If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, 3 dogs, and a whole lot of love.

Family Story Pic

Family Story Pic


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Treatless Tricksters

My husband's Halloween shenanigans began 6 days ago when he called me from work and excitedly told me that our city's Trick-or-Treat was scheduled for that night.  Kearstin was concerned she might be too old this year.  She's 13 and reaching that age where she's easily embarrassed...a very traumatic age to be in our family.  Not one to miss the chance of an extra bag of candy around the house, Ron encouraged (read: bullied) her into a Looney Toons Martian costume, complete with a broom studded head band.  When we parked our car, the girls noted the lack of fellow Trick-or-Treaters.  Ron was undeterred.  We'd persevered through 3 empty streets when we passed a group of kids dressed completely normal and staring at us.  That's when Kearstin ripped off her broomed headband and demanded answers.  We approached 2 houses, but either no one was home or they weren't falling for what appeared to be a lame attempt at more free candy.  Finally we came to a house where some nice people took pity on us and informed us that we were a week early.  Ron began Googling the information on his phone (let it go, dude) while Kearstin stormed off humiliated and Caymen trudged along dragging her over sized witch hat behind her. Quite the pathetic sight.

I thanked the nice woman for helping us and she responded, "This will be something for your blog."

Oh.Crap.  Someone I don't recognize, recognizes me...and for my blog.  That can't be good.

To make up for his mistake, Ron took us to an amusement park the following Saturday.  That went well with exception of 1 or 2 incidents.  Okay, 2...

1. When Cayme wasn't quite tall enough for a ride in the children's section, Ron, who was already sitting on the ride, began pumping both his fists in the air and chanting "LET. HER. RIDE" and about a hundred people followed his lead that ended with a near riot in the Avatar line.  (Almost as embarrassing as the time we didn't realize Caymen wasn't wearing underwear until she was 5 feet up in the air on the Charlie Brown flying swings.)

2. While riding on opposite ends of the Swinging Ship, Ron started making the "I'm-Watching-You" hand gesture to Kearstin.  Harmless, right?  Until I realized the young boy sitting next to Kearstin thought it was intended for him and he bolted from the ride crying when it was over.  Ron thought chasing him down to explain was a good idea. It wasn't.

I'm pretty sure after Saturday, there's a police sketch (or 2) of Ron circulating through Kings Island.

That brings us to tonight.  Trick-or-Treat Take 2.  He's got the kids traipsing around the neighborhood again.  This time, Kearstin''s face is completely covered with a skeleton mask and Ron has been given strict ground rules:  Under no circumstance is he to make hand gestures, chant anything, chase anyone, mention my blog, or supply me with anymore entries for said blog.

In the meantime, I opted to hide...I mean, stay at home. Blogging.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Mudders

As you may already know, I'm the type of person that copes with fear of the unknown by imagining the worst case scenario so that I'm pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was.

Unfortunately, in this case, even my worst nightmares undershot reality.  A lot.

Imagine a place where I willingly wear 88% Spandex from top to bottom out in public and then reach a point of exhaustion where I stop sucking in my gut.  Now imagine a wedgie so deep from being violated by rocks that it can't be seen with the naked eye, fingers dripping with so much mud that they slip off the spandex material every time you try to reach it and in a moment of desperation, you dry your fingers on your own hair and almost cry with relief when you're rewarded with the loud 'POP' of released suction and your spandexed wedgie breaks free.  And imagine forming such a bond with your team that one will offer up the only dry spot on the back of her shoulder for another to wipe her snot dripping nose and there's no judgement when one is peeing freely as she runs because there are no other options and a Kegal would require the use of more muscles and it's not worth it.

And now imagine me saying things like "Ooo Rah" just to motivate myself to crawl through the cold water while live electrical wires dangle above my head, periodically zapping my various body parts and leaving me with a jolt felt all the way through my chest that made me wish I'd see a light to walk toward.

Welcome to Tough Mudder Kentucky where the phrase "Kentucky Hills" will forever provoke a cold chill down my spine.

We were the final group of the day which means those straight up and down hills were a solid sheet of slippery mud and crawling and crab walking became regular movements simply to protect ourselves from breaking bones, which happened to someone right beside us a mere 2 miles into our 12 mile journey.  This was no joke.  People were getting hurt and others were quitting left and right.

The first half was kind of fun.  It was hard, but it was new and exciting.  I still laugh at everyone running around a large mud puddle at the beginning only to be crawling on our stomachs through mud under barbed wire 5 minutes later.  Immediately after that, we were faced with the ice tank where you had no choice but to go under a barbed wire center to reach the other side.  That was the first time that day I heard myself say, "I can't" and it was met with my husband's firm reply, "You will" and as my breath literally left my body from the cold, I ducked into the icy water and felt his massive hands pull me up on the other side where the other men on our team waited and dragged me out of the tank.  Lesson of the day learned early:  This isn't "I" this is "We." 

The second half became mental.  How bad do you want it?  I wanted it bad.  And so did the rest of my team that included my husband, whose foot had a landscaping spike through it just one week ago to the day, a woman who'd not only given birth, but had a c-section just 8 weeks previously and men who could have easily run on ahead but who never left their teammates behind.

Every one of us finished and we did it together.  Our team was amazing.

The temperature that started in the low 50's steadily dropped as the day wore on, but by the end of our 5 hour trek, filthy, hurting, shivering and soaking wet through the muddy hills of Kentucky, we didn't bat an eye at having to run through more live electrical wires to cross the finish line where we were crowned with our priceless orange head bands, rewarded with our hard earned finisher t-shirts and handed a beer that inspired this picture:

My bruises will heal, the pain in my body is temporary and I will one day regain the full use of my left shoulder.  However, the experience was life altering and the memories will last forever. 

As an added bonus, the physical, mental and emotional trauma altered my menstrual cycle by one week.  Thank you Tough Mudder for doing what my doctor refused and saving me the trouble of googling a home remedy. 

"In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."  ~Romans 8:37~ 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mudder's Maintenance

I didn't purposefully plan to schedule all of my female upkeep appointments in the same month as Tough Mudder.  It just worked out that way.  I guess it's good to know that my body is perfectly healthy before single-handedly destroying it.

Two weeks ago was my annual visit to my Gynecologist.  The past couple of times, I've been scheduled with the Physician's Assistant.  I don't know if that's by chance or if the doctor got fed up with saving me from all my home remedy attempts.  I'm not complaining, because she's really awesome.  I think we're about the same age, which probably means she's at least 10 years younger than I am but I'm delusional enough to put myself in her age bracket, and she's extremely nice.  (Read: Tolerant.)  She stands patiently by the scale while I set down my purse, remove my shoes, belt, sunglasses, hair clip, earrings and spit in the sink before stepping on.  She also kept a straight face when I asked her if she could please help me alter my menstrual cycle by a week and was very polite when she refused. 
(Note to self:  Google home remedy.)
As it turns out, she and I have a lot in common...besides our age.  She runs 5k's, competed in her first Tri this past Summer and plans to do a Tough Mudder.  I couldn't believe it!  I lay there thinking, if she weren't cranking open my hoo ha right now, I bet we could be friends.  But, alas, lines have been crossed.

This morning was my Mammogram.  More dignity lost.  Where you stand there telling a total stranger your entire life history and are relieved for any distraction that keeps your eyes from focusing in on your breast that's squeezed flat between two pieces of plexiglass and you swear off ever eating a chicken cutlet again.  Sensing my awkwardness as she man-handled my boobs and completely violated my personal boundaries, she said, "Got any big plans this weekend?"

Funny you should ask.  As I described what I was about to do, the tides took a turn and suddenly she seemed to want me out of there as fast I did.  I didn't bother telling her our team name is 'Balls and Dolls' or that our shirts say, 'Mudders Like It Rough.'  I got the sense that she wouldn't appreciate that as much as I do.  Maybe she lacks an inner stripper.

Tomorrow is the big day.  As I type this, I'm wondering if this will be my last blog entry....ever.

What are a Mudder's final words?

Tonight I'll lay me down to sleep,
I'll pray the Lord my soul to keep.

For I might die down in Kentucky,
Or just get injured, if I'm so lucky.

Although I don't deserve provision,
protect me from my poor decision.

You know the number of my days,
and how I'll go, there are so many ways.

If I show up in Heaven tomorrow,
I won't be mad or filled with sorrow.

I'll be covered in mud and speak with a stutter,
but it'll be worth it to hear, 'Well done, my good and faithful Mudder.'

***In lieu of flowers, eat a Big Mac for me***
Catch ya on the flip side, one way or another.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Mudder of the Family

For the past 6 weeks, we've been training for Tough Mudder Kentucky.  It's a 12 mile extreme obstacle course that includes underwater tunnels, plunging into ice water, climbing over and under fallen trees and tires, running through fire, scaling high walls, navigating your way through ropes and nets and it all concludes with a sprint through live electrical wires.  This shouldn't be called Tough Mudder.  It should be Crazy Mudder, cuz we actually paid money to do it. 

Once again, my husband and I have taken different training approaches.  He's spent the past 6 weeks running.  He can get away with that.  But being the paranoid detailed woman that I am, I did my research on the Mudder site and printed off their Tough Mudder Boot Camp regimen.  It's 5 circuits of varying strength and cardio exercises while running a mile between each circuit 3 days a week.  It takes roughly 2 hours a day.  So Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays became known as 'Mudder 5 n 5's' and then I rotate between kickboxing, elliptical, P90X, swimming, biking and weight lifting on all the "off" days.  Thank goodness I'm not a working mudder, because there wouldn't be enough hours in the day.

The closer we get to this event the more nervous I become.  My biggest fear is not being able to keep up with the rest of our team (all of whom are under 30 years old) and that I'll die a slow and agonizing death alone with my feet tangled in ropes and my head stuck in cold mud.
Bear with me, people.  I'm physically exhausted.

I finally shared my fear with my husband and we decided to make a pact.  We were sitting at a stop light in the van and he turned to me and said, "I promise to stay by your side the whole time no matter what."  I repeated that back to him, we shook hands and K started a slow and awkward clap from the backseat.  I feel like we might have just renewed our vows.  I think the government would call it 'No Mudder Left Behind.'

It had the desired effect and my mind was put at ease.  At the end of the day, he would be there to cut me out of the ropes and give me CPR. 

So imagine how upsetting it was when he stepped on a freaking landscaping spike this morning, exactly one week before the big day.  Deep puncture wound right through the bottom of his foot.  Thankfully, there is nothing broken and no permanent damage, but he's under strict orders to keep it clean and dry until it's healed.
"So, doctor....what are your feelings on mud and water?"

He plans to rest it all week and pray for fast healing.  On Friday he'll do a test mile run and see how it feels before making his final decision.

Everyone is asking me the same question:  "Will you still run it if he can't?"

Now hear this:  Next week, this stay-at-home-mudder is traveling to Kentucky to put my training to the test, come hell or high water.

....and rest assured, it's gonna be hell and there will be high water....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

And I quote...

Ever wonder what would happen if people could eavesdrop on your family's daily conversations? 

Several months ago, Z mentioned that we should have a Live Feed into our home.  First of all, no we shouldn't.  But that got me paying attention to some of the things that are said around here and I started documenting.

Below is a top 10 list of quotes that were actually said in our home, by our family members.  I could tell you who said it and why, but what would be the fun in that?  I think it's much more entertaining to leave you guessing. So here for your reading pleasure is a tiny glimpse into our conversations.  Introducing....Live Feed:

10.  You threw poop water on my leg.

9.  I'd hate to think of another Maltese Spider attack so soon on the heels of your Hepatitis scare.

8.  We've been over this.  We were having a bible study and an ultimate frisbee game broke out.

7.  Don't let anyone try to trade your shoes for drugs.
    That happened once.  Let it go.

6.  I feel like you're confusing what Jesus would do with something Jesus would not do.

5.  The garage sale was a success, which is to say nobody got shot.

4.  How bout you let me worry about my own Electrolyte levels.

3.  I'm sorry, but I can't handle you and that smell coming from dad right now.

2.  I'm not controlling that you sniff.  I'm controlling where you sniff.

1.  This would be hard to explain in an obituary.

*If you enjoy this, I'll add it into the blog occasionally.  My family is a never ending supply of material.*