Momming. It’s what I do.

I mom.  And I am pretty good at it.  Seriously, how often do you realize that you are good at what you do?  I’ve got a list of things I cannot do, but I’m thinking about the stuff I CAN do.  It’s a much shorter list, but at least I have a list!

Now,  I’m no mom of the year.  In fact, there are a few momming duties at which I suck.  Like, nutrition, discipline, organization.  Take today, for example.  Today is conference at one of my son’s school.  And I absolutely, totally forgot to sign up for a conference time slot.  I’m a full time mom.  How does this happen?  Full disclosure:  I also forgot that my son didn’t even have school today until last night around 10:00 last night.  Here’s the silver lining:  that’s also about the time that I realized I need to be writing again.  Just for me.  If anyone is along for the ride, that would be super cool.  I would LOVE for you to join me.

I stopped writing here almost 2 years ago.  Actually, I stopped writing and “publishing” two years ago; the writing never really stops in my head.  It’s awkward to start things and stop like I do.  Does anyone else do that?  It feels uncomfortable when kind people ask “what happened?” or “when will we see your next post?”  Those questions are genuine.  My answers are also genuine…but lengthy, winding, deep.  Are we ready for that?

I’m not sure how to answer with truth and honesty in a way that doesn’t hurt others.  I actually am just testing the waters today.  Putting my toes back in.  Trying to see if there is any life left in this keyboard.


Are you there doc? It’s me, your patient.

**Disclaimer:  yep.  that’s right.  a disclaimer BEFORE you read.  whatev.  I wrote this post almost exactly a year ago.  I updated it with the LeBron info today (important.  accurate.  necessary).  Weird that I had a similar feeling 12 months later, isn’t it?  Off topic:  I write a lot.  I post very little.  Posting/publishing feels weird.  Writing feels great.

Please listen.  Listen to what I have to say.  Listen to my thoughts and concerns and anxieties and problems with my health.  Put away the stethoscope.  Don’t look at your watch.  Please.  Listen with your ears, your brain, your heart.

I know there has been progress and thank you for sticking with me me this far.  I’m not scared every day.  I can make it up the stairs!  I can carry a jug of milk and a bag of groceries AT THE SAME TIME.  I actually won HORSE the other day (granny shot.  gets ’em every time.  my boys are all pullin’ a LeBron.  It’s like a kick in the shins when I show them how it’s done old school.)

But, doc, I’m having some concerns.  I’m no longer the cash cow in need of an expensive device, researching LVAD as bridge therapy, or a transplant, but I do still need help.  Even though I’m not the outlier, statistically, that I was almost 4 years ago, I am nowhere near my goal.   See, it’s like I want to sprint a marathon and you keep reminding me that I’m lucky to make it to the fridge. You love your numbers and statistics and probabilities.  Please, no more numbers.  In the past, these numbers helped put my poor health in context, but now they are frustrating.  I am here, now, willing myself forward.  I want to blow those statistics out of the water.  I’m still positive, focused and convinced that this heart can skew your numbers so far you and I will be laughing about them at some day.

I’m very patient, even though I had to wait a long time for you today.  I understand there are people who are sicker and urgently needed you today and that’s why you are running late.  I’ve been that patient who demanded extra time.  I know about a heart in need.  I understand a schedule and know why you look at your watch.  I’m paying for this appointment and for a babysitter so I’m looking at my watch, too.

Let’s start off with a few sprints…


Slow Days

Some days really do move more slowly than others. And really, that’s cool.
I’m in no rush for my 5th grader to “graduate”. Maybe the summer heat won’t arrive so quickly. Perhaps the gardenias will have a bit more time for their aroma to permeate my back yard.
Maybe the laziness of the weekend will linger and I can think more about playing HORSE with my boys and less about dinner and dirtiness and dishes. There is so much wonderfulness hiding in the slower days, too.


I Cried Twice Today

It was probably more like several little cries, but I’ve lumped them into two major ones. The good news: they were tears of awe and thankfulness. How great is that?

When I was a little girl, I dreamt of taking my family to the Grand Canyon. No princes, no white knights, no elaborate wedding fantasies–it was the Grand Canyon, a load of kids and a station wagon for this girl. I may have gone a little heavy on the Brady Bunch feel (as a dear friend pointed out), but I really thought life was like that. Fast forward to Spring Break 2013: we are in Arizona! We did it! We saw the Canyon. I guess you could say my dream can true, right? Why the tears, you and I both wonder…

The helicopter ride was simply an added tour bonus, or so I thought. But here’s the deal: nothing prepares you for the incredible vastness and beauty of the canyon, not even photos. Or stories. Or this blog. Nothing. So, after a 10 minute flight at 300 feet above the massive pine forest that lines the southern rim, the shocking change of scenery from dense forest to the immense canyon below us was…awesome. My family, the pilot and one other couple were all linked via headset. “Wow”, “amazing”, “beautiful”. No words really fit in my brain to describe what I was seeing, feeling. Tears summed it up: complete awe.

Did I mention that we are staying in Phoenix? And if you are geographically inclined, you may realize what a schlep it is from Phoenix to the midpoint in the Canyon. And you’d be right on target: a 4 hour trip. Each way. Who in their right mind would spend 14.5 hours in one day taking their 9 and 11 year old kids to the canyon? That question brings me to the next set of tears…

Only a very determined mom with a heart problem would do something so crazy! Did I mention that the Canyon is located in the Colorado Plateau? FYI: that’s a 7,370 foot elevation. Not such a big deal for the normal person. Since my heart gave out, elevation and I don’t always mix so I knew driving up to the Canyon would require physical stress and that staying for a night or two at that elevation was unlikely for me. And it was physically challenging, but it wasn’t awful. Near the end of our ride back to the hotel, the tears were unstoppable. Gentle, flowing tears again. Was it the exhaustion? Maybe. Was it from the awe of such beauty? Likely so. Was it the realization of a childhood dream? Perhaps. Was it gratefulness for the things my body can do? I’m sure that’s part of it. All those things combined with the sweetness of my 11 year old resting his head in my lap made for an amazing day.

P.S. The attached photo is from my iPhone. Through the windows of our tour bus. It’s from Sedona.


Coat Hooks

There’s no mudroom in this house.  No room with a little sink and shelves and pegs and hooks and nooks and crannies and a lifetime supply of extra strength febreeze.  Ok, I will pause while you all feel sorry for us…

Yes, of course I realize that a large room dedicated to a family’s comings and goings is not a necessity.  A nice little cozy room that houses all the periphery of a 4 person family is nice, but not a must-have.  Totally get it.  I know, I know.  Same goes for a media room or a three car garage (in a home with 2 drivers) or even an extra bathroom.  I HEAR YOU.  But, I really want a mud room.  For you naysayers, it’s clear:  you do not live with young children.

In lieu of a dreamy mud room, I have created a drop off spot.  It’s really a leave-your-shit-here-so-you’ll-know-where-it-is-when-you-need-it space.  There is a dedicated area for electronics and it is now overrun with cables and broken stuff and receipts and coins and safety pins AND electronics.  In this very small space, I added a shoe rack.   It is now overrun with soccer, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, indoor soccer (yes.  these are different) and every day shoes.   I’ve noticed that the soccer backpack is hanging out there.  So is the lacrosse bag.  And a tennis racquet.  And there are often different sized soccer balls (yes.  there are different sizes for each kid) and maybe an errant basketball (which, fyi, “has” to be kept indoor during cold weather because when it’s outside it gets too cold and it shrinks and seems like it’s not properly inflated but really warm air expands which is why it’s fine in the house and since we play indoor basketball it needs to stay inside so we don’t over inflate it and it doesn’t make sense to bring a rubber ball back and forth from the garage to the house because that’s not good for the ball. *intentionally left as a run-on sentence to give you a more intimate idea of the 9 year old argument–uh, I mean logic–that I face every.  single.  day.)  And the dog leashes hang out around here, too.

In addition to creating this bottle-neck (as it’s right when we enter the house) drop off haven (which smells like–I can only imagine–the inside of a dirty soccer sock), I have also included a space to hang our coats.  Years ago, that’s how our mud corner started:  with two identical coatracks.  It was a (self-proclaimed) clever plan, hanging one rack at adult eye level (for the big boy) and the other, a few inches below the light switch.  For my little boys.  So they could come home and hang up their jackets.   And that, my friends, is the real problem.  The coat hooks are my downfall.  Tonight was another night that made me take notice of the passing of time.  Our kid coatrack hangs so low that the not-so-little-hoodies pool on the floor.

I want my 2003 back.

We Could All Use a Little Discomfort

I started college a few weeks ago.  It was such a shock to the system.  I felt out of place and nervous.  I was uncomfortable and unsure of myself.  I was hard on myself:  you’re too old, you can’t  “do” computer stuff, you can’t handle the workload, you’re taking time away from you family, you don’t know shit.  Do I bring a computer or do people take notes with old fashioned paper these days?  Was there a book list?  How do I get help?  What’s blackboard?  I get ANOTHER e-mail address?

Well, I am old(er), I can turn on a Mac (not everyone could), it doesn’t feel like work when you are excited to learn it, my family didn’t even know I was gone and I KNOW PLENTY.  Well, I know enough to get started.  And after the first class,  I went straight to the bookstore and bought my book.  Flat out, straight up paid for it.  Cash.  Couldn’t do that in my 20’s!

Sure, it felt a bit uncomfortable trying to figure out my way to the bookstore. Trying to navigate the maze of buildings, find the bookstore, get a parking sticker, locate the student ID person requires energy.  Can I walk that far with a heavy backpack (a little harder on the heart than I had considered).  And, stairs?  OMG.  Stairs.

It was energizing!  It was like a system reboot.  The brain was forced to fire differently than it does on most days, out of the comfort zone.  It felt good to connect and to try and to know that I can do it.  And I love it when my boys ask me, “How was school today, Mom?”.

It’s not a huge ordeal, taking a class.  And, maybe a class isn’t the thing for you.  But shake it up a little because it’s good for you!  Let me know what you try.

All The Time

I add something to this blog almost every week.  Often, I’ve got something to say a few times a week. I write a post in a few minutes and then just save as a draft because….well, I’m not real sure.  How much do you want to hear?  I think there is something astounding in every day; I just put a lot of pressure on myself get the good stuff–and the good stuff only–out here.  That’s a lot of pressure on a person who isn’t even a writer.  I don’t expect to DO anything here.  I don’t feel that this space has to BE anything.  Doubtful I’ll change the world.  Doubtful that I’ll cure heart disease (bummer).  But I do feel that writing is an amazing emotional release.  And who couldn’t use one of those from time to time? I mean, when you put written word out into the universe, it’s kind of a relief.  You should try it!  Send me a link.  I’ll read it.  I promise.  I love to read!