Sunday, December 11, 2005

My boy...

With my husband there are two things you can count on...on any given day he'll cheer for the Dallas Cowboys during football season and the Chicago Cubs during baseball season. I think he came out of the womb a fan of these two teams and during our almost 14 years together, I've come to love his obsessions. It's part of what makes him who he is...the man that I love. (Seen here as the "boy" that I love, early in our relationship...pre-1995...the Christmas I gave him this Roger Staubach throwback jersey that he is proudly wearing at the game today!)

Today is a special day...December 10, 2005...the day my hubby goes to his first Dallas Cowboys game (vs. the KC Chiefs) in Texas Stadium. He's been planning this trip, a Christmas present for he and his little brother from their parents, for over 2 months. He's been giddy with excitement and I can only imagine the boyish grin on his face today as he takes in ever sight, sound, and smell that is a day at the stadium. Enjoy my love...I want to hear all about it when you get home!

peace!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A quiet house...

Scott (the hubby) and Lexi (the daughter) left yesterday after work for Kansas City. Lexi will be spending the weekend with her grandparents while Scott and his little brother head south to Dallas for Sunday's NFL show down between the Chiefs and the Cowboys. I honestly can't say how long it has been since I've been home for even a night alone, not to mention a whole weekend! The house is so quiet.

So what's on the agenda for today? Well...coffee needs to be on the plan shortly (decaf of course) as it's cold and snowy out...then there's dishes to be done, laundry to be started, and dog hair to be vacuumed. My girls basketball team plays at 3:00 today, so I'll be preparing to put on my game face after lunch. Then tonight it's time for a girls night. Don't know what we're going to do yet...we'll decide that after the game...but I'm guessing good food, some laughs, and maybe a good movie are in my future.

Tomorrow will be a day of Holiday decorating! Enough said :)

Peace

Sunday, December 4, 2005

24 weeks...

and counting.



Thursday, November 17, 2005

HOLY COW!!!

A month...I haven't posted in a month! Well, life has been a bit crazy...but I haven't forgotten about blog world...just haven't been in it much either. So my new goal after Thanksgiving...posting at least twice a week...we'll see how that goes.

As for today's news. I'd like to introduce you to our little girl! We had an ultra sound on Wednesday, Nov. 9th. Baby is healthy and doing well...a wonderful blessing. Mommy isn't doing too bad either. We're still in shock about having two little girls in the house...but I think we'll get over that when we see her sweet little face come spring. Big sis is very excited and has started talking to the baby every day. She has even got to feel a kick! What a wonder pregnancy is, especially when I get to share it with someone as special as my hubby and my daughter.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A short trip back in time...

August 13 - The Iowa State Fair: face painting, art, music, livestock, the giant slide, ice cream, watermelon, lemonade and a corn dog!


August 26-18 - Celebrating 10 wonderful years of marriage in Mineral Point, Wisconsin: late nights, late mornings, GREAT food, a beautiful bed, breakfast, pub and brewery, glass blowing demo, art, the farmer's market, a historic tour and casual walks hand in hand...glorious!


September 27 - Lexi turns the big 4! The picture says it all...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

School days...

I find myself living vicariously through my daughter these days. Today is picture day at pre-school. I just dropped her off in her little denim jumper, pink shirt, cream sweater, pig tails...why do I get so giddy about these things? To top it off, I got to pick up her first Scholastic book order today. Scott and I were ECSTATIC when I brought the order home. How many memories do those little newsprint orders bring back for many of us?

While I was so nervous about little miss starting pre-school this year, I'm so glad she did...it's been such a fun ride for all of us!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Where have I been?

Ok, after regularly updating through the months of June, July and 1/2 of August, I seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. So let me explain....

March 27th (give or take a week) Scott and I will be adding to our family! Yes, I'm pregnant. We've known since the end of July (but only sharing the news for a week), but after returning to work full time in August the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester hit full force. This pregnancy has been much different than my first, and already having one very energetic 3 (soon to be 4!) year old at home, it has been all I could do to go to work, come home, occasionally make dinner and interact with my family. Luckily as we near the end of this first trimester, I'm starting to feel more like my "normal" self and hope to be back in touch much more often. I have so many fun things from the month of August to share with you all...and in 15 short days we'll be celebrating that fabulous 4th birthday!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Go to your special place...

...today's words of wisdom from my Dove dark chocolate treat.

My special place(s)
  1. Home. It doesn't matter where home is, as long as my family is there.
  2. The mat. Yoga for me has created a special inner place that I look forward to visiting each time I go to the mat.
  3. In the embrace of a warm and loving hug. What safer place to be than surrounded by the arms of love.

Where is(are) your special place(s)? Leave a comment and share!

peace!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Chocolate promises...

"Listen to your heartbeat and dance." ~ Today's words of wisdom from Dove.

Chocolate (of the dark variety) and inspiration...what more could you want in a mid-day pick me up!?!?!

peace!

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Back to "normal" life...

While last week I returned to work full time, and this week I return to teaching my yoga classes, having all this extra time to really take a look and appreciate what's important to me has made we think twice about how I enter back into "normal" life. Such as my new normal is going to mean more time to be a mommy and wife and less time serving well, basically everyone else. My new normal means taking time to work in the garden and enjoy the beauty of nature. My new normal means making time to work on Lexi's scrapbook, to find time to quilt, and to take time to take a picture or two. My new normal is making time to work with Lexi on writing her letters and reading her stories and building block towers and dancing in the living room, even if it mean the dishes are still dirty in the sink, the bathroom needs scrubbed, or the carpet needs vacuumed. My new normal means pursuing a professional path that will bring me joy each day instead of just a pay check at the end of each two weeks. Accidents happen, but I'm so thankful for the little lessons that came along with such an unfortunate event.

peace!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

A fun find...

For months our office (also known as the "raisin room," the color of paint we used on the walls) has been the "pile-it" room. If something didn't have a home, it went into the office. Well, after 2 weekends of sorting and organizing (and plenty of paper shredding and recycling) we have a clean and presentable office. What's even more exciting is this cute little desk I bought yesterday (with chair) for $40. It will work perfect for sewing and scrap booking, both things I enjoy doing but haven't had a nice, dedicated location for since moving into this house in Dec. 2003.

This is also the first photo that I've posted using my new camera. I have to admit, it's nothing fancy, and the lighting doesn't do the desk justice (I should have taken the picture in the day light rather than relying on artificial light), but at least now I know I can get the photos from the camera, to the computer and on my blog :) Ahh...simple pleasures.


peace!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

New toys...

Ok, let's face it, no matter how much we try to de-clutter and de-materialize our lives, some of us will forever have weaknesses when it comes to certain possessions. I've already established my love for books...having them, reading the, shopping for them...but I thought I'd take time today to admit to a few of my other material obsessions in life.

Let's start with the item that triggered this post. Today I ordered a new digital camera. A Canon G6...7.1 megapixels of photo taking power... 5 whole megapixels more than our current digital. Not quite the Canon Rebel (my current camera dream)...but considering I'm not a professional photographer and can't really justify spending $1000 on a camera at the moment, I'm awfully excited to get my new G6. By the first of August I should be snapping (and posting) clearer digital pictures everywhere I go! I have a weakness for electronics in general. There's computers, stereos, MP3 players, cameras...well, you get the picture. My husband and I joke that doesn't every family of 3 need 2 lap tops and a desk top computer? I'm almost embarrassed to admit that we're considering becoming that 2 lap top family even though we love our new Dell desktop...4 words...high speed wireless internet.

Although not necessary for life, I guess at least we make good use of our electronics. My MP3 player goes with me everywhere and it's so much easier to take on the 650 mile drive to visit my mom than the number of CDs needed to entertain us across the radio barren state of Nebraska. (Sorry those of you in NE...I'm proud to be a Nebraskan but let's face it, the radio options suck!)

Then there's the whole digital image library of our daughter's 3+ years of life that has been carefully organized, shared, modified, and printed. I look at the fact that not only do we have a full set (digital, not print) of these photos, but each set of Lexi's grandparents have CDs full of images of her life. So much easier to store, share and access than a giant box of prints, such is the case with my childhood photos. It's nice to know that in case of fire, flood, hard drive crash, etc., we'll still have access to all of those wonderful, irreplaceable memories.

Beyond electronics, I'm happy to say that I've been able to somewhat limit my other obsessions. I do love Longaberger baskets...I just can't help myself. Although I use them...they earn their keep at our house. And don't even get me started on quilts, quilt fabrics, quilt books, quilt magazines...

I think both of these loves are deeply rooted in my youth. My mom always had baskets in our house when I was growing up and we've been a quilt family since the beginning of time. My grandma is a quilter. My mom and aunt sneak away together several weekends a year to quilt retreats, both organized by others and of their own doing. You should see my mom's fabric stash...HOLY COW! A girlfriend and I have even learned the benefit that comes from secluding yourself (together) for a weekend with nothing but good food, good wine, good music, sewing machines, rotary cutters, and plenty of fabric...no kids, no TVs, no husbands, and no schedules!

I guess I'm fortunate that my material possessions/obsessions can be shared with the people I love most in this world...my family and friends. Be on the lookout for new photos...coming to a blog near you.

peace!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The simple things in life...


When I was a kid, running through the sprinkler was a standard summer time activity. Western Nebraska and eastern Colorado, where I spent my youthful years, are both dry summer climates, the kind that required hours and hours of watering during the hottest months of the year to keep something that resembles GREEN grass growing in your lawn. Lexi got to experience the joy for the first time last summer when we went to visit grandma Shirley. She had a blast and I forget, since we don't water our lawn here in central Iowa, that such a simple activity can bring so much joy.

On Friday, I was commenting to my husband that since I was spending the day at home with Lexi (still on part time leave from work with my nearly healed ankle) that I wished we could go to the pool. I wasn't sure the wet shower house and possible need to move quickly to rescue a dunking kiddo was a good scenario for my limited ability foot. He brought up the fact that we do own a sprinkler even though we haven't used it for...I dunno, 2 or 3 years. So out into the back yard we went. I enjoyed a good book and the view from the shade while Lexi enjoyed a cool romp in the water. Live doesn't get much better than that!

peace

Monday, July 18, 2005

Gary...


This weekend while in the pet section at the local Wal-Mart, we spied a fish bowl decoration that reminded me of Gary, the pet snail, from Sponge Bob Square Pants. He even had the dorky little smile full of pearly white teeth. Of course we had to get it for our aquarium. He just makes me laugh, especially to hear Lexi say his name..."Gaarrie". Yes, my 3 year-old watches Sponge Bob...there's worse things in this world she could witness.

peace

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Random thoughts...

A collection of random thoughts from today...

Pinky Toes...Lexi figured out this weekend that she can move her pinky toes independently of her other toes...one at a time, both at the same time, and in a way that makes us laugh hysterically. Her mother and father are not near as gifted, but we're working on it.

Left Shoe Only Please...As we were picking up the house today, it struck me funny that while Lexi and Scott have pairs of shoes strung here and there, I have left shoes only.

Sing Me A Song...Lexi has always been attracted to music. She wiggled to the beat at an early age and can recognize many a song on the radio if it appears in any of her favorite movies...Shrek (1 or 2), Shark Tales, etc. The most precious is the way she makes up her own "musicals" (as she calls them) as she's playing or doing a chore. You've got to love the creative spark of youth.

Three Squares A Day...Why is it that while I worried about Lexi eating only organic, no sugar added, well rounded meals as soon as she made the switch from breast to solids, she now has about 5 items we can choose from to make a meal for her at the age of 3 1/2? And how did those veggies she once loved, turn into pure evil now that she has an opinion about what she's eating? Her pickiness is always a mystery to us as her mother and father have no problem eating just about anything.

Clean That Carpet...Why is it that vacuuming, something that normally seems like such a chore, felt so great today for the first time in 5 weeks.

Thanks for your comments...Interesting how I started this blog just for a chance to play around on the web. But now when someone stops by to comment, it brings such joy to know someone out there is reading what I wrote. It's fun to think that maybe I've made someone smile, or laugh. Funny how connecting with some total stranger in such a random fashion can make the world seem so much smaller.

The Anxiety of Change...4 weeks ago I was having anxiety about staying home because of my ankle. But once I settled into my "working from home" routine, it was a welcome change from my normal run around life. Tomorrow I'm returning to work for my first full day in the office, and the anxiety has started to set in again. I guess there's just something about change in routine...

peace.

Friday, July 15, 2005

River tubin'...

So, what do you get when you mix one tent, three sleeping bags, an air mattress, and a mom on crutches? An extreme family camping trip. Well, ok, maybe not really extreme. More like extremely funny. We've had plans with friends for several months to head to northeast Iowa camping, and I wasn't going to let a little broken ankle change those plans. So we (well technically my husband) packed up the car last weekend and headed down the road. Three hours later we were pulling up to our home for the next 2 nights in a nice little camp ground right on the Iowa River.

We're pretty casual campers. We do a lot of nothing when we camp. Our favorite trips usually include a little hiking, but that was obviously out of the question. So we did some aquatic "hiking" this trip, renting tubes to float down the river. I've never river tubed before...what a blast. After the initial anxiety (on my part) of figuring out how I was going to get into the tube without totally embarrassing myself, it was total relaxation. We were tubing with two 3-year olds which was initially interesting, but once they both relaxed and realized their little life jackets kept them from going anywhere once wedged in the tubes, they too had a fun and relaxing time (both taking naps as we floated along!). Five, yes count them 5, hours later we emerged from the river sunburned, relaxed, and hungry. Don't worry, we took plenty of drinks with us to enjoy while we floated.

While we hit a few rocky spots (literally), I was glad I let go of my anxiety about tubing with a broken ankle to spend such a fun afternoon with my family and our good friends. The rest of the weekend was fun and relaxing as well. Some camp fire chat, a little Frisbee for those who had 2 working legs, lots of lightning bug chasing for the girls. A good time was had by all! I haven't seen the photos of the whole excursion yet, but depending on how embarrassing they are, I may share a few here once I get them.

peace

Monday, July 4, 2005

The child within...

Lexi's 4th of July Fireworks Mommy's 4th of July Fireworks












Have you ever noticed how holidays bring out your inner child? Yesterday Lexi asked me to color with her on the living room floor. We decided to draw fireworks in anticipation of today's festivies. It's raining this morning so only time will tell if we get to enjoy the real thing. If not, we'll always have our 3rd of July drawings to share with each other.

Peace!

Sunday, July 3, 2005

For the love of books....

Recently on one of my favorite blogs, hula seventy, Andrea posted about books. As I was leaving her a comment, I found my mind swirling with words about books. So instead of writing her a novel of a comment, I decided just to post here on my own blog some thoughts on books.

I think my love of books started early in life. My brother and I had a huge collection of children's books. Hard cover, soft cover, with pictures, without pictures. Books from the Scholastic orders in grade school, books we had received as gifts (the Little Golden books to this day are still some of my favorites), books I'm sure my mom got at the grocery store during one of those "save stamps" kind of things that were so much more popular when I was a kid. I can't tell you the number of times I talked my mom into the fact that I had to have such and such book from the Scholastic order at school...few of which I actually ever read, unfortunately.

In fact, I've always had a thing for HAVING books, but I haven't always had a thing for READING books. My mom read to us often when we were little, one of the many things she did with us as kids that fostered our individual creative spirits. But once I was old enough to read to myself, I was much lest likely to actually finish a book once started...or even start a book for that matter. While I read for recreation on and off though high school and college (which says something as I hardly every read the required reading for classes...something to this day that surprises me because I was a very anal student...the only acceptable grade was an A...except calc my senior year of high school...a class I was just glad to get through with a perfectly average C), it wasn't until my husband and I had settled here to Iowa that I began actually reading for pleasure...often and more than just the occasional juicy romance novel...which let's face it ladies, we all have to get lost in one of those now and then.

Not being one really to know WHO to read, or even how to look for books of literary substance, I turned to the Oprah book club list. Cheesy as it sounds, it was that book club list that really opened my mind to the greater world of literature. That summer...the summer before I became pregnant with our first child...I read as much as I could. In the sun, in the hammock on our front porch during a rainy afternoon, in bed until the wee hours of the night, in the car on vacation, at the B&B my husband took me to to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, during my lunch break at work... I made a habit of taking a book with me every where I might have a few minutes to catch a few pages of reading time. (Key timing, I don't' think I would have been as open to this "new" world if I hadn't discovered it before becoming a parent considering the first 12 months after Lexi was born I was lucky to read ANYTHING besides parenting magazines (which get REALLY old, REALLY fast) and silly sing song board books full of colorful illustrations.) I read some books I liked, some I didn't so much. Some that I didn't like at the time, but after digesting had much more meaning and appeal than at first glance. Not only was I reading more, my husband was reading more too. We read some of the same books, talking about them after we were both finished. A wonderful and welcomed growth in our relationship from our high school sweetheart days.

In addition to finding how much I enjoyed reading books, was the discovery of how much I LOVE shopping for books. I can spend endless hours in Barnes and Noble or Borders just looking. Craft books; health related reference books; cook books; fiction books; books about art, photography, architecture, gardening, history, parenting, computers, yoga, spiritual learning, growth, and healing; hardcover; softcover; full price books; budget books; it doesn't matter what section of the store I'm exploring, there's just something warm, inviting, comforting and stimulating about browsing the many titles. I'll admit, I've purchased a title to two on impulse that have been less than stellar, but I've also had some great unexpected finds. For example, a couple of years ago while looking for titles I thought my history loving husband might enjoy, I picked up a copy of Cold Mountian. Scott very much enjoyed the book (and I think has read it twice now) and was I surprised when the movie came out! I've don't even have to buy anything to find the joy in looking. Sometimes when we visit my in-laws in KC, I sneak down to the Borders just 1/2 a mile (at most) from their house for some ME time...a real treat as our nearest B&N or Borders here at home is an hours drive away.

Now that Lexi is 3, more self sufficient and able to self entertain on a regular basis, I've found more time to again occasionally get lost in a good read. Since breaking my ankle I've been able to read a couple of books loaned to me by a friend...both titles that may not have caught my eye, but that proved to be good, fun reads. Thanks to Andrea's post on hula seventy, I've got a few new titles I'm looking forward to picking up to help occupy some time during the final weeks of my recovery...and beyond.

When I look back over the years and where my love of books started...I'm sure it all started at home with my mom. After all, she's the one who has taught me that regardless of someone's age...a good book always makes an appropriate and stimulating gift. My daughter has often been the lucky recipient of a fun, colorful book or two over the years for her birthday, Christmas, or for no reason at all. I think we're well on the way to passing on the love of books to the next generation :)

Peace!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The daily sounds of life...

Not normally being home during the middle of week day, it's interesting to me while I've been at home these past 2 weeks to hear all the sounds that happen around our little house during the day.

Today is Tuesday which means we've already heard the sound of the trash truck and the recycling truck as they came along our curb pick up that which we have tossed out. Those are morning sounds, that I've discovered keeps our Jack Russell (Jasper) a little on edge every Tuesday morning until they have gone.

Then, on a daily basis there's the visit from the mailman. What is it that makes dogs hate mailmen? And the UPS guy? Jasper knows these sounds and the hair starts to stand up on his back as he suddenly turns from the timid "previously abused" pound puppy that he normally is, to the "I'm going to sound really fierce" guard dog.

Then there's the random sounds throughout the day. Our neighbor to the north coming and going in his truck with a glass pack muffler (which we love since he works 2nd shift and is always coming and going when we are trying to go to bed...can you feel the sarcasm?). The random lawn mowers in the neighborhood. Tuesday is normally the day the neighbor to the south mows his lawn, but I have yet to hear the sad "I need a tune up" pulsating hum of his lawn mower. The past couple of nights have brought Iowa storms to the area and a few of the older trees in our neighborhood have had some damage. So today I've been serenaded by the sound of a chain saw as it works to breakdown the fallen branch across the street. And what's this? The sawing has ended and I believe a stump cutter or a shredder is at work now.

Simple sounds of daily life in small town America. Interesting when you get a chance to take a break and listen!

Peace

Sunday, June 26, 2005

It takes a village.....

I'm a very independent, "I can do it myself", type of person. So as you can imagine, not being able to do everything myself and needing some assistance with even basic activities of daily living has been difficult since snapping my ankle. But I know that the situation is temporary and before I know it, I'll be back to "doing it all on my own." So, at the same time that I'm hating putting anyone out while needing help, I'm trying to enjoy being pampered a little.

What amazes me is how in my time of need, people are so willing to help without any expectation of something in return. So many times we lose sight of the fact that humans are GOOD, what with all the actions of hate we experience in the world on a daily basis. Take, for example, that my office of 24 people (give or take during the merger) has organized for meals to be brought into our home a couple of times a week, are schlepping me to and from PT and DR appointments (since my husband commutes to work 50 miles away every day, and I broke my right foot so no driving myself for a while), and are helping me to arrange for a telecommuting arrangement so that I can start working from home part time next week...after all, it's my foot that's broken, not my brain! This is just how my office functions. Someone is in need and we all pull together to help...I'm not the only one to benefit from the good will of my co-workers...in fact I'm not the first one to break my ankle since I started working there 4 years ago! I feel blessed to have such great co-workers...and ultimately, such great friends. My office are not the only ones who have offered a helping hand. Actually in some ways the offers for help have been overwhelming! It has amazed me the number of people near and far who have offered words of encouragement, assistance should I need it, and just over all a peaceful feeling of love and caring.

It really does take a village to get through life and I couldn't have asked to be part of a better one. Thanks to all you out there who live here with me!

Peace!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Yoga, in a cast...

Anyone who has a regular yoga practice can tell you that after a while, your practice becomes part of who you are. It becomes part of your mind, your spirit, and your bodily cells. Miss a trip or two to the mat and you start to yearn to move, stretch, and breath.

Well, as you can imagine a broken ankle kinda pulls the emergency break on a lot of things in life, including your yoga practice...as you have known it that is. I broke my ankle Wednesday night, as I lye on the ground waiting for the ambulance to arrive, my yoga breath was an important tool to help me stay relaxed, calm and focused. The next 24-48 hours were a little whirl-wind, but by the time I was feeling more myself on Sunday sitting in the hospital, I decided to explore just how much of my yoga training could be taken advantage of sitting in my fancy "lift this and that" hospital bed.

I started by just breathing. Then some chest openers, a few forward bends and gentle twists. I felt great after just 10 minutes. The following day, my first full day at home, I continued my exploration on the floor and realized that Shoulder Stand, a pose I don't use much with my classes because of their current levels, felt great, helping to relieve the pressure in my thobbing foot. Day 3 brought about a little more flow and some One Legged Down Dog. Today, with my new cam-boot (which is much shorter and allows for deeper bending of the knee) I hope to be able to get into a modified Child's Pose, one of my favorite poses that I've been missing even in my extremely modified practice.

My first day at home I started to realize all the things I COULD do because of my regular yoga practice.

  • Everyone has commented on my great sense of balance, and strength in that balance, a trait I can accredit to Tree, Balancing Half Moon, King Dancer and other on legged balance poses.
  • Need to pick something up from the floor as you crutch by? Warrior III!
  • Need to get up from kneeling in from of the tub to wash your hair (or off the floor because you can't stand another minute on the couch)? Walk those hands back from One Legged Down Dog into a balancing forward fold as you secure the edge of the couch or your crutch to come to a full stand.

It is in large part because of yoga that my body is strong and ready to recover from this incident quickly. And yoga will continue to be a large factor in my positive mind set as I go in to rehab and work towards rebuilding the strength and flexibility in my total body.

Thanks Yoga, for the many gifts.

peace

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Be Fearless...

This was the advice on my Dove Dark Chocolate Treasure yesterday. Funny, as it has so much meaning at this point and time in my life. YES...I realize I've been away from this blog for some time now. Not forgotten...just not a priority. Every June at work we have an event that consumes my life for about a month, I recover for a couple weeks following, and then life returns to normal.

EXCEPT this year life has returned to anything but normal. Things at work are a little mixed up right now with the departure of a few key staff members, and the decision to merge our office with another office on campus. Over all, it's going to be a great thing, it's just messy in the mean time. I am hopeful that this will all result in finding a place in all of this merging that better fits my personality and interests. I'll keep you all posted.

THEN, as if our life just wouldn't be complete without a little adversity, I go and break my ankle last week playing rec league coed softball. It was Wednesday night (the late game of course) and surgery, 5 screws, 1 metal plate, and 5 days in the hospital later, I'm home trying to pass time sitting on my couch with my foot propped up 90% of the day. Not so much my personality...if it was for long term I think I'd go crazy...but since I'm strong and active and the surgeon was very happy with how everything went and looks, I'm trying to treat this as a little vacation to catch up on emails with friends, this blog, some good reading, a little video game playing, maybe some 1 and 1/2 leg sun tanning, you know, all those things you should do on vacation :)

My husband has been FABULOUS making sure the house is safe for me to crutch around in, that things are easily reachable, that my clothes are set out for me each morning...isn't that the sweetest. My daughter has turned into a 3 year old nurse asking me how my leg feels, can she help me do anything, and informing everyone that comes through the door or that calls that mommy's leg hurts and we have to be very careful. Every time I get up to hobble someplace she quietly walks behind me, occasionally saying "I'm right here mommy if you need me." My family is unconditional love at it's best!

Since I'm going to have PLENTY of time to write, that's all I'm going to share for now. I've got to go out and catch up on my blog reading...sheesh...I feel like I've been disconnected from the world :)

PEACE!

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Breakfast and Bonsai...

Waffles with strawberries, bacon, eggs and creamy coffee...there's not a better way to start the day. This morning as my Mother's Day treat, my family treated me this meal in the comfort of my kitchen...and my pajamas. Shortly following came a 3 year old bearing a gift bag containing a bonsai starter kit. Today was a special day with my family....but then again every day is special. My heart overflows with love.

peace!

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Unexpected treasures....

When we moved into our house a year ago this past December, we didn't know what to expect come spring. It was a summer full of discovery as things popped through the ground here and there. Some things stayed or have been moved to other parts of the flower beds to be worked into my landscaping plan, other things went away, either to the brush pile or to friends who replanted. One of the first discoveries in our new yard was the existence of a double row of tulips along the front of our property right next to the street. A weird assortment of tulips are planted in this location. Some red/yellow, some tiny white with pink, and these beauties. The picture doesn't do them justice. The outside of the petals are a soft pink while inside is a world of corally orange. They are splendid. What a nice bouquet to have gracing my table on this mother's day weekend.

peace!

Friday, May 6, 2005

Springtime...

Earlier this spring mother nature gave us here in Iowa a little taste of spring...and then stole it away for a week of cold, cloudy...well, Iowa weather. But it's back! Last night as I was leaving work a friend called to see if we (me and the fam) wanted to meet at one of the local restaurants on the patio for drinks and dinner. What a treat. Our girls, only 5 months apart in age, played safely in the grassy area beside the patio while we chatted. It was priceless. I love those impromptu springtime moments. The whole world seems to slow down, to take a step back in time before dual income families, two car garages, and telecommuting.

The weekend promises more of these moments...some time in the sun, weeding the flower beds, blowing bubbles......the possibilities are endless.

PEACE!

Monday, May 2, 2005

Two way street...

We live in a small mid-western town of about 9000 people. Our down town "square" has been a one way street for as long as we've lived here (granted 6 years is not long), but most importantly, for as long as most of the current life long residents have lived here. At first, I found the one way streets (for all of ONE city block mind you) annoying. But after a while, you adjust, and then you start to appreciate the uniqueness of the situation. You form habits based on where you are going and where you are coming from.

Well, as of yesterday, May 1st, those streets are now two way. The downtown area will be under going a street renovation that will allow for some utility updating, while updating and beautifying the look of our vibrant down town area. My husband and I joked about not chancing a drive downtown for a couple of weeks while people adjust.

This morning on my way to work, I took my normal route, not even thinking about I don't have to take the Park Street detour now to get around the northbound only section of Broad Street. (My office is on Broad Street, just south of the one way section...I live on the north side of town.) As I neared the square I could see that new parking lines had been carefully painted to accommodate the new two way traffic. Bright orange cones and reminder signs clearly mark the bi-directional flow.

Being a typical creature of habit, on my way back to the office from lunch, I once again took my normal "Park to Broad" detour. That's when it finally hit me...I don't have to come that way any more. Not only is a more direct route...but the coffee shop is now ON my way to work! Revelation! There's always some good to every change :)

PEACE!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Upside Down...

Do you ever feel like your life is in the process of turning upside down...or at least a portion of your life. Today I arrived at work to be informed shortly there after that the vice president of my office is leaving us in a month. Not a total shock as the rumor mill had begun a couple days ago...but considering this comes on top of 6-9 months of constant change in our office...it's one of those events that tends to bring you down a bit. , My boss, our director left in January. The nice thing is she's still here at the College, just in a different department. That's the most important fact as she was not only my boss, she's my friend. We have yet to fill her position. Things have actually been going pretty well. Little lack of motivation and direction without a direct leader...but for the most part we're holding down the fort. The biggest issue at this point is the fact in one month we'll be hosting our biggest annual event...alumni Reunion on campus with 600-800 friends and their families. Yippee...can you smell the sarcasm?

It's not that I work in a horrible place. I actually love the College...it's just I'm not in a job which I enjoy. This has been a rough year for me professionally on several levels. So much so that I'm currently pursuing other job possibilities. Will something else work out? Only time will tell I guess. Am I leaving my current position because of all the change? NO, but I fear that's what it will look like to those outside the situation and I do hope that does not reflect poorly on my co-workers or the institution itself.

So I look forward to the next 4-6 weeks with excitement and intrepidation. Change is inevitable, I'm just not sure where that change will take me. For someone who likes the security of stability, it's going to be an interesting time. I just have to remember, growth will come from this experience. There's always a lesson to be learned.

PEACE!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's been a while...

Once again, time has lapsed with no post! How does this happen. The good news...our new lap top and wireless router arrived this past week...so I'm typing from the comfort of my couch instead of the uncomfortable folding chair in our office. Although I'm sure I'll still spend plenty of time in that old uncomfortable chair. I guess I could have saved myself a bit of money by just purchasing a new chair...actually the lap top is technically my husbands. He started MBA classes this past fall and homework will go much smoother with a little more travelability. I didn't realize how many accessories you can by for your lap top...mini mice, cooling fans, all sorts of bags and sleeves and safety devices...it's almost overwhelming!

So what have I been up to for the past 2 weeks? Well, I attended another weekend of yoga training...level 2. Pulled a hamstring which was a total bummer, and totally unexpected. That put a damper on classes last week and is still bugging me a bit this week, but I think I'll recover. This past weekend I met one of my college girlfriends for our spring ladies weekend gathering. We shopped, ate, stayed up late, talked about anything and everything, and even managed to get a little sewing done :) It was fabulous and I always return home refreshed and renergized.

This coming weekend will bring visitors from the Chicago area. My brother will come to chill and spend some quality time with his niece before heading to Western Nebraska for the summer. His girlfriend will come down for part of his visit, which will be nice as we haven't seen here for a couple of months. I hope she's got good news about grad school...and that the weather is nice enough she can help me weed the flower beds :)

I've decided our house is in need of some major decluttering and spring cleaning. Everything outside is growing like crazy, the air is crisp and clean, and I want our house to be the same. It amazes me how pack ratty we get each winter! I guess I'm just glad I go through these cleaning frenzies each spring to alleviate the issue.

So, while nothing overly exciting has happened since I last sat down to write...life has been good.

Peace!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Holy Cow...

Wow! I can't believe that 2 weeks have gone by and me with no post. So much has happened in that 2 weeks.

One...I had 2 days of Yoga teacher training April 2nd and 3rd. It was tiring, but fabulous as always. It was nice to refresh my knowledge on teaching some of the pose modifications and special considerations that I've forgotten over the past year. It was also a great refresher to prepare for 2 days of yoga training this coming weekend...Level 2...new poses and hands on adjustment training. I'm so pumped.

Two...I had plans to go to Chicago this past weekend, then they were cancelled. Within 3 hours of cancellation I had completed re-filled my Saturday with events and friends. So my weekend was spent...Friday night cleaning house then out with the girls...Saturday watching my hubby (and his newly shaven head) play some volleyball, shopping, eating, a cook-out, a charity auction (of which I came away with gift certificates for a massage, an acupuncture appointment, and 2 tickets to The Doors concert in Des Moines in 3 weeks)...and Sunday yard work and sunshine. All in all...a fabulous weekend!

It really does feel like more than that has happened in 2 weeks, but I guess the day to day operations of life has just kept me busy. I haven't even had time to check my "home" email account...life is just busy. Especially now with the nicer weather and chance to do outdoor activities.

I love spring in Iowa. It always amazes me how one week, things can be brown and winter like...the next, spring has exploded and life has sprung forth from everywhere! We had to mow our lawn already and today we've had rain on and off all day...which means in 3 days, we'll have to mow again. Spring reminds me of growing up on a farm were each year we looked forward to "calving season" and the arrival of a whole new herd of baby calves. Here in Iowa the soil is dark and rich...much different than the light colored sandy soil in Western Nebraska where I grew up. But one thing is the same...the smells of spring. I love the smell of freshly turned earth as the farmers prepare for planting. It reminds me of my grandpa, Ed Reitz, who loved farming and sharing his knowledge and love with his kids and grandkids. I love the smell of rain...something we get regularly here in Iowa, much more regularly than Western Nebraska. I love the smell of cool dewy mornings...they type that you wake up to, windows wide open and a whole pile of blankets keeping you warm and snuggly in bed. I just love spring. It's a season of joy and of change and I look forward to refreshing my spirit each year as the earth renews itself.

I've got to call it a night for now...5:45 am yoga will come quicker than I care to acknowledge. I'll try not to let it be 2 weeks before I post again. We just ordered a new lap top and wireless router :) I'm hoping that will allow for a little extra BLOG time :)

PEACE!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Yoga...

I've been practicing yoga in some fashion for almost 6 years. I gave yoga a try after years of lower back pain followed by lower leg problems due to over training. Before moving to Iowa, I lived in the KC, Kansas area and worked for a hospital based fitness facility. Makes sense since my BS is in exercise science/wellness. I was teaching 2-6 aerobics classes per week, running 3-12 miles a week and weight lifting 3-4 days a week. Granted, I was in much better physical shape than I currently am...like a full 30 pounds lighter...but at an expense to my body that soon became more pain than it was worth. In came yoga. I was amazed at how weak I felt...I mean I was lifting more weight than I have ever been able to lift. I've always been pretty flexible, stretching was always my favorite part of any exercise, but yoga takes such functional, coordinated strength that I never expected it to challenge me the way that it does. After several weeks of practicing I felt taller, stronger, healthier and I noticed I carried myself more confidently and took better note of what I was putting in my body nutritionally. I was hooked.

Now, almost 6 years after starting my practice, I'm on my way to becoming a yoga teacher. A goal I've had for several years after learning just a fraction of the benefits that yoga has to offer. Most of the schools of yoga are some type of residential program...and since I have a family and am quite settled in my community, I didn't know how practical a pursuit it was for me to become a yoga instructor. Then a year ago, a fellow instructor told me about YogaFit. I have to admit, I was at first leary. I mean, was this going to be watered down yoga that was designed for the appearance/gym minded? How could one seriously learn to teach yoga in weekend sessions. I was pleasantly surprised after attending my first weekend of YogaFit training. Not only did they teach some modifications that were more in line with my exercise science back ground, including explaining contra-indications for special populations,I learned that while teaching the YogaFit style of yoga, I could incorporate some of the more traditional practices of yoga including the release of personal judgments, the creation of a place of love and safety, fostering of positive energy, and the introduction and practice of simple meditation. Not only did I love the judgment, positive style of instruction that we were guided towards, but it is possible to work through the YogaFit trainings to qualify for Yoga Alliance teacher certification...something I never envisioned I'd be able to accomplish unless I attended a residential training program. YogaFit also stresses the importance of providing service to your community...something I feel very strongly about myself!

I've been teaching a regular yoga class now for around 9 months, and I can honestly say I've never felt more at ease, more at home, and more inline with the forces of the universe, than when I'm deep in practice. Some poses have become easier, I have become stronger and more flexible. Some poses are still very challenging and there are many I have yet to even attempt, but even if can never perform some of the asanas you see so beautifully posed on the pages of Yoga Journal, I know that I'm honoring my body and my spirit by practicing and teaching yoga. Class is a lesson for me every day. Whether it's learning how others can (or cannot) move their bodies, watching as a student learns personal awareness, gain confidence, and freely challenges themselves in a save and nurturing environment, or learning how to guide and accept the practice habits of those who come to class mearly for the physical benefits of asanas, a lesson is reveled to me each day on the mat.

I may not be the "perfect" size according to current societal trends. I may never again be able to sport a bikini, but I love my body, it's abilities, and I honor my spirit...and that to me is a major step down a long path of health. Over the next 6 weeks I'll be attending 3 weekends of yoga training on my journey, in no small way thanks to the loving support of my husband. I don't think I could ask for a better blessing at a point in my life when I feel like so many things are in question. Yoga in my life helps me to better deal with the other uncertainties that come along. I feel so fortunate to have learned that at such a young age.

PEACE!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Taxes....and other stuff...

Ok. One would think that after loosing a written post 3 times trying to spell check before saving, I would learn to SAVE first. But no! Once again, thanks to all the pop up blockers on my Dell (which I love but really, how much security does one need?) my computer can't sneeze first without checking with McAfee.

So, to restate my accomplishment for the night....I have officially submitted our taxes to the IRS and the state of Iowa. I could have done this a month ago. However, in one of my over zealous "I can't live in a house this cluttered" cleaning fits, I shredded a student loan interest statement and had to wait for USPS to deliver another one, which happened this weekend. So, we're filed, hopefully correctly, and now we wait for that small amount of return to come back so we can give it to someone else.

Yes, bills...the ever present monkey. However....after several years of irresponsible spending (read: we were in college and thought we'd magically have fabulous, high paying jobs as soon as we graduated that would pay off the crazy amount of consumer debt we were racking up) FOLLOWED BY twice as many years stressing out and pinching pennies and having to get professional financial guidance to get everything under control and on a plan that will eventually end with us relatively debt free (which should happen in approximately 12 more months! - minus the house of course)...paying off a debt is about as exciting to me these days as a trip to the candy store is for a 3 year old. Yes, sad, but true. If there is ONE thing I hope to teach my child/ren as she/they prepare to go out into life...it's to be more financially responsible than I was during my 20s!

Speaking of children...this weekend I took my three old daughter on her first mommy daughter weekend vacation. Now, I don't know this for a fact, but I highly doubt I ever had such as weekend when I was 3. We drove the 3 hours to Omaha to meet a college girl friend and her 3 year old for Blue's Clues Live!, a couple nights in a hotel with a swimming pool (the highlight of the weekend according to Lexi), a little shopping, good food (duh!), and nice, easy conversation with a good friend. It was SOOO nice. Blue was fun. I never thought I'd be the type of parent who would pay to go see one of those type of shows, but it was fun for a special treat. It's amazing what they can do with some printed stage curtains and big, funky costumes. Really does feel like you're watching the show. We even got a Handy, Dandy Notebook which is now full of all sorts of drawings from the weekend, including my 3 attempts at documenting the clues from the show. Our hotel room was a little scary. Not the room so much, but the over all hotel experience was disappointing considering the potential. The hotel staff were rude, we were in the furthest corner from the pool (and the first night had some scary neighbors down our hallway), we had to be very careful to make sure the door latched and locked when we left (special little wiggle to the handle), and you'd think towels were worth their weight in gold! But I HAVE STAYED IN WORSE HOTELS...so I guess I can't complain too much. Funny how our standards change over the years. In college, even with the quirks, this room would have been luxurious...now, it seemed pretty sub par. BUT I DIGRESS...so the weekend was great. It lasted an extra day as we returned home on Monday, me having the day off due to the fact our day care provider was in Vegas, and today I had to rejoin the world of the working. SIGH!

So, a month or so ago I treated myself to a new Dell DJ. Not just the Pocket DJ...oh no...the 20G, because you never know when you need to have 9,900 songs at your finger tips. Point of the story, our trip to Omaha was the first "long" trip that we've taken were we've actually been able to use it to provide in car and in hotel musically enjoyment. LOVE IT!!! I mean, up until this weekend I've been pretty happy with my purchase and have to be careful online shopping for music as it's so each to just click that "buy it for 99 cents button," but this trip proved that this summer when we travel the 634 miles to visit my mom (one way) across the lovely state of Nebraska (where finding a good radio station is like growing citrus in the desert) that lovely little piece of technology is going to be our best friend! What is slightly alarming is that when playing the childrens genre...we have 116 songs to choose from....that's a lot of The Wiggles (and various other silly songs!)

A little wordy tonight, but I was informed maybe I'd have more regular visitors if I updated more regularly (that's for you JenY)...so does one long post every couple days count? I'll try to update again tomorrow...got some YOGA stuff to share.

PEACE!

Friday, March 11, 2005

30...

This weekend I turned 30. Now some (those younger than me I'm sure) would make a big deal out of being so old. Some (those older than me) remind me that 30 is still very young. My take, 30 is not scary by any means, but it does make you sit back a bit and look at your life and take note of your accomplishments and failures. I suppose any "major" birthday does that.

For me, 30 is hope. I mean your 20s are great...lots of fun...but for many of us unpredictable, transitional years. I married 3 months after my 20th birthday. Would I do it again? Yes and no. Do I regret it...NEVER. See first of all, when you marry your high school sweetheart, there's something in your life that stops at that point...other than a bit more responsibility (and debt) I still feel 16 many days. My 20s consisted of ups and downs, discovering new passions in life, and really finding myself as I left the awkwardness of high school behind to go recreate myself at college. Then there's the whole transition to adulthood after college that (why doesn't anyone warn you of this) is tough. You make these wonderful life long friends in college and then you graduate and spread out all over the country in search of gainful employment. I'm glad to say that today, more than 5 years out, some of my closest, more precious friendships come from those college days. The twenties were a time of reward and let down. I discovered my professional passion, yet I took a job totally unrelated to help pay the bills. I found a job I loved, in a city I didn't followed by a job that drove into a bit of depression and uncharacteristic behavior...in a little town I love. But life in the 20s wasn't all about my profession, that's just an easy focus at this stage in life. My 20s marked the decade I became a mother...the BEST "job" anyone could every have in life. I know it sounds cheesy, but you other parents out there will understand. I'm happy to say I found my "home" in my 20s and purchased my first house. And other than that short depression funk (totally situation related I'm glad to say) my 20s were a very healthy decade for me and my family.

So what's ahead in my 30s? The sky's the limit baby! I have more financial stability...which means I can take a few more gambles in pursuing my professional dreams. I look forward to adding a second munchkin to the family...always a blessing. I'm teaching yoga and participating in a fitness community that I'm happy to say I've had a key role in developing. I feel strong, healthy and proud of my body. And I love my husband in so many deeper, more complex ways than when we married 10 years ago this June. I have a great group of loving, supportive friends both close at hand and only a phone call away. I have family who are healthy, loving, and happy in their respective lives. Overall...I think 30 is going to be a great year...and a great decade.

Cheers to all as we celebrate life!

PEACE!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Learning...

So...while writing about how I love to learn, and trying to incorporate some "cool" things into this entry...I learned when you get that little box that says "Are you sure you want to leave this page before saving" You really do lose your stuff if you say yes.

Starting over.

I love to learn. I could have been one of those career student types...except for the bills and lack of money to pay them that is. My degree is in exercise science. Why you may ask. I love health and the human body. To me going into the exercise world was a way to help people make postive changes in their lives concerning their long term health and quality of life. But I digress....

In my current job, which my day job is in no way related to the exercise science/wellness world, I've gotten the opportunity to venture into the world of web and e-services maintenance. Now mind you, we use an in house content managment system for our web maintenance...so I don't know much when it comes to...well anything more technical than how to get your words to bold, grow, shrink, change color, or appear in a list. But it has been fun learning some of the basics. So what do I do...what I do anything there's something I want to know more about. I went and bought the book Creating Web Pages All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies from Barnes ad Noble . I haven't had much time to apply my small amount of learning...or to expand it...until now. Last night poking around the Blogger world, I discovered that the sky is the limit when it comes to designing and personalizing your own Blog. How cool is that. So, today I logged on to learn.

For example (and this is where I should have SAVED last time so I'm going to now!) Today I took a picture of the cute flowers I have on my desk to remind me that SPRING is just around the corner.




My pretty spring flowers! Posted by Hello

So that was a little wierd...but I got it posted so I guess that's all that matters right? Next time I'll know better how to work this whole Hello/photo thingy.

Well, I have a pouting 3 year old...so I guess today's lesson is over.

Peace!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

So much to learn....

Holy cow! When you start looking around this blog world...there's a lot of cool stuff out there! I mean my blog is shameful comparatively. I mean it's taken me a whole month to figure out how to FIND other people's blogs. You'd think I'd be a little more savvy at this...I guess I'll chalk it up to lack of time.

Speaking of time...I have a little more of it on my hands now the basketball season is over. What a sad day that was. It's always so hard to see the seniors leaving the court for the last time.

Teaching at the studio is going well. The carpet has been installed and it looks fabu. (Oh...I think that means I need to learn photos!) My yoga class time has switched a bit now to allow for more time AND more quiet at the end of class which you yogis out there know is a good thing.

Interestingly enough today, I was able to have 2 "what do I want to do when I grow up" conversations. Don't know that I came to any conclusions...guess I'll keep trying.

The hubby will be home from class soon. Time to wrap up and head to bed.

Peace!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Love...

Love comes in so many forms. Take for example Valentine's day this year in our family. My husband sent me flowers at work...that was it...but a gesture you can be assured I greatly appreciate. You see I LOVE fresh flowers. Yeah, so they die in a week...is there anything that better portrays life and happiness than a fresh bunch of pretties. Daisies are my favorite...all sorts, all colors. It's just like in the movie You've Got Mail...they are just happy flowers.

What did I get him? A wireless controler for his PS2. What type of love is that you ask? They type that knows he gets little time to play and when he does get a chance to play there's normally a 3 year old and a dog running back and forth between him and the console. So...it's the type of love that tells him it's OK to take some time for himself and I'm going to try to make it a little bit easier :)

And our fancy resturant dinner consisted of delivery pizza in the living room while watching Shark Tales with our daughter. One of the best family time gift I could have asked for considering our normal run like crazy all the time lives.

The love in our house is comfortable. Not fancy. Not overly romatic. But the kind that wraps you in warmth and smiles every single day. I think that's pretty magical.

Peace.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Time...

Whew! Where has the time gone over the past 2 weeks. Let's stream of thought about it a little...
  • The basketball team finished our 5 games in 8 days sprint with a record of 2-3.
  • On Jan. 31 the new studio where I teach yoga opened. Talk about a blast! Not only am I enjoying teaching there, but I've been able to attend Spinning class and I've started doing fitness evaluations on our members which makes me feel good about actually using my college education!
  • My house has been the "being" that has suffered most so as I sit here and type (instead of clean) the dishwasher is running and pans are soaking. Bills need sorted through and paid and I guess at some point and time I should clean the bathroom.
  • Our fish aquarium is about 10 gals low on water and I haven't "vacuumed the poop" (as my 3 yr old says) in over a month. At least we have very few fish for the size of aquarium so they don't mess it up much.
  • I need to figure my taxes and start to rack up some "business related" expenses for the 2005 tax year - like that's a hard task considering my book, music, and DVD addictions.
  • My new Dell mp3 player has finally arrived (I've been window shopping for several months) and even though I have over 500 songs ripped and sync'd...that's only about 1/4 of our CD collection so I need to get busy! So much to do, so little time.
  • OH HOW COULD I FORGET...we new have DSL! So I can comfortably blog from home. Isn't life grand?!?!?

Scott and Lexi have each fought through a cold and I hope are both on the mend. KNOCK ON WOOD, I've stayed healthy. Well the kiddo has awaken from her nap...I have missed 3 nights of snuggling...I have some catching up to do.

Peace!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Coaching...

I feel as if this blog is all about basketball...but that's where my life is right now so I guess it is to be expected. The truth of the matter is, I had no idea what to really expect when I got into coaching. When I lived in the KC area, a guy I worked with asked me if I would be interested in volunteering to help him coach a Christian high school women's basketball team. At first it was the most frustrating thing I had ever done. They giggled, talked about boys, and quite frankly didn't seem like much of a basketball team. Athletics at the school were not well funded and we only practiced once a week (twice if we were lucky.) All of our games were travel weekend tournaments. Time went by, I helped to coach the posts, did some athletic training duties when necessary and offered moral support. By the end of the season, I loved those girls, had seen them grow into a winning team, and was deeply saddened that I wouldn't return as their coach the following season since we were leaving the KC metro area to move to Iowa. Working with those girls taught me a lot about having fun, being a true member of a team, how losing can strengthen you as an individual and a group, and how much heart can really play into the game even with lack of talent.

Skip ahead several years and I find myself volunteering to coach at a division III college! I mean, what was I thinking? What qualifications did I have to even consider coaching at that level? A degree in exercise science yes, but only a bachelors and I'd never even taken a class in coaching. I was walking into a team of pre-assembled girls who were learning about me and my offer to act as assistant on the first day of practice. Needless to say I was a bit intimidated. But once again, I was working with a group of girls who may not have had the talent and athletic discipline normally associated with "college ball" but who over that first season showed more heart than many of the winning teams I had been a member of during my athletic career.

Deciding to continue coaching this second year was a tough decision. The pay sucks. (That's a joke since I'm a volunteer.) The hours, well, think about when you're watching college ball...it's not a 9 to 5er. And while I'm fortunate to work with a program that strongly values families, and mine is many times in attendance, my involvement does require me to spend time away from my family. But it always comes back to the girls, the players that is. The first day I walked into the gym for my first practice, I seriously wondered what I had gotten myself into. These were college athletes? Their fundamental were lacking. Their bodies were not well conditioned. For goodness sakes, most of them where short! It didn't take long for my view of them to change. Today I see everyone of my girls as an athlete. They work hard, they sweat, they cry and they cheer. They are competitors. They work as a team and they strengthen themselves as a group and as individuals each day that they are on the court. That's why I love women's athletics. It's about the strength, the bonding, and the healthy sense of accomplishment and competition that so many girls gain from being involved in athletics regardless of the sport or their age.

But as a coach, and especially as an assistant, I've found there are many frustrating times when that bigger picture is hard to see. After a successful year last year, we're finding ourselves in the middle of a losing season this year. Three and 12. Not a record to brag about. And while it's been frustrating at times, this has been a truly transitional learning year for all of us involved. I truly believe in my heart that if we can all stick together through the finish of this year, we'll emerge a better team next fall. My thoughts tonight are many following a tough loss and some candid discussion with a few of the players who are venting their frustrations with some of the coaching decisions and other players. As the assistant (and the only female coach the coaching staff) I occasionally feel trapped in the middle. I'm honored by the fact the girls are comfortable confiding in me some of their frustrations. I see part of my job as assistant coach as support for them and a bridge at times between them as players and our head coach. I also feel a sense of responsibility to our head coach as part of his support staff. The problem I'm having now is knowing how to convey players feelings while not breaking confidence and continuing to support the head coach's decisions, sometimes even when I don't agree with them.

As a women, coaching women, assisting a man, things can get pretty messy at times. Any woman who is an athlete will tell you...we are competitors and we do get emotionally involved in our activities in ways slightly different than men. Therefore we have to prepare differently and be assessed and critiqued slightly differently, and sometimes, for a male coach, that's not an easy thing to learn. We're tough cookies, don't get me wrong...but our buttons push a little bit different at times. On the flip side, as a woman who cares deeply for her players, I'm having trouble learning just when and where I can be assertive with coaching decisions/suggestions as they relate to my somewhat control freakish head coach.

I don't know if those decisions will ever get easier. If I'll ever decide whether or not this is a "permanent" profession for me. I do know what I enjoy most about coaching, and I hope to continue to grow my abilities and knowledge in those areas and learn to be more assertive with my head coach regarding those issues. I also know that there are parts of coaching, important parts...like game strategy and play making...that just don't interest me at this time and therefore will probably prevent me from ever being a head coach myself. At this point, each step of the way seems to be a learning tool or a test...and for now I'm just enjoying the education.

Will I be updating this blog a year from now on the road as a coach? I don't know, there's a lot of factors that will be playing into that decision over the next year. If not, it won't be because of a lack of love for my players, the experience or the game. After this experience, in my heart, I'll be a coach for life!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Darby...

The opening weekend at Darby...great in the sense that we now have a gym we can call home; one of our best shooters made the first points ever scored in competition - and it was a 3 pointer; we had good crowd support; BUT we lost both games. Played hard, just not the desired outcome on the score board. I'm now sitting in a hotel room in Wisconsin (working, or something like that) on the weekend of our last road trip! Well we have one more during the week road trip but since those don't include nights in a bed besides my own, I don't count them :) No predictions or wishes, except that the girls play good hard ball.

My husband has been sick this week. You've got to love the winter colds of the Midwest. Yesterday my daughter started running a fever...I just hope I am not next. I'm pretty hardy and taking my vitamins :)

Our DSL at home is active as of today! Gone are the days of SLOW dial up down loading. Isn't life amazing...today's "necessities" include cell phones and high speed internet...yet we are still watching TV with reception from a pair of rabbit ears!

Well, my hotel coffee is getting cold.

PEACE!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Basketball...

I coach women's basketball. Well let me be more specific...I'm a volunteer coach for a Div. III college women's basketball program. Basically I use my expertise as a exercise science professional to help out with the strength and conditioning programs and provide general support at practices and games. This past summer (June 2004) our gym was demolished to make way for a new campus center building. Tonight, after 12 straight road games, we are opening at home in our BRAND NEW facility. While the whole building is not finished, the gym is ready for some play. I'm very excited. I think the only way I could be more excited is if I was actually PLAYING.

Working full time, being a mom and wife, teaching yoga and aerobics and coaching is an amazingly busy schedule. But each of my involvements contributes so richly to my personal and family life I can't imagine doing anything different. We are part of a community...and it's a good place to be.

Cheer for a win!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Welcome to the world of Blog...

Journaling. I've always wanted to do it, never been good at it. Not that I don't like to write, I just can't seem to remember to take the time to write things down. I have many a journal that has been started....and then left to collect dust among the others. Like the "what do I want to do with my life" journal from 6 years ago when I was in an unfulfilled, unhealthy job...it's what I wanted to be doing...just not the right place. Then there was the "thoughts for my baby" journal that was started the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child that contains about 3 weeks worth of thoughts. Will my blog be any better? I guess we'll see!