Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lump in my throat

A few months ago I saw a great Groupon for rock climbing and I bought two of them so I could take Maya with me. Thankfully she didn't inherit Aric's fear of heights, so on Saturday I took my girl climbing.

She LOVED it!!!!
(Can you see the giant smile on her face)

We took a class together, which was good. I needed to brush up on my knot skills. The first time the instructor had Maya belay me, she was freaking out. She kept saying "Mom, I don't want to drop you!" "Mom, I'm so scared I'm going to hurt you!". The instructor...who looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo with funky glasses...kept assuring her, and me, that it would be fine. The first three times were a little nerve wracking but we didn't climb too high so it was fine. Once the class was over the instructor thought Maya needed one more class to become certified and was pretty much telling me that I was climbing at my own risk with her belaying me. 

After class it was time to climb. Maya was a little uncomfortable the first big climb she stopped 2/3 the way up and said "K Mom, I'm good." I encouraged her to keep going and she made it all the way up. After that there was no stopping her! Off she went. She was a monkey flying up the wall! There was a 20 year old girl next to us just watching in amazement. 

After a few runs she was tired and wanted me to climb. I did cautiously, and she did a great job belaying me. And after that she was a pro. We spent the next hour and a half taking turns belaying each other.

I took this picture of her belaying me. I didn't want to forget the moment. I couldn't get the visual of my two year old Maya playing with her dolls and here she was a young woman belaying me!!! I was sharing something I loved with her and she was loving it too. It was too perfect of a moment.

There were many times when she was climbing that she would get stuck and didn't know where to place her foot or hand and because of where I was standing I could see exactly where she should go. It made me think of how this is what I have been doing all her life and I will be doing for the rest of her life...Because of my life experiences and the paths I've walked, I have a different perspective than she does. I can see things she can't see. I can see the safe path, and when she gets stuck I can tell her where to go. I had a lump in my throat and a smile on my face the whole time. Being a mom is the hardest thing ever, but the most rewarding thing I will ever do. A lot of the time it is draining so, SO draining, but in this moment it was pretty much awesome.

**We did not mean to match we got dressed separately and Maya threw a sweatshirt on top of her t-shirt. We even had matching black yoga pants! Kinda funny

Sunday, February 19, 2012

First Friday 2012

Oh how I love First Friday...I start planning it almost immediately after the last one. For a little First Friday history go here and then here.

Needless to say, we were a little late having FF this year. Our lives have kind of been turned upside down...more on that later...so sadly this past friday was the "First Friday" that was convenient for us to do it.

This years theme was....

"ReaLiTy TV StARs!"

We had The Bachelorette and Chris Harrison (Hansens)

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne (Brunts)

The Survivorman and his Lady (Shenemans)

Mary Murphy and Nigel Lithgoe (Romneys)

Donald and Ivanka Trump (Halls)

Bret Michaels and one of his Hoochies (Chambers)

Christina Aguilera and Cee-loo were in the house (Beykirchs)

Kent and Vixyn from the Amazing Race were there (Youngs)

Jillian came with one of her poor contestants from the Biggest Loser

As the night went on, Aric lost his weight and was happy to show off his very fit self.

The costumes were so awesome. The pictures in no way do Kent and Vixyn or Cee-lo and Christina justice. But here is our group shot, we had some hilarious out takes. Stupid Donald wouldn't move!

(sorry about the blinding reflectors, I tried to photo shop them but it didn't work)

We had some awards this year...

Best Costume went to Kent (Mark)

Most Committed to Character went to Cee-lo (Kevin)


Most Like Character in Real Life was a tie...

Ozzy Osbourne (George) and  Jillian Michaels (Me) 

I'm not quite sure how to feel about that award. I might need to change some things about myself or maybe I got those votes because we both have brown hair and olive skin...that's what I like to think at least. I assure you I don't curse like a sailor and I enjoy cupcakes and chinese food, among other unhealthy things.

Festivities included a trivia game and a song/character match up game. The best part is no one but me knows who everyone else is going to be so it's a fun surprise when couples start showing up. They all get a cd with the songs from the match up game to remember our fun night by.

We also played some Just Dance 3, The Michael Jackson Experience 

and of course Sing Star.

As the night started to wind down G and Kyle started to show signs of weakness, I mean party fatigue... 

so I sang them to sleep.

So now that season eight of First Friday is done I get to start thinking about season nine...I have a couple ideas but I would love to hear your suggestions.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One of those moments

With all of the stuff that happens everyday, the good moments sometimes feel like they are few and far between. Well this post is about one of those good moments, so so good.

At the beginning of November, Eden, along with all the other 3rd graders in her school, had an assignment to write an essay on... "What it means to be an American..." 

The morning it was due she was frazzled because she couldn't find the piece of paper that entered her essay into a VFW contest. I was annoyed that she brought it up the morning it was due. We couldn't find it, so she went to school empty handed. Later that morning I found the paper and ran it over to the school. I knew it would make her happy, but sadly I didn't think she would win any contest. I mean how many third graders entered this thing??

Well a few weeks ago we got a call telling us that she won third place at our local VFW Post. I was so dang proud of her!

This is Eden reading her essay...

What is an American?

What is an American? Three things come to mind to when I think of an American, the military, Fourth of July and Patriots.
When I think of the military, I think of my uncle when he served three tours in Iraq as a Marine. I think of other people who serve in the military fighting for our freedom. A military person, is someone who is brave, loving and willing to serve our country.
When I think of Fourth of July, I think of the flag blowing in the air. I think of red white and blue at the parade. I also think of fire works exploding in the sky.
When I think of a patriot, I think of someone who is proud of being an American. Someone who says the Pledge of Allegiance. A patriot is someone who respects the flag.
I am proud of being American. I am proud of my uncle for serving in the military. I love celebrating the Fourth of July. I’m glad to be a patriot. That makes me a good American.

This was all Eden. These are her words. I only reminded her what a conclusion was. It came from her tender little heart.

It was so neat to watch her beam with pride over her accomplishment. Can you tell I'm just a tiny bit proud of this kid??

Well if that wasn't enough, we found out she also placed at the District level which is out of 14 posts in Eastern Washington! We didn't know what place until the ceremony. 

She placed second only to her buddy Jack, who got first in the whole state of Washington. It was so fun for them to share their accomplishments together.

I loved everything about the ceremony. It was humble, it was genuine, it was almost spiritual. I felt so much gratitude for these veterans and the women that put this program together. It's a national program, you should check it out in your state. I got all teared up as I heard the essays read and saw the pride and gratitude that the veterans showed. 

I felt like such a loser for being annoyed with Eden because I had to look for her entrance letter. I will tell you right now that she will be entering that essay contest every stinkin' year! Not just in hopes that she will win again, but because of how it made my family feel to be able to support such a neat organization. It's easy to show pride and gratitude on the Fourth of July or Veterans Day, but it's how we live everyday that really shows how we feel about our country, our constitution and the people who fought for it. 

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other" ~ John Adams

"To preserve our independence we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt...I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple." ~ Thomas Jefferson