Why I Run

Everyone runs for a reason.

I chuckle/gag when I run past a girl with perfume, matching workout outfit and earrings with her hair all fixed or a guy soaked in cologne.  What the heck are you doing out here!?  Leave the people who are sucking in air for all they are worth in peace so we don't have to choke on your fumes.
I get annoyed when a guy riding past on his bike slows down and takes off his sunglasses to make it even more obvious that he is looking me up and down.  Or the older ladies who give me judgemental looks.  No, I'm not wearing these compression shorts for attention.  I don't want to be stared at.  I wear them to avoid chafing.   Isn't that sexy?
I'm not running to fit into some cute outfit, or impress someone. It's hard and I'll be honest, I don't care enough about either of those things to really stick with it. I figure that's why I don't see many of those gussied up girls/guys out for a second run later on.  They figured out there were easier ways to get what they were running for.

The thing I run for is a constantly moving target.  No matter how fast I run or how far, the target keeps moving.  I run to be strong.  Not just regular strong.  I run to be strong enough to do this:

(Isa was making faces in all the other ones so I figured she'd rather have the back of her head;))

Strong enough to pick her up when she can no longer carry herself.  That amount of strength is constantly going up as she grows.  Eventually I wont be able to do it. I've had to add more variety than just running to help my muscles keep up.  But while I can I will.  I want her to play outside, go to the beach, see the view from the top of a mountain, and a million things other kids can just go do without a second thought.  All these things are hard for her and even if she tries she will get tired quickly and need help to reach her goals. It's motivating and heartbreaking all at once. 

So creepy sunglasses guy and little old lady can suck it.  I have my reason.



I ran across this little gem today on Facebook. It tells the story of 13 year old girl and her phone.  It is, in one word, heartbreaking.  This girl is living the life I fear for Isa.  Not that she is a bad kid.  She is academic and involved in sports.  She has a loving family and has all of her life necessities readily available.  It's just that dang phone.  There is too much at her fingertips and the fingertips of people who's brains aren't developed enough to handle or be responsible with it.  Oh, that damage they do.

Isa went through a time where she was actively trying to convince us to get her a phone.  I read the news, yeah no.  We got her an iPad mini.  Everything she does on it backs up to my iPad (including messages). She can't download anything without my password.  She can also only use it while on wifi so it limits her time. Does that make me too controlling?  Maybe in 4 years it will but now, not so much.  I watch Law and Order SVU people! Kids aren't capable of understanding the ramifications of their actions. Being a teenager is hard enough without worrying if your selfie is good enough and if you are getting enough likes.  (You know what I love?  Blogger just underlined the word 'selfie'.  It doesn't recognize it as a real word.  Yay blogger!). 

When I was Isa's age I spent quite a bit of time in a large holly tree in our backyard.  I would pretend I lived there and would climb to the top to see all the undiscovered wilderness I imagined was around me.  When the neighbor kids were home we would play, softball, soccer, steal the flag or build a hotel in the woods behind their house. We were outside using our imaginations.  It was liberating.  I felt independent.

Even with just an iPad, Isa can be like a zombie.  Always looking at something.  I talk to her and 5 minutes later she looks up realizing she never responded.  She has to check her score on a game or see if so and so messaged her back yet.  It makes me sad.  Sometimes I get excited when she misbehaves and I have an excuse to take it away.  After a while she isn't mad about it and actually spends time with me. We have real talks, or make something together.  I miss her. 

It's hard at school though.  Everyone has a phone and I guarantee if they knew I could read the messages they probably wouldn't txt her anymore. I wonder how many of their parents if any check their phones?  This is the time your kids are changing the most.  They are figuring out who they are and if you don't help them someone else will.  Do I really want someone on her electronic device teaching her what she's worth? Highly unlikely. Their brains are growing and learning so fast. Help them fill it with imagination and goodness!  There is so much time for all that grown up stuff (which is totally overrated).  childhood is so, so short.  Make them play outside, run in the sprinkler, ride their bikes, climb trees, dig in the dirt!  Hold on to it, they can't go back.



I have a dear friend who is in the hospital with her child.  It's hard to watch. The memories come back like a flood.  Being in the the hospital wears on you.  It's like as soon as that admit paperwork is processed you pick up this 50 pound bag of rocks and carry it with you everywhere.  It's exhausting and sometimes there seems to be no end in sight.  You might be there a day, week, months or even a year. The thing is, when you have a medically complicated child that bag never really goes away.  When you get to go home you just set it down for a bit, and as you slide it from your shoulders to the floor you know,  you will have to pick it back up again.  Maybe sooner rather than later, but you will have to carry it again. But next time it will be heavier because you will remember the last time.  The trauma builds.  When you come back it's like you never left. The fight is never over.

When Emmeline was a baby I didn't have any idea what was going to happen.  I didn't bond with her really.  That's not to say I didn't fight for and protect her.  I fought for her hard.  I didn't want to get too attached though.  I think deep down I thought she would die and I knew if I truly fell in love I wouldn't be able to handle it. Stupid I know.  I would have been a wreck either way but it was easier if in my mind I was merely her advocate and not her Mother.  She smelled like medical tape and antiseptic, not my baby. But someone had to fight for that tiny body and I did. Eventually I gave in to how much I loved her and made sure she knew it every second.  Just in case. She was there for so long and has been in and out of the hospital more times then I can count, wracking up 14 surgeries.  She's 7.

It's expected now and sadly feels normal.  When things happen with Emmeline and I tell people, they are concerned and worried.  When it doesn't land us in the hospital it seems like nothing.  Emmeline fell last week and cut her head.  Isa brought her into my office with blood flowing down her head and neck.  When I told people they were all concerned and shocked. They had nice, normal responses.  My response?  No big deal.  Clean, apply pressure and get her in to be glued.  Emmeline's response?  "Mommy I need to go to dance!  Just put a band aid on it!" Our reactions come with memories. 

For someone who has an average kid, going to get their head glued isn't a "normal" occurrence and probably freaks them out.

For someone who falls 50+ times a day, only cutting your head once seems pretty good. 

For someone who has stood by their child's bed as they are being bagged because they aren't able to breath on their own, a cut on the head is what I pray for.

I feel like every time we go to the hospital I add a rock to my bag.  It weighs more and more every time I have to pick it up.  But when it needs to be lifted I do.  Because if I can add the rock to my bag instead of Emmeline's I'd add two.


Up To Something

I got a txt and started frantically searching the Internet.  Hoping it was all a hoax.  No.  My number 1 was number 2 in the rule of 3s.  I started getting txts from friends but couldn't really answer.  My breakfast is still sitting on my desk next to me.  I keep flipping back and forth from wanting to eat everything and nothing.  Nothing is winning.  It's awkward at work. My office is a fish bowl so everyone can see me, but today it doesn't really matter. The people who know me know why I'm upset.
I first saw him in Robin Hood where I loved hating him. Then Sense and Sensibility where I loved loving him. After that, it was a done deal. I think that is where my love of the "older man" really bloomed.  His voice is intoxicating in the best way and he has a magical way of making you feel what he feels. Even as a manically depressed robot.
Part of me feels like today would be the best suited day to finally watch Harry Potter 7.2.  The other part of me is like "ARE YOU CRAZY!!! DON'T DO THAT!!! Having him die in reality and fantasy would be just too much.
He made me see that Snape was a good guy even when everyone else thought he was the worst.  He knew the motivation and even though it wasn't known to the reader then, you could see it. So complicated yet so simple and he made it look effortless. It was some of the best casting I have ever seen. He was exactly how I pictured it.

Josh got me these for Christmas and this was how I arraigned it first thing. It just felt right. Magical.

The hardest part for me about someone dying is that this is all you have to hold you over.  Nothing new. You can redo what you've done but don't get more.  And once that's it, it's hard. Especially when that someone is insanely talented and you know there was so much more in there...


This Wouldn't Happen If I Had A Penis!

My Mom emailed me an article.  It's amazing.  It said, in a much more articulate way, what I have been saying for years. Here is a link.  I highly recommend reading the whole thing but the gist is, society sucks.  OK maybe that wasn't their gist, but it's true.  This particular article is addressing the HUGE gender bias in LDS Church programs for girls VS boys. This short changes not only ALL the women in your life, but society as a whole.  Imagine what they could do if they were given all the options.  Not "girls can do anything boys can do" but "girls AND boys can do anything people can do".

Why are there lesson or statements being made all around us about how to be good men or women?  How about good people?! Why is my daughter being taught that patience is a "motherly attribute"? Do Fathers not need to practice patience too? Train them to be good PEOPLE.

This article is addressing a specific program and I do agree with their points.  But this issue sadly goes way beyond Activity Days.  It's everywhere.  In school, other church programs, homes etc.  Everywhere my daughters go they are being programmed.  Programmed to be women. To be pretty, wear the right clothes, keep an organized home, say the right thing, be smart (but not smarter than Timmy),  and don't question things. It's disgusting.

Whether it's 7th grade, turning 12, being in full public school or most likely a combo of all those things, Isa has changed.  I, like the author, have seen the light going out of my daughter's eye.  She is making academic choices for social reasons.  She reaches for her iPad before her homework.  She needs certain things with certain labels.  She wants to wear heels, makeup, push up bras and whiten her teeth.  She is picking herself apart physically and finding herself lacking. Lacking from what? Who told her that her main goal as a 12 year old is to look "better"? Meanwhile boys are showing up in sweatshirts and basketball shorts. They probably got up 10 minutes ago and my daughter spent more than that brushing her hair.  She is asking me for things to "improve" her appearance but not  her brain. She reads less and is looking for a screen more.  Last Christmas she asked for a bike.  This Christmas, iPad covers of her favorite TV show and name brand shoes. 6 months ago she told me her favorite celebrity was Neil Degrasse Tyson.  Now I'm afraid to ask.

Try as I might I can't seem to stop it.  I feel like I'm trying to hold back a tidal wave of preconceived ideas of what my daughter should be before they crush and change her into what a "girl" is.  It's impossible, she's already drowning. It's coming at her from every side. It's ingrained so deep in the world that she can't escape it.

 Right now she wants to be an Immunochemist which I think is crazy awesome.  I hate that she will have to work harder than her male counterparts though.  She'll be in a constant battle to prove that she is just as good as a boy and I just pray it doesn't wear her down. In school and work.  To make it even more fun she will also get paid less.  Because she's a girl. Her lack of penis was the only mark against her society needed to decide her fate.


I guess they are afraid she will "think with her lady parts". That would be a great T-shirt slogan for a feminist group.  " I think with my lady parts". Probably to clever for the masses though.

Sorry, you'll have to click the little "YouTube" in the corner to open the video.  It's worth it.



 I've always been lucky to have great men in my life.  My Uncle John was one of the more awesome. It's been almost a year since he passed away.  My heart still hurts from it.  All the time.  I think there are things that happen that make us sad, maybe really sad, but there are only a few that make that mark on your heart. That whatever portion of your heart that held that person permanently aches from their absence.

 I keep hoping that if I ignore it, next Tuesday wont come.  Just like how I wish I could not think about that moment when my Dad called to tell me.  But Tuesday is coming and I think about it constantly.  Knowing the pain and sorrow that's coming is hard.  I want to block it out but I feel like I'm really blocking out him.

My Uncle John was amazing.  He loved me.  I always knew he did.  He always had a hug and helping hand.  Even if sometimes the helping was really gross (thinking of the time he found Emmleine on the stairs with her g-tube at her feet along with everything that had been in her stomach. As her mother I can say it is NASTY.  Bet he didn't expect he'd run into that!).  The night he took all  us kids to an impromptu late night trip to Phaser Land was one of my fondest memories. Even if I did end up domino knocking down quite a few barriers because I was/am so clumsy. He was very giving and hard working and I admired that.  He made people smile.

Thinking about him makes me miss him more.  Knowing I wont have that hug and "Hi sweetheart!" as our next family get together is painful.  I want more.  So many more. But I'm glad I had the ones I did and I hold them close to my heart.  It's how I know he loved me. I hope I hugged back tight enough that he knew how much I loved him too. And always will.

Two wild and crazy guys!


As Mushy As This Girl Gets

In my freshman year of college I had my heart broken.  It was devastating and I thought there was no recovery in sight.  I was sure I would never move on and so I decided to plan out my life alone.  I still wanted kids so I assumed I would just use a sperm bank or something.  I was tough.  I could handle the logistics of child rearing and love the crap out of that kid.
Since Josh has moved I have been able to get a taste of this and you know what?  I can do it.  The logistics are the easy part. 95% of the time the girls get everywhere they need to go with a parent there if need be.  And yes, I love the crap out of them. I thought this was all I would need. I didn't see the most difficult part.
The hard part is the vacancy.  The absence of a partner.  Not in dealing with the kids (although that can be tough), but in dealing with myself.  The emptiness.
I don't rush  over to the couch to get the good seat, there isn't anyone else to get it.
When I turn to make an inappropriate joke, there isn't anyone to hear it.
There isn't anyone for me to slide my cold feet under to warm them up.
I don't put perfume on before bed, there isn't anyone to smell me.
When I feel exceptionally cute and realize there isn't anyone there to see.
The nights are the worst.  I wake up, multiple times a night, reaching out to lay my hand on the chest that isn't there.
Maybe if I'd never had it I wouldn't miss it.  But I did, and I do...