Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Memories

Every 4 years (2 years now) growing up our family gathered in front of my grandparent's console TV to watch America's finest compete against the world for gold.

In 1976 I was 3 years old. And I sat on my Nanan's lap to watch Dorothy Hamill win figure skating gold for the USA.  That began my love affair with ice skating and lead me to take lessons and get a cute new hair cut. Also that year we sat in awe of a little girl from Romania who scored a perfect 10 on the uneven bars. Nadia Comaneci inspired me to practice and practice until I mastered the summersault and the cartwheel.  Back then I had dreams of taking center ice and performing a perfect double Salchow, or scoring a perfect 10 on the balance beam and leading my team to the Women's All-Around Gold.

By the time 1980 rolled around and as a nation we cheered when the US Men took down the USSR in Hockey in Lake Placid and then we as a nation boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow I had given up my dreams of being an Olympic athlete in favor of being a teacher or a astronaut, but I never stopped loving watching the games.

In 1984 when Mary Lou Retton made history with 10s in the vault and the floor to win all-around gold by a very narrow margin I was back to wishing I could take gymnastics lessons and begged and begged my mom to let me try. Unfortunately it was not to be for me, so I just practiced my heart out in the back yard, went out for cheerleading in Jr. High and got my gymnastics fix that way.

Every year forward both the Summer and Winter games were highlight for me. I can remember with near perfection every Ladies Figure Skating Gold Medalist, and every Women's All-Around Gold Medalist from 1984 forward. I remember where I was when they won gold, who I watched the competitions with, who I was dating, and so on. That is how much of an effect the games have had on my memory.

I've laughed, cried, paced, cheered for the amazing athletes. Found favorites to follow from countries all over the world.  I love learning about the host countries and cities and seeing the kids who have worked so hard step up onto the podiums to get their medals with the national anthem of the gold medalist playing proudly. Watching the open and closing ceremonies in awe of the creativity of those who put them all together.

This year will be no different. I will watch from opening to close, laugh and cry, hope and celebrate.BUT this year will be different in one very big way. THIS year one of my Olympic Dreams comes true. THIS year I will have the blessing of watching with my children. I will be able to watch figure skating with my daughter and revel in the delight on HER face that will most assuredly mirror my own. This year I will get to watch my oldest son see his own Olympic dreams in the faces of the Alpine Skiers and the Snowboarders, now that he's gotten a taste of downhill skiing and so very much wants to learn how to snowboard. This year I will get to watch my dear 6 year old marvel at the spectacle that is Curling.   This year new Olympic memories will be made and I will enjoy each and every one of them!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A new blog carnival for me!

So I found a new blog carnival that I have decided to participate in! I love doing these so much because they give me a direction for writing something even when I don't feel like I have something to say. It is also a great way for me to find new blogs to read and get new readers to come check out my little corner of cyberspace.

 If you follow this blog you know I routinely do Not Me Monday's from MckMama's blog and the universally well known Wordless Wednesday (WW).  So now I'm adding You Capture to the routine.  Like WW, it's all about capturing parts of one's life in photos, but rather than letting the photos speak and be about any subject I wish, You Capture has a Weekly Challenge and allows for words as well to tell the story of the photo.

So here we go! My first You Capture assignment is .........drum roll.....please........WORK!

Being a "stay at home mom" the concept of work is quite different for me than a lot of people.  But trust me I take me work every bit as seriously has any Fortune 500 executive!!  Probably even more so some days. I wear so many different hats during the course of my "job".  Here are a glimpse of a few.

Today my tasks were all about spending time with my 4 1/2 year old daughter Lily.

We spent 2 hours playing board games including The Ladybug Game and Triominos.  Both of which are AWESOME tools for understanding numbers, turn taking, problem solving etc etc.  So in a sense I am a part time Teacher.  And of course I forgot to "capture" that part of my job, but I did get the next part!

Next up part time Face Painting Artist!

Of course having all the supplies out we couldn't very well just stop at doing her face, so we did hands too!

And then she wanted a picture with all of "her cat friends".....

I found Fudge (the black and which tuxedo kitty), and Stormy the Girl Cat for the picture, but Stormy the Boy Cat was MIA.

But don't worry when I headed up to do the next part of my "job" I found him! Sleeping in my "too be folded" pile of laundry.

So my day isn't exactly rough, but folding and putting away laundry is certainly work, especially when your cat decides it makes a great bed.
So if you want to see what else everyone "captured" today and every Thursday, head on over to Beth's awesome blog "I Should Be Folding Laundry" and check out the links.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Not Me Monday-February 8th edition

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I am not at a loss for words. Not me. Not ever. Nope. /sigh

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

Big changes are coming.....and I don't like it.

Many of you know what a rough year this has been for us financially. It's been difficult all over and we are no exception. I've been out of work now for a year, Marc's company cut some of his compensation, and our mortgage went up like so many other homeowner's across our country.

We've been working with our lender to try to work something out. It seems to take forever. We started the process back on October when we knew we were going to start having trouble making ends meet. We only just now were given their "final offer". And it isn't a solution we can live with. So, we are selling our house.  After doing our taxes we made 15K LESS than we made in 2008 and that tells the whole story right there.

This is such a mixed bag for me.  I hate being strapped and having to play "bill lottery" every payday. I hate having to clip coupons and shop at 4 different stores to save the most money on food, but still get quality food for my family.  I hate having to give up even small conveniences because we just can't afford them.  So paying less a month for housing/utilities etc will free up some money for the extras, for the nice things in life that we've done without.  We will be able to pay off the van really fast, and maybe even get a small commuter car for Marc, so I can have a vehicle during the day. We will be able to turn the maintenance over to someone else and not worry about what happens if something breaks.  We can take the occasional trip to the coast and not worry about the money it costs in gas quite as much as we have to now.  We could even save up for a family trip back east to see my parents and grandparents, which we have not done since Lily was born.  We will be much more mobile and ready to accept any new opportunities that come our way, like a transfer back to Texas to be closer to family (one can hope!).

On the other hand, I will have to give up the freedom to paint my walls any color I choose.  I will be giving up my mature, amazingly well producing strawberry patch, my flower beds, and my yard that I have spend so many hours lovingly tending.

This alone makes me want to cry.  

I will have to once again leave a kids bedroom behind that I worked so hard to paint, decorate, do murals on etc.

We will most likely have to rent a storage unit and loose the ability to use our full size deep freezer.  Depending on where we move the kids may loose the ability to safely play outside without constant adult supervision.  They will be leaving friends behind. If we can't find a place in their current school district there will be a starting over for all of us. For them with making new friends, learning a new school, and adjusting to new teachers.  For me to build a report with a whole new administration and staff.

No matter where we end up I will be spending the next few weeks scrounging for boxes and packing up all our belongings, purging out what we no longer want to carry along with us, and getting ready for this next chapter in the story of our lives.  I will have to get the house ready for sale.  I will have to paint over the pink and purple of my daughter's room. I will be searching high and low for the best possible place for us to relocate to. And I will be praying it all goes smoothly even though I know how my luck runs, and I'm certain this road too will be littered with potholes.

I have to believe we are meant to do this, that everything happens for a reason, but I don't have to like it right now.  I need to let myself be sad and grieve the loss.

 Tonight I will cry.

Tomorrow I will call the Realtor.