to reward these heroes and she-roes on a daily basis by thanking them for serving our country. It is our job to assist their families in any way possible. It is our job to remember .... The bad and the good ..... but mostly the great. peace.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Decisions come in all shapes and sizes. As simple as coffee or tea to complicated decisions about a job, marriage, or a child. Some decisions are effortless and do not require second guessing. Some decisions cause us to lose sleep and become regretful.

Why cant we trust ourselves and our choices? Why can't we make a decision and live with it without remorse or regret? Why is every decision fought with anguish? I know many people who can make choices and never look back. no regret. No remorse. Just moving forward comfortable with the decision they have made.

I wish I could be that person. I wish I didn't look back. I wish I could just move forward. These things take time. I wonder for days and weeks (sometimes years) if I have done the right thing. I wonder how things would have been different had a made different choices. It is difficult for me to trust myself. I constantly second guess myself as I worry about pleasing everyone. I make decisions for others all day every day. Why is it so difficult for me to do this for myself? Peace.


Just when you think you know your kids, they do something that surprises you. This morning I got a text from 16 asking if she could cut her hair off from Locks of Love. This meant that 8 inches of hair would leave her head. Her hair is her pride and joy. I thought she was kidding. She was not.

Later in the day I got another text ..."it's done. I have no hair". I thought she had really cut off all of her hair. when I shared this with her siblings their reaction was amazing as well. They were beaming with pride that their sister had done something so bold.

Her father was not so thrilled .... In fact he was very upset. I know he is "old school" about his girls and their hair but this was not about "just another hair cut". This was about my daughter doing something bigger than herself...something selfless. Mom understood and would deal with Dad.....

I arrived at school to pick her up And her hair was not as short as I thought. We headed to the salon for a professional to fix it all and make it look nice. A small price to pay.

A dear friend called this a 'mitzvah'. From what I understand this means that 16 is morally and ethically accountable ....mature.

At the least expected time my kids surprise me in many wonderful ways making me so very proud to be their mom. I am so blessed....and proud. Peace.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Holidays, birthdays, celebrations. Just days on a calendar. People get so hung up on a square on the calendar ....why is that? For me every day is a holiday. I know that sounds Pollyanna of me but it is true. I celebrate things like waking up with healthy children and a husband who has arrived home from work safely everyday.

I know folks that can't celebrate a birthday or holiday unless it is the correct date. Not one second early or late. It seems a bit shortsighted to me. What if something bad happens, god forbid? What if someone gets hurt or sick? When do we celebrate? I can celebrate a birthday any day and a holiday whenever the mood strikes.

Mothers day was what got me to thinking about this. Really why do we need a special day set aside for gift giving and expensive meals at restaurants?

I mean I understand but for many moms I know (myself included) Mother's Day is every day. We celebrate the small victories of motherhood. An empty laundry bin(knowing that there must be more hiding under beds). We celebrate a smile from a teenager(as elusive as a sighting of the Yeti) We celebrate dry pants and sheets (which means a kid made it through the night without peeing the bed). We celebrate sleep (rejoicing over stringing 6 hours uninterrupted hours of shut eye). We celebrate quiet (which means the kids are not fighting and are up to no good or sleeping).

The cards and flowers are great, as are the World's Greatest Mom mugs and handmade achool projects. But what we really want is a day with a battle. A day without a tantrum. A day where chore get done in a timely manner without an attitude nor nagging from mom. A day where every one is happy with the meals served. A day where everyone gets along.

As moms, we have learned to celebrate the small stuff, the big stuff and all the stuff in between each and every day. For moms every day is truly Mother's Day. peace.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


“I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.”
― Dean Karnazes

 Forward is a Pace! Peace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I hate to iron. Really hate it. I don't hate many things but I hate to iron. I not only hate it but I am not good at it either. My husband does the ironing in the house. He irons his own work shirts and dress ....I buy things they do not need ironing.

When I do iron, it is a special occasion. When my kids see me take out the ironing board, they ask, "what's the special occasion, Mom?" Not only is it a special occasion the ironing is usually is for a special occasion. When I do iron it is so stressful for me. However in that stress I find peace. The things I do iron are special to my family. I iron tablecloths for family dinners. I iron uniform shirts for my husband. I iron baptism dresses. I iron communion dresses. I iron the important things.

Tonight I ironed a graduation dress. 14 will wear it tomorrow for the first time for May Crowning. She will get dressed, put on her heels, pin on her class ribbons and process into church. In a few weeks I will iron the dress again. She will again put on the dress and process into church. This time wearing her cap along with the gown and collecting her diploma.

As I ironed her gown and pressed out the creases, I thought about the creases of her life. The distance she has traveled and the obstacles she has overcome. The bumps in her life that she has smoothed out. She is a sensitive soul with a heart of gold. She has become a beautiful, wonderful young woman. I thought as I ironed that there were some creases I just could not press. Creases that would not lay flat. I know her life will be that way. There will be creases that will be more difficult to press. She will need to find a way. I will help. I will help iron out the important things. She will iron out the every day issues. Soon she will be able to do all her own ironing. I will be here in case she needs help but she will want and need to do things herself.

Perhaps that is why I dislike ironing so much....the fact that the things I iron for those I love will be outgrown or go out of me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Today was about nothing but about so much. My running group of girls decided to run the Wisconsin Half Marathon today and since I was missing a girls running weekend with my other group of girls I decided to be cheesy!

We were up, out the door and on the road by 5AM. Eight girls in 2 cars with a 13.1 miles and garner some sweet bling.

The ride up was rainy and we were a bit panicked. Running in the cold rain...running in the rain at no fun. We arrived safely and waited out the rain in the car. soon we would need to head to the start line and the rain was beginning to let up. The gun sounded and we were off. I tried to start my Garmin and it failed. Tried again and FAIL. So that was it. I started to used the timer on my watch. At least I could run with something.

The course was very pretty. We ran throught the downtown areas and some residential areas as well. I was eventually without my group and before I knew it there was a sharp slap on my butt as some of the girls passed me. I tried to keep up but they are fast!  I just kept pushing on, taking off my jacket at some points and putting it back on as I ran through the course.

We we turned to run along the Lake the wind picked up...not only did it pick up speed but it picked up water and sand. Several miles of running into the wind were no fun. It was tough but we powered through. Up the hills and down the hills, into the wind and Lake spray. Finally we hit the turn actually had a sign that said turn around. I laughed and turned to run back towards the finish. I thought that now the wind would be at my back and I would have an easier time such luck. It was not as bad but it was still wind. My tutu was a constant source of discussion and comments from other runners....and it was my inspiration to keep moving...forward was my pace.

Heading back towards the finish was good mentally but there were still miles to cover. Back along the Lake, up and down the hills and  the wind.  The last 2 miles were totally mental. the temerature had dropped, the wind had gotten stronger, and the spray off the water was now heavy. We passed the turn for the finish was in sight but we still had 2 miles to go...

Water and Gatorade at mile 12 then another turn and heading to the finish. As I got to the last 2 blocks, people started cheering and yelling. I thought this was for me...thought they were loving the tutu...I was wrong. The winner of the marathon was closing in on me and people were cheering him on!  We crossed the finish line within seconds of eachother...the marathon WINNER and me!  Yup...he ran 26.2 in the same time I ran 13.1...LAPPED!

I had a wonderful volunteer drape a medal around my neck, another wrapped a blanket around me and then I  got some snacks...CHEESE and a brat. I was so happy! I found my frinds and we watched our other runner CRUSH her PR by 15 minutes!  We were so proud of her!

We were cold and wet and miserable but so very happy at the same time!  We headed to the car cheering on other runners as we walked. The drive home was filled with race stories and discussion of what we would do ...after a nap!

The most important thing about this race was not the time with friends(but they are awesome), the medal (I love bling), the time on the clock(other than for those crushing PRs!), the weather (not the best), or my sassy tutu(I can rock a tutu like no one else!)....the most important thing is that all of found something we had lost...our running mojo. Peace.

Shit Happens

You know you are a real runner when you can talk about bodily functions without flinching.

The story of my Half marathon today has to be told in 2 parts. Part one is the drive to the race and hanging with my running girls. Part 2 is actually the race report with all the happened while running 13.1 miles.

The alarm went off at 3:30 and we were out the door by 4:45 to meet the other car full of ladies. It was dark, rainy and miserable. We chatted and checked 3 different smartphone apps for weather...watching the green blob that was the rain move slowly from over the race site to  the Lake.  It was not moving fast enough for any of us.

We arrived at the race and many of us had bathroom issues to attend to...however it was still raining and no one wanted to leave the car. The thought of running through the rain to relieve ourselves was not appealing at all. We talked a lot about it and other 'personal issues'. Things that would/could NEVER be discussed in the company of non runners. Not many people would understand the need for a good poop before a run. Not many people would understand the need to apply body glide to nether regions of the body. Not many people would understand the need to wear the proper bra/underwear or go commando. Not many people talk about these things nor laugh so hard they cry about these issues.

We talked and laughed and eventually the rain let up and we could head to the bathrooms...stage fright got the best of some of us. We would have to run with a full bowel. We headed to the start and race our own races. Some needed a stop along the way to 'lighten the load'.

After we had a brat we headed to the car. Once we all changed into some dry clothing, we took off and headed home...stinky, sweaty, and smiling with our medals around our necks. More discussion of the race and more discussion of bodily functions lead to more laughs and a few "oh not you didn't"s!

Thank goodness I have such wonderful running buddies. Who would I tell my deepest, darkest personal body secrets to? Who would laugh with me about all things disgusting? Who else would consider this all 'normal'? My running friends rock...and poop. Peace.