Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Goals

Happy June! I love June. My husband and I work for the same school district and have summers off, but we still work through most of June because our school is on the more traditional calendar. While we work a bit later into the year, we also go back later, which I like. 

I enjoy the anticipation of being off for two months and all of the end-of-year activities for my students, including promotion of the 8th graders into 9th grade.

June is the half-way point of the year, and a good time to set some goals. Why should resolutions only come in the new year? If I did make any for this last new year, by now I don't remember what they were anyway.

Finish one book // I read somewhere that if we spent our time reading books instead of on social media, we could finish something like 5,482 books in one year. Okay, maybe the number wasn't quite that high. But I used to love to read and now find myself using the excuse that I don't have time. That's not true. I have less time, not no time. I read at least 10 books per night to Baby A and want her to value reading as she gets older. But in order for that to continue to be something she values, I need to model that behavior myself. At this age, they copy everything we do. And she has started playing more independently recently, allowing me to pick up the book I started months ago.

Trip to the beach // I work in Costa Mesa, which is just a few minutes from Newport Beach. Yet the last time I took my daughter to the beach was in April! We suffer from that "We never go there because we can anytime" syndrome. And that's going to change this month.

Get messy // Last month, Baby A and I had a lot of fun making Giant Bubbles and using her chalk paint set in the yard. Even when the bubble recipe was a flop the first time, she loved using her hands, and the slippery feel of the soap on them. I want to continue doing an activity like this at least twice this month. Next up is a recipe for cloud dough, and playing in the mud. 

Make camping reservations // I've camped sporadically over my life and loved it every single time. But I can't tell you the last time I went. I want Baby A to grow up with memories of conversations around the campfire, and as she gets older, weekends disconnected from technology. We'll start small and local, at O'Neill Campground, which is heavily wooded with oak and sycamore trees and backs up to the Cleveland National Forest. It's only $20 per night and every site has a fire pit. My goal is to make reservations for July and also for the fall. I added some camping equipment to my wish list, and love that if the weather turns cold, we can always sleep in the back of my Suburban.

Eat healthy // I'm undergoing my 4th IVF this month. Because of this, I am not allowed to run which is very frustrating for me. As much as I don't really like to run (and complain about it any chance I get), I run for the feeling I get when I'm done. And, the calories. Since I don't have any to spare, I'm going to focus on eating healthy to still try and get in some type of shape for summer and also to hopefully help my final IVF have the best chance of success. I'm tapering off caffeine right now, and am replacing that with more water and herbal tea. My goal is to cut out excess sugar, since it is already in so much of what we eat.

Honor Mom // My Mom's birthday is June 28th. The day after the due-date for our baby girl that we lost when I was 17 weeks pregnant. Mom would have been 66 years old. This is my third birthday without her, which is just so hard to believe. We threw her this surprise party on her last birthday, in 2014 when she turned 63:

She was so grateful and happy that day, and you can hear it in her voice when she exclaims "Oh my gosh!" before going around the room and hugging everyone. We told her to dress up a little, because Nathan was going to take her to a nice restaurant for dessert, so she would be prepared to see friends she hadn't seen in awhile. Because no one wants to see all their friends when they're wearing sweats, even when they're undergoing chemo. She cracked me up because she asked "Will it just be Nathan and I?" 

I remember it was well into the evening, and she remained on our back patio sipping a beer and chatting with her friend Tina. Most of the guests had left, and I was tired, even though it was probably not even 9pm. I wanted to hurry things up but refrained, realizing that she was likely drawing the evening out because she knew it was her last birthday. We all did, though it remained unspoken.

June 28th will be hard no matter what. But with the few years that have passed has come some healing. I may be turning a corner on celebrating her, as she would want, rather than just crying all day and wishing so desperately that she were here with us. When you lose someone that significant and start to heal, it is bittersweet, because you kind of miss the sting of the loss. It turns from being so recent and becomes more distant. You become used to them being gone, and that carries with it a new kind of sadness. 

Until my dying day, I want to cultivate a close connection to her instead of "moving on" or "letting go". Not just for me, but for Baby A, who deserves to know what an amazing, kind, patient, loving, sweet and fun person she was. Mom was full of grace; filled to the brim. In her honor, we are going to The Tea House on Los Rios in San Juan Capistrano, a place that I went to with her. Before our reservation, we'll be at Zoomars Petting Zoo. If Mom were here with us, our plans would probably be the same. And I like to think that in a way, she is.

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