Wednesday, July 29, 2009

10 Years....Many People



Happy, Happy 10th Birthday Tyler!

There are no adequate words of gratitude in my vocabulary to express how completely humbled, honored, and completely beside myself I am that I get to call you my son.

Likewise, there are no adequate words of gratitude in my vocabulary to express how completely humbled, honored, and completely beside myself I am that each our family and so very many of my friends: old, new, and friends of friends have surrounded you, supported us during this amazing 10 year adventure.

To all of you: YOU have been an integral thread in weaving Tyler to be the incredible kid he is today, and the fabric of the man he will become: THANK YOU. My words are wholly inadequate, but I promise you, Tyler will forever be better for it, and I will never let him forget how to live with grace for it.

I always knew I would be a single mom.

Had you told me 10 years later, I would still be a single mom, I probably would have jumped right off a cliff into the Pacific.

Thankfully, you were there.

You were there when I crumbled, you were there when I fell apart. You were there when I needed a manly vote on circumcision, to explain to my kid the necessity of a nut cup, to duct tape his diaper back on when I needed a night out.

You were there to teach him to piss standing up, to talk to him about the teams in the WAC, Big 12, Big 10 and National League and American League and to ask him about his own batting average and explain the difference between batting average and slugging percentage (because he didn't believe his dumb mom). You reinforced me when I needed it and you made fun of me with T when I needed it too.

Thankfully you were there.

And now, 10 years later, I sit alone, my kid off in sunny California with his dad and lament, that 10 years later, I could not be happier than I am, still a single mom.

My kid: this amazing, funny, well-traveled, brave, socially responsible, and sensitive little man, has grown with each and every one of your influences painting some part of the fabric of who he's become. You've taken a vested interest in him that far surpasses any call of friendship. The opportunities, the knowledge and the love you ALL have given and provided him...are irreplaceable and are his forever.

I am so humbled, grateful, thankful...you are still and will always be here for us both.

To each and every one of you: you know who you are....we love you, to infinity and beyond.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Excuses, Colonel Sanders, My Kid Zippy, and a BDday Crisis

Holy crikeys, dear followers...I've been a very, very bad blogger.

Thankfully, I have excuses. Lots of them.

It is only half past Tuesday and I have already received multiple requests for the onslaught of RAGBRAI stories, whereby I typically make fun of everyone but myself and point out everyone's drunken mishaps but my own (because of course, I have NONE!)

A note about the RAGBRAI mayhem: these things take time to percolate and grow, not unlike fishing stories. They're coming...although for them to come to life with vivid color; I am also awaiting placing my dirty mitts on some images Keri took that should assist me since I cannot talk with my hands via blog and that makes things difficult for a gal like me.

There is also a trip to the L.A. that must be chronicled; where I hung out with my astonishingly tall, polite, and yet alligator tear wielding kid for a few days, fried my skin into something that would make Colonel Sanders proud, and deposited copious amounts of sand in my eardrums while watching skantily clad Europeans in speedos, among other things...

....like visiting Trader Joes, spending ridiculous amounts of money, on well...everything ($7 for a freaking water people!?), and introducing my kid to the wonder that is In & Out Burgers.

There is also a little bitta something I intend to write about a surprise encounter that has been since making my heart make a longing pitta-pat, a lot more sidesplitting, pee a little in your pants a little type laughs/stories, and the fact that I pulled something that closely resembled a corn plant (yes, the ENTIRE PLANT) out of my dog's ass this a.m. For the love of Pete. Or Sadie, as it was.

Cripes, I hadn't even had my coffee yet....and you might not have either, so I will spare you the details of that little pre-work bonding experience with my poor embarrassed puppy.

BUT alas, I will not start here nor there...I will start by sharing with you a video of my son, because:

1. I am dying over here without the little (okay BIG) fart not being within my hugging distance.

AND

2. He's freaking FAST.

3. Tomorrow, my baby...the child that God hilariously, and idiodically entrusted me with....
HE TURNS 10!!!

I cannot even begin to find the words to describe the crisis I am having about this.

Alas I just realized that this post...there is no hook here, there is no meat, not plot either...so I will just sign off, get back on that beautiful bike I stole from my friend Scooter and leave you with this:

T WINNING the 100 meter dash at the Hershey State/Regional Track Meet earlier this summer.

He qualified for this by winning the 100 meter dash at the local Hershey Track meet even earlier than that this summer. He won some other stuff too, but I will get to that later.

video

Happy, Happy 10th Birthday, Bug.
You have changed my heart in ways I never knew possible.

I love you to infinity and beyond....NOW GET YOUR BUTT HOME!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not Bluffin'...Bluffton



Last weekend I ventured off to the northeast corner of the state to join a group of 70 or so of my closest friends in a camping/July 4 extravaganza. I've been hearing of this intimate gathering for years and never being one to miss a party, I figured it was probably time I showed up to check it out.

All that said, I lost approximately three vital ragbrai training weeks on the bike after falling on my head recently, so I knew if I wanted to partake, it would mean less partying and more riding.

The good news is, misery loves company. At least around these parts...and my neighbor/friend Aaron found himself in much the same training predicament for his own reasons, which I will not divulge here, because well, I am not even really sure what they are.

Thus, Aaron and I came to a little agreement: we'll camp, ride, and forego the optional canoe and tube day in favor of additional pedaling.

I am not gonna lie: when everyone loaded their respective 57 cases of beer into their canoes the second morning, I second guessed Aaron's and my little plan.

I third and fourth guessed it too.

My ass was bloody from an 87 miler the day before on a new-to-me-saddle (who's the dummy?), the sky was dreary and the air thick; and somehow sitting on my ass floating downstream while drinking a cold one seemed a much better proposition than pedaling up switchbacks all day.

So me being me, I promptly took a pee, and headed back to bed.

Not to be deterred on his mission and neighborly promise/pact...Aaron patiently sat outside my tent long after the canoers left, awaiting my timely appearance:



And he waited.
And he waited.

After morning turned to afternoon and I awoke from what was probably my 30th nap of the day and STILL found Aaron there in that chair, I realized there was probably no way he was letting me out of this little pact I made, so I kitted up and we headed out.

In the meantime, this guy...he took over my queen sized air bed he'd made fun of earlier but secretely seethed with envy over, and took himself a nap. This camping stuff, it's hard work people!


Where this guy came from is another story for another day, because it's a long one and I tend to get all emotional and windy when I speak of him...but let's just say that it is not everyday that a gal like me finds herself in the company of two such caring, hilarious, and not to mention...insanely handsome men...especially ones that take naps on monkey sheets, cook tortelini for breakfast, love my misbehaved dogs like they are their own, and make me laugh until my face hurts.

AND, in extra added bonuses, as IF I needed more reason to continue to fill this weekend utterly full of awesome, Aaron and I had ourselves a hum dinger of a ride that day. We saw ourselves some deer, crazy looking birds that I could not identify, and a bald eagle. And we climbed. A lot.

And that night, after we returned, I parked my machine of the pedaling type, showered, and hopped on the back of this motorized beauty...and helped log miles 14,001 through 14,050 of that sleepy guys' epic journey across North America:



Those bikes look good together, don't you think?

And then, sadly, as if it were all a dream...I awoke and the bike with the motor and the beautiful man on it...they were gone.

And somehow, he seemed to take with him, Aaron's and my motivation (okay mine and Aaron acquiesced).

Not to be deterred by our missing motivation, we spent the remainder of the day laughing our tails off as we watched my dogs steal toast from other campers' breakfast plates, treated ourselves to a few cocktails, later after we'd packed our shit in Aaron's truck, we somehow summoned the means to climb up this, have a beer, and fly back down... way, way faster than we probably should have:


We also stopped to see this, although it will probably be hard for YOU to see this, because, well, I apparently had the shakes:


And THEN we headed back south. And I promptly passed out for four hours and dear Aaron drove me home.

The End.


Monday, July 6, 2009

First & Last: Grade Three

I am awful at recording things in T's baby book. Like I think I haven't opened the thing since his first haircut, maybe earlier.

I have also been told by more than one person of late that I have gotten really good at uploading pictures of my dogs, but have been neglecting uploading pictures of my son.

Ahem, that would be because my SON is the one uploading pics of the dogs...but no matter I still feel the wild pangs of guilt.

One tradition that I have been 100% perfect at thus far, is taking a photo of T on the first and last day of school each year. I haven't the foggiest idea where most of them are, but these two I found today.

This little feat of memory and photography is becoming more and more challenging as T gets older, quicker, and I become more embarrassing with each passing day.

That said, the little fart changes quite a lot throughout the course of a school year. Here is this years' evidence:

First day of school:

Last day of school:
Little baby is gettin' all growed up!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Tri-ed


When my friend Steff called me all frantic one night several weeks ago and asked if I'd be interested in bailing her out of her full triathlon, and splitting the work into a relay for the annual HyVee tri, I was happy to oblige. I knew T would be gone and it looked to be the perfect first week of mommy freedom discraction.

What I didn't know, or plan on was that I'd have such a shoddy performance in my prior two races that all the wind would be taken from my sails...to the point that I wasn't sure I even liked my bike any more. I also didn't know that soon after my wind left, I would crash and fall on my head; sustain a concussion, contusion and a bunch of damaged ligaments.

THAT little mishap pretty much sucked another two weeks from my life and therefore saddle time.

Soooo....as race day quickly approached and I'd been on my bike all but TWICE in the prior three weeks, I became a bit worried. I worried more when I realized that after approximately five miles into each of these two rides, I had absolutely no feeling left in my right hand, arm and eventually, my leg.

Nerves of a different sort, perhaps?

Not to be dissuaded, I plodded on. I told myself all sorts of stories in my head about why this was a good idea and immediately my heart told my head back that it was batshit crazy and I should probably just stay in bed and sleep instead.

Then, as if to confuse those buggers in my head and heart even further, I was invited to a going away party the evening prior to said race out at this lovely cabin in god's country, sitting on 80 gorgeous rolling acres, whereby a great number of my friends would be partying and drinking and dancing around like idiots having a ball. At this point, I started to think to my selves:

Selves, perhaps this tri was not a good idea at ALL.

Then I heard via the great HyVee tri grape vine that our registration was missing.
A glimmer of hope was upon me:

I might be able to party like a rockstar at said party and not race, I thought to my bad selves.

But in order to find out I had to go to packet pick up.

First, I sat through the little movie, and then a meeting. During that meeting they put the fear of God in you that if you so much as look at another rider wrong, you'll have minutes added to your time.

Sweet, I thought to my selves, I could probably use a two to four minute handicap since I've ridden two whole times in the past two plus weeks. And who can I pay to keep my registration lost?

That said, the dumb movie they showed at that meeting still gave me goosebumps, and as I looked around at all the perfectly sculpted bodies that sat surrounding me...I began to think better of my wimpy thoughts and actually got a little excited at the prospect of riding amongst all that eye candy.

Sooo...

I went to that party.
I left that party.
I went to bed early.
I awoke at 3 a.m.

I did not swim.
I did not run.
But I DID ride.

And, I am happy to report that I felt better on the bike than I have in months...which was worth it's weight in gold. Not that we won any, but I'm just sayin'...

We got fifth.

For fifth we got bananas and a very kick ass ice cream sandwich.

I also got my very hung over friends stumbling around...wondering why in the hell they got up at 5 a.m. to try (2/3 unsuccessfully) to figure out where to watch each leg.

Like a flash though, it was all over and we decided to go have a bloody mary, a beer...and of course laugh.

And I sat there, tired and accomplished and silly and I looked over at my heirum of peeps, and I was so very glad the good self won over the bad self, because if it hadn't, I would have missed all these moments, and I would have especially missed these laughs.