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Friday, September 30, 2016

Drive bys - writing prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

DRIVE BY

Every time I drive into Ogden, it feels like coming home. It's my college city, the one in which I lived on my own for the first time. The city where I met lost a high school best friend, and met my future husband. It's where I adopted my first dog, bought my first house, had my first grown-up job. It's where I really fell in love with yoga, and became a mother. Leaving was so sudden, due to Kevin accepting a job offer and needing to relocate. I had just said to a friend a couple of weeks prior that I didn't see any reason we'd ever move away from Ogden.


I often dream I live there, and that I'm still at Weber State. I spent 7 years with that University and those experiences stick with me to this day. I know I'm seeing things through rose-colored glasses all these years later, but the decade I spent in Ogden was a happy one overall. I learned a lot about myself and my depression in that time, and what I need to do to manage it best.

When I have the chance to return to Ogden, I feel a tug to stay a while. To think of ways we can move north again and not give up some of the opportunities we have in Salt Lake. I imagine being able to take Lincoln to the Treehouse Museum each week like I did when Aspen was his age. I imagine walking the same parkway with him that I walked with Aspen, and being closer to Pineview and Taylor Grove. I imagine Kevin and I spending time with the circle of friends we left behind up there, and him having an opportunity to do something other than just work all the time.

Ogden gets a bad rep, and I know people are always saying when there's a murder in the news it's either in West Valley or Ogden. And yes, it's kind of true, but that doesn't mean the whole city is a mess. The development in downtown is amazing, and it surprises me and Kevin every time we go. The access to recreational opportunities is mind-boggling, ranging from hiking to skiing to paddle boarding and boating.

I can't help wondering if Kev and I will end up there again.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning New Things - writing prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

A few months ago I impulsively downloaded a Couch-to-5K app on my phone. I don't know what possessed me to do it... maybe that unpleasant feeling of my belly bulging slightly over the waist of my pants? Maybe being off my meds for a month and going bonkers in my head? Maybe boredom? I've never been a fan of running, and honestly I still don't much care for it all these weeks of "training" later.

Regardless, I started the program. It's super-simple and I was surprised at how I eased into it. Just a few minutes of running at a time, with walking intervals in between. Gradually those running intervals increased until I was suddenly running for 24 minutes without dying. Now I usually spend about 30 minutes on the treadmill and watch a show on the tablet. It's great me-time. Except when Aspen or Kev SNEAK UP ON ME and I nearly have a heart attack.

I didn't necessarily start with the goal to register for and run a legit 5K, but I realized I'd finish the program in the fall, and could sign up for a Turkey Trot or Santa Fun Run. The digital readout on my treadmill is broken (thanks, FLOOD) so I haven't been keeping track of my pace or distance all the weeks I've been running... but I guessed I was doing about 10-minute miles and could probably survive a 5K. I put no pressure on myself to have a certain speed, or to run every minute the app told me to, and it made me dread it less. I was just proud to be doing something new that was good for me.

This month I noticed some people sharing links on Facebook for a 5K that would benefit a family being devastated by a terminal cancer diagnosis. I chose that for my first 5K and loved knowing it was for a good cause. Not only would I be doing something for myself, but I'd be contributing in a minimal way to a family in need of support.

My friend Ashley is a serious athlete in my mind, and I was thrilled she agreed to be my running buddy. She let me set a pace at the beginning, and then came back for me a few times during the 5K. It was so encouraging to see her face coming at me, waving me on and telling me I was doing great FOR A YOGA PERSON. But honestly, she's right. I don't love intense cardio, and that's one of the many reasons I love yoga.

I did run most of the 5K, although I have no idea how long it took. It doesn't matter, though, because I'm just proud of myself for doing something hard and uncomfortable. And hopefully I'll be doing it again soon.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Camping - writing prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:


Kev and I did what seems like a lot of camping when we were first married. The summer of our one-year anniversary we went to both Bear Lake and Zion National Park. We also stayed at Taylor Grove, which is a lot like camping even though there's a small shack. And then we didn't camp again... ever?

I did love those trips, though. We brought Maddie with us to Bear Lake and she barfed on the beach. Being new dog owners, we were paranoid she'd eaten something terrible and we took turns holding her captive in our laps. While I sat in the water chatting with friends, Kev wrestled our curious pup into submission in a beach chair. While he boogey-boarded in the shallow waves, I clutched her and tried to avoid claw marks on my bare legs.

She slept well in the tent with us and otherwise stayed out of trouble. I'll never forget how pissed I was when we got home and realized we'd accidentally left her expensive leash at the campsite. The cheap ones we now buy from Harbor Freight remind me of that smooth, retractable leash and I get angry all over again.

When we camped at Zion we brought Maddie, too. While Kev and I hiked and rappelled the slot canyons with friends, she was in the care of  acquaintances who were working at the Ponderosa resort. I seem to recall she busted through the door of a trailer while someone was getting a massage... but that may be my faulty memory making something up.

For our first trip the Taylor Grove together, Maddie tagged along as well. She ate rat poison in the shack and I was convinced we were going to kill the dog we'd only had for a couple of weeks. It was terribly stressful but she just pooped green for a day or two and seemed none the worse for wear.

Those trips were so much fun, but now it's hard to believe I used to include Maddie in everything. She's so impulsive and stubborn these days, and I hate hauling her places and watching her like a hawk. She's so good with my kids and only nips at them if they get up in her face and refuse to back off after she warns them. But with other people's kids she herds them like sheep when they walk through our house, and she nips at their ankles and scares them.

Maybe the next time we visit Taylor Grove we'll drag her along, especially since dogs are allowed on the free beach. She deserves a little more excitement in her old age.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

School Lunch - writing prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

I stood in the lunch line and planned how to steal the milk. I thought I'd figured out the most clever way to trick the lunch lady into believing I was really dropping a quarter into the can next to her desk at the checkout.

When my turn came, I lowered my hand into the can and flicked the coins already piling up inside. It did sound like I'd put my own quarter in. My heart raced as I attempted to step away from the line.

"Do you have any money?" she asked me.

My face flamed and I froze. I couldn't believe it hadn't worked! How come she didn't fall for it? She always seemed so busy and distracted swiping cards and looking at her computer readout.

"No." I admitted.

"Next time you can't get away with this. Take the milk but don't do it again."

I was so relieved and slunk to a seat to eat my lunch and stolen milk. I never tried it again.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

North Carolina Trip


I had a great visit with Jeshua and Julia and their kids. It was tiring to have a new baby to care for, but it was exactly why I went. I wanted to give them a break from holding him, feeding him, and juggling the other two kids. I wanted to get up in the middle of the night and let my brother get some uninterrupted sleep. I wanted to serve food, give hugs, supervise play, break up disagreements, read books, watch shows and basically be really exhausted after my time with them.

It was a smashing success. And Julia even let me take a nap! And we worked out together! And we both got soaked with baby barf on the same day!

I haven't had a lot of time to get to know Julia over the years, and it was my privilege to spend time in her home with her and watch her do her thing. She is a wonderful mother who gives her all to her children, and who seems to love her life even with the trials presented to her. She genuinely cares for others and I loved seeing the relationship she has with my younger brother.

The majority of my time was spent in the comfort of their air-conditioned home, but we did manage a couple of outings on Julia's birthday. She took us to the train expo, and I got to watch her kids (my toddler nephew, especially) get excited about all things trains. He loves Thomas with a passion and it was a delight to see his reaction to the various displays. My niece fell in love with battery-operated puppies at one of the kiosks and I had the chance to be that aunt who buys an obnoxious barking toy for the parents to enjoy in the years to come. But seeing as how the day before, my niece and I had played dolls together and she called all the animals by the name "Chihuahua," I knew the little dog was dear to her heart! It was fun and I'm sorry to J&J for the yapping. ;)

Later that night, Julia's parents invited us to their home for dinner and it was sweet to see the kids interacting with their grandparents. Being part of their day-to-day was a treat for me, and I can see why Seth and Sophia are often so willing to hang out with me and my kids regularly. It's delightful to be able to swoop in for a little while and enjoy little snippets of the nieces'/nephews' lives.

 And although I tried to work really hard and give all I could to my brother and Julia, they still managed to make me feel spoiled. Julia made delicious meals, let me borrow her car for a quick errand, and she and Jesh treated me to a shopping trip as a thank you. They hooked me up with new workout clothes of my choice from Athleta. I was so surprised and grateful.

Honestly, it was a trip I was happy to make. It was stressful and tiring and rewarding. I missed my own kids and husband and house and routine... but it was worth it! Caring for someone else's kids for a few days was actually a great distraction from my regular life. It made coming home sweeter because I was refreshed from the break from my own challenges. I'm grateful Kevin's sister Tiffany inspired me to consider doing a trip like this, and that Jeshua and Julia graciously welcomed me into their lives for a week.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Come Back to Me

I wrote this on the plane ride to North Carolina this week.


The day before my flight, I was ready to leave. Lincoln screamed through most of my two hour shift in the daycare, and eventually got so worked up he barfed into his blanket as I held him in my arms. I blinked back the tears that pricked my eyes. I couldn't wait to get home and put Lincoln down for a nap. I knew he needed it as much as I did.

He woke a couple of hours later and we sat on the porch to wait for Aspen to come home from school. He ate a Popsicle and reminded me the mail man would bring his new cars soon. The drama of the morning was mostly forgotten, but I still felt relieved I wouldn't be taking him with me to work the next day.

On my flight, I quickly passed an hour and a half reading a new book. I pulled out my class syllabus and discovered no readings were required for the upcoming week. The pilot mentioned we were 80 miles west of Lincoln, Nebraska, and I missed my babies.

Maybe missing them isn't the right description. Mostly, I worry about not returning to them. If I didn't make it back, would they know how much I loved them? Would they have memories of me? Would they resent me for leaving them and not coming back?

My girl with the freckles across her face. My boy who relishes a naked run through the house yelling "WIGGLE MY BOOTY!"

Comfort comes from knowing they're with their dad. He will develop different relationships with them in my absence. They'll watch too much YouTube, eat out too often, stay up too late, and go too long without bathing.

Before I left, Lincoln insisted I would get on another plane and come back to him. My baby, who hasn't been without me a single day in over a year (and he doesn't remember those nights we spent apart). I don't want to let him down.

Regardless of my anxiety, I'm happy to take this trip for my younger brother. He was my first baby nearly 30 years ago, and now I get to spend a few days cradling his third child in my arms.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Decisions - Writing Prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:


Decisions


Last year my younger brother Jeshua told me he and his wife were expecting their third child. The baby was due in August of this year, but long before his birth I was already cooking up an idea to fly across the country to help. I hadn't even weaned Lincoln yet and there I was, considering leaving him with his dad for a week. It didn't seem super-practical at the time, but I still wanted to do it!

Although I'd pretty much made the decision in my head, I stewed on it for a while before bringing it up to Kevin. At the time, he was regularly getting four-day "weekends" after working seven straight days, and I thought we could use that time off to our advantage. He could take a few extra days off and add them to those long weekends and BOOM! I could easily leave the kids with him without him using up an excessive amount of paid leave.

Still, I looked up flights and considered which month would be best without saying anything out loud. I agonized over whether it would be best to go in August when Aspen wasn't yet in school, or in September when my nephew would be a little older and my sister-in-law might appreciate help after my brother's paternity leave ended. Flights cost about the same, so I finally talked to Kevin about it.

He seemed a little hesitant at first, which is understandable since he's never had the kids alone for any extended period of time. But I reminded him how beneficial it was for me to have his sister come visit us after his Meckel hospitalization fiasco, and that now I had an opportunity to pay it forward. I think that sealed the deal, and I texted my brother.

"Do you think Julia would be okay with me flying out there without my kids to help you guys after the baby is born?"

*crickets*

I'd texted Jeshua in the first place so it'd be easier for Julia to decline if she was uncomfortable with my offer. When I didn't hear back from him for a while I worried I was imposing, or that it'd be stressful to them in some way. But then I got a response from Julia. Something like,

"ARE YOU KIDDING THAT WOULD BE AMAZING?!"

I was instantly flooded with relief, and so excited that I would get to play the role of helpful Auntie/sister-in-law. It was good to start moving forward booking tickets and prepping Lincoln for my departure... even though it was months away.

Although I'm nervous about Kev being stressed and overwhelmed with the kids by himself for a few days, and I worry about my plane crashing and him having to raise the kids without me, and I worry about bringing plane germs to my niece and nephews and getting them sick, and I worry about messing up their schedules or not actually being helpful, I'm glad I made the decision to offer to help. 


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Monday, September 12, 2016

Silver Lake in September

Did you know that on September 10th, there was the Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon? I didn't! And I made plans to go up to Silver Lake that day. Sooo... we were stranded in the car, about a mile away from the mouth of the canyon, for a looooong time on Saturday morning.


It was worth it, though. The weather was perfect and we saw a lot of wildlife. Everything from caterpillars to MOOSE.

This baby wandered behind us when we stopped for a group picture, and it was amazing. She just sauntered over like it was no big deal. I asked the kids to whisper, and told them to play dead on the ground if it charged us. Aspen pretty much lost her mind after that.

Baby moose at the base of the tree line.

When we continued on our way, passersby kept telling us there was a bull moose down the trail, and another female. We lucked out and saw all three!

Mama moose getting a drink at the shoreline by the dead pine above Aspen's head.
Bull moose!


Linc kept calling them deer and I was like, DUDE THESE ARE SO MUCH MORE EXCITING THAN DEER! I'm glad we were able to watch these animals eat for such a long time.

I'm grateful we made it safely around the lake, too, because I know moose are freakin strong and can destroy a car. Growing up in Maine I was always worried about hitting a moose with my car and being killed if it came through the windshield. I have a healthy fear of their size!


When we finished the walk around Silver Lake, I looked back and could see what appeared to be the female adult making her way up the mountain (bottom right photo, just above the shadow created by the pines). It was so beautiful!

It was peaceful and so quiet at the lake, even with both kids yelling and enjoying themselves. Linc loved throwing rocks into the "pool" and Aspen helped stockpile a huge collection in the stroller. We stopped for snacking in a few places along the path, and saw a lot of squirrels. We saw some hawks circling about, too. Other walkers kept commenting on how it was like being at Yellowstone since everyone got a good view of some wildlife. I'm so glad we didn't give up on Silver Lake when we got stuck behind the marathon runners. It was definitely worth waiting in that long line of cars, and then being waved through by an officer who may not have realized there was only way lane ahead, and a line of cars coming at us.

Definitely an adventure! Sophia and Jose had never been to Silver Lake before, so their first visit was an awesome one. It's one of my favorite mountain places, and I'm glad we could share the day with them.

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Friday, September 09, 2016

Losing Things - Writing Prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

Losing Things

Things are always getting lost in my house. At least, that's what the kids say. Really, though, they just haven't looked for them. Like, at all. I used to be really good at keeping track of all of Aspen's tiny little things. She has My Little Pony accessories from here to the moon, and it was years before we ever lost a piece. Then we added Lincoln to our lives.

I spent so much time in his room with him as an infant (holding him so he would sleep longer than 15 minutes) that Aspen was often left to herself for hours each day. The guilt I feel over that has lessened, but I still have regrets that she spent a year of her childhood being raised by Netflix. And losing a lot more of her things because I wasn't in the same room seeing where they ended up.

But I relish the independence the kids have to play with their things by themselves (or together) now. Things getting lost in the yard or car, or in beds and bags is a sign they have thriving imaginations. They don't always need me to sit next to them and show them how to play. I think that's worth misplacing a few cars or pony-sized crowns once in a while.

Their things are just that... things. So what if they lose them after a few hundred times of playing with them? What I really hope they never lose is each other. On a quick car ride with both kids recently, Lincoln mentioned something about Aspen coming back home to him after school. I asked if he likes having Aspen live with him, right next to his room. He said yes, and that he liked living with Mommy and Daddy and Maddie, too. I asked him if he'd be sad if Aspen grew up and went to college some day, and lived away from us. Of course he said yes, and Aspen scoffed that she'd never do that. She wants to live with us all forever.

I want these kids to be best friends throughout their lives. I don't want them to lose the love they have for each other (even if sometimes that love is hiding behind constant bickering, hitting and tattling). They can lose their things all they want. Things can be replaced. Siblings cannot.

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Messy - Writing Prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

 
Summer was pretty messy. I didn't have the kids on a schedule other than trying to get them to bed around the same time every night. I had regular shifts at work and my yoga classes, but for the most part it was a free-for-all. It was difficult. In retrospect, it seems most days I was just desperate for Lincoln's nap time so I could have maybe an hour by myself without feeling suffocated by the constant "Mooooooom can I have...?" and "Mooooooom can I do...?" the kids threw at me. It was like every time they exhaled they needed to say "Mooooooom?!" in the most annoying way possible.

I said to Kevin that I wanted to hire a weekly babysitter so I could either work in the basement alone for a couple of hours, or maybe take the laptop to the library or bookstore. I had the foresight to imagine summer would be difficult with both kids home all day every day with just me to help them do every possible task imaginable (like continue to spoon-feed Lincoln because he is SO LAZY). I knew I'd benefit from a break, but I still never made it happen. Yes, I did talk to one of the teenagers in my neighborhood about it, but then I never called her to schedule anything. Lemme tell ya, I learned my lesson. Next summer I will definitely give myself the gift of a weekly babysitter.

And not only do I want a regular sitter to help me clear the clutter in my head, but I want to consider a trip to Maine with the kids. If I can get the time off work and stomach the thought of flying with them by myself, it could be a really great way to break up the monotony of summer. 

Now that school is underway for Aspen I feel less weight on my shoulders. I do still have Lincoln suction-cupped to my body until his nap in the afternoons, but one needy kid is obviously easier than two. The only mess I face now is trying to get Aspen ready for school on time without having to wake her up at 6am. She is so slow I swear she's actually moving backward in time. Just like when she was going to morning preschool, I have to stand over her and tell her to keep chewing her food/brushing her hair/putting on the next sock. It's exhausting and a terrible way to start the day. I've tried so many different ways of motivating her, but nothing has worked so far. When I put a note in her sack lunch every day, it should just read, "I'M SORRY I CALLED YOU A SLOWPOKE 1,000 TIMES AND THREATENED TO SEND YOU TO SCHOOL IN YOUR NIGHTGOWN."

Still, it's worth it to get her off to school, which I know she loves. And I love that for about an hour in the afternoon, before Aspen walks in the door from school (having her walk home with friends is THE BEST), Linc is napping and I'm enjoying quiet. I can write, I can study, I can work, I can do yoga or run on the treadmill, or I can just watch some Netflix if I want. A schedule makes such a huge difference in our lives.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A Lunch Date in Park City

I wanted to take the kids to Swiss Days this year, but I got some feedback that it would be a crowded crazy mess and not worth the hassle. So maybe next year I'll have the courage to take the kids by myself. I've always wanted to go because I love Park City/Midway/Heber and use any excuse to head up there.

Instead of watching a parade and eating yummy fair food, I took the kids to Park City to visit Kev at work. We haven't been to his new building yet, and I thought the kids would love to see it. We picked up sandwiches on our way and had lunch outside together. Then we got a private tour of the building and walked the grounds. Aspen almost died when she saw the theater room. Kev told her we can have a family movie day there soon. She thinks it's so amazing that there's a room with a huge screen and a bunch of couches.
Holding on for dear life, especially after Linc lost a sticker to the wind.
When Kev had to go back to work, I took the kids for a ride on the cabriolet to see the base of Canyons resort. They were a little nervous about getting on and off, but they did great overcoming their fear. The views were beautiful, and I'm glad I didn't drop either one of them while trying to get on/off all at once.
 


The cabriolet is an open-air version of a gondola. It's more enclosed than a ski lift, but the sides are open. Linc isn't tall enough to see over, so on the ride up he just stared through the grate at our feet. It was fun for him to see cars driving below us.

I brought my real camera with me, but realized after I got home that it didn't have a memory card in it. So none of the photos I took with it exist! I'm glad I managed a few with my phone, especially while on the cabriolet! It was so gorgeous, especially with leaves changing colors on the mountains. Next time I'll be better prepared!


We got home in time for Linc to take a nap, and then headed to Seth's house. Linc randomly asked about riding Seth's bobcat, so we planned to have dinner and rides at his house. Last time Linc rode the bobcat he was out of mind terrified, so I was surprised he asked about it. Thankfully this time he enjoyed it, and we all enjoyed seeing his baby belly hanging out of his shirt while he sat on his Uncle Seth's lap.

Both kids got to ride, and Aspen loves that she's old enough to use the controls. Poor Seth got stuck on a looooong ride back and forth across the yard with her.

Kev was able to meet us at Seth's for dinner, and we let the kids stay up way too late. But hey, what are long weekends for?! Since school started, Aspen and Lincoln have weekend sleepovers anyway, so I know they stay up a little later than usual regardless of what time we put them to bed. In case Aspen ever tells you that she sleeps under a table in her brother's room, just know what she means is we make up a bed for her on the floor, and it happens to be under the desk we use as a changing table for Linc. She loves piling up her blankets and pillows and sleeping there when it's not a school night. Kev will sit in there with both kids at least until Linc falls asleep in his crib. It's pretty sweet, and probably as close as we'll get to the two of them sharing a room.

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Monday, September 05, 2016

Birthdays - A Writing Prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

I haven't had many awesome birthdays. Not that anything in particular has happened to make them awful... more like they're just so anti-climactic now that I'm a grown up. I worry that making a big deal for each of my kids' birthdays every year is setting them up for the same let down. But I just can't help myself! I love having parties for them, or going on a special outing. In a way, their birthdays are about me, too. I've invested so much into them and I want to party and I want to celebrate.

And really, with the kids being so young still, it's easy to make their birthdays special. They want to help decorate a treat, and blow out candles. They want some crepe paper streamers, a new toy or book, some art supplies, a trip to the aquarium, or a backyard party. They want to go swimming, sing "Happy Birthday," and pick their favorite place to eat dinner. They want to see some of their friends or their cousins and just run around on a sugar-high. It's not too much effort and I enjoy it. It won't always be so simple to make their wildest dreams come true.

Maybe that's my problem with my own birthday- I have expectations but don't have a mostly-stay-at-home-mom to fulfill them! I need to take matters into my own hands and plan my next birthday from start to finish. My birthday this year was amazing because my family surprised me with tuition money for my yoga course, and next year needs to be just as good. Hopefully I'll be a few weeks away from certifying and we'll all have more than one reason to celebrate.

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Friday, September 02, 2016

Registered Yoga Teacher Training


I started class this week for my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. I'm taking two of the five required courses this semester, and the final three next. I'm glad I didn't over schedule myself for my first semester back to school because for just my Intro class, I have over 100 pages of reading to complete as homework for the first week. And since I'm going to miss a class this month (and we have Labor Day off) I have two presentations to complete in order to avoid falling behind. Additionally, for my Intro class I have to deconstruct 48 key Yoga asanas (postures) throughout the semester. For Intro alone, I have to log three personal yoga classes each week. In anatomy, the first week requires a lot of reading as well, and the lectures move at a fast pace. I've never taken an anatomy course before, so there is a lot that's unfamiliar to me and it will take a lot of study on my part to grasp all the terminology.

It doesn't really seem like a lot of work when I look at each syllabus, but after sitting down and trying to read while the kids were awake and needing things, I realized there will be little I can do when I'm in charge of them. I'm going to have to do my studying and projects while Aspen's at school and Linc is napping, or when they're both in bed for the night. That doesn't add up to a lot of time, but I'm optimistic I'll make it work. With this being something I genuinely love, the work doesn't feel as difficult as it could otherwise.

Heading to class my first day, I was nostalgic for my Weber State years. They were definitely hard and stressful, but also some of the best of my life. I grew so much as I studied, lived, worked and played on that campus. I know I won't have an experience very similar to that at a local commuter college, but I'm still excited to get to know some of the other students and grow as a yogi with them. Each week in Intro we'll spend about an hour on the lecture and another hour doing a practice and breaking it down. In anatomy we were constantly up and down in our seats, kinetically exploring the
course content as a group. It will be a very different experience than getting my Bachelor's Degree in English.

It's all very exciting, though, and I look forward to my personal practice benefiting from my studies.  

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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Finish

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's yesterday's exercise:



FINISH

I probably start a least a dozen things every day that I don't or can't finish. I start getting ready and have a few minutes to myself before I'm interrupted by my toddler crying because I'm not putting on a belt. I start a meal and have a few moments to eat it before I'm interrupted by someone needing a drink, or the dog barking at a blade of grass moving in the wind. I start answering an email, returning a phone call, or formulating a thought in my head and have nanoseconds to hold onto those things before someone falls off the couch, hits their sibling, or cracks their head on a bookcase.

These things seem so important to me- having a shower, eating a meal, conversing with other adults... and there are, but they're not everything. Yes, it would be nice to finish all the things I start, and not just because I want to follow through and see items checked off my list. Being able to accomplish something, no matter how seemingly insignificant, reminds me of who I was before I became MOM. And that's the root of my desire. I want to do things because I used to do things. I was reliable and efficient once upon a time.

My to-do list wasn't always organized and completed daily before kids, but it was a heck of a lot easier to cross something off. I miss that feeling of satisfaction due to starting something and finishing it on my own timeline. Now I have many surprise obstacles to overcome before I can get something done, or a price to pay for focusing on something while leaving the kids to entertain themselves (like two rolls of toilet paper shoved in the toilet).

Even now, as I attempt this 8 minute writing exercise, I've been interrupted multiple times. It shouldn't matter because, really, the point is that I'm trying to write. I'm stealing a few minutes to let the words flow, even if a few dams pop up in the form of derailed electric trains that need righting, diapers that need changing, or small toys that need retrieving from mouths.

And now it's time to head outside and anxiously await the arrival of my first grader, who's walking home from school with friends for the first time. So my prompt has to be finished whether I'm ready or not. 


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