Monday, March 10, 2014

Guest Blogger: Jackie Sue Wealer

Be Strong
                Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if Dad hadn’t gone to Iraq.  If he had stayed home, played ball with me every day, cooked us dinner, and tucked me into bed every night with a kiss on my forehead.  But that wasn’t what happened.  Dad did go to Iraq, and I still wish selfishly that he hadn’t been so courageous and willing to fight.  I couldn’t change fate, no matter what I wanted.  Everything that happened changed me, for better and for worse.  And the whole time, I kept hearing my father’s words, “You will have an impact on the world Ky.  It may not seem like it, but you will.  I am about to do that, to help people, and I want you to remember this.  Believe, dream, inspire Ky, and people will always be grateful.”

                “Hey Ky, wanna come play football with me at my house?”  Tyler asked, walking in front of me excitedly.  “Sure, but if you want, we can play in my backyard.  My dad can set us up some…”  My voice trailed off and I stared at the ground, fighting off the tears.  Tyler pushed his red hair out of his face and put a hand on my shoulder, gently.  Dad had been gone for three days and I still forgot he wasn’t at home.  “It’s alright Ky. I have two leftover Sprites in the fridge.  I mean, if you want them.”   I smiled, hefting my heavy backpack back onto my shoulder.  “Ok fine, but I have to go tell my mom first.”  We walked down the sidewalk from school, heading for our neighborhood.  Tyler’s house was directly beside mine.  At the end of my driveway, Tyler ruffled my black hair and waved, “See you in a few minutes, buddy boy!”  I ran up to my front steps, swung open the door and called, “Mom, I’m going over to Tyler’s!”  I waited for an answer and heard a soft whimper, “Ky, come here.”  I kicked off my shoes and headed up the stairs, smiling at the pictures of my dad, lean and strong, kissing me on the forehead as a baby or throwing me up in the air.  My mom, small and beautiful, laughed in every picture.  I leaped up the last step and looked around.  “Mom?”  I called.  “Ky.”  I followed the voice until I found my mother.  She sat crying on the sofa and patted to the seat cushion beside her.  I uncertainly slid down beside her.  “Ky…” her voice shook, and a crumpled letter laid on her lap.  I picked it up and scanned the page.  Suddenly, I dropped it, staring in shock at the white piece of paper on the floor. “Ky…your father’s dead.  He stepped on a mine and got—they didn’t find him until yesterday.”  I felt like my heart stopped beating.  I couldn’t breathe.  The devastation and pain roared down onto me.  But I didn’t move.  I couldn’t.  Tears sparkled down my face in a river, but I made no sound.  Mom gingerly swept me into her arms and wept into my hair.  But I couldn’t think of anything.  Just those four words had broken my life.  “Ky, your father’s dead.”
                For the next week, I walked down the halls like a loner, crying at unexpected times, and ignoring people’s remarks about how sorry they were.  Tyler came up to me many times and said “Sorry about your dad, Ky.  I mean, if my dad-“  
“Stop Tyler, please.  I can’t listen to people say that.”  Eventually Tyler stopped and avoided me.  I was utterly alone.  I didn’t know why I was acting like such a jerk, but I did it anyways.  Mom was locked up in her own little world too.  And the only thing to remind me of what my dad said before he left to war was the piece of paper he had left me. ‘Believe, dream, and inspire Ky, and people will always be grateful.’  I knew I couldn’t do it.  That was until I met the 4th grader.  I was sitting alone at recess, when this high pitched voice screamed, “Hey 5th grade boy!”  I figured it was another sympathetic kid, so I kept writing in the dew on the picnic tables.  Then a little, tiny fourth grader ran up to me and tossed her red hair.  She had blue eyes and stood tall to face me.  “Hey, I’m Cammy.  I know you.  You’re the one whose daddy got blown up.”  I stared at her.  Obviously she wasn’t here to sympathize.  “My dad got blown up too, so stop being a baby and listen to me.”  I turned completely to face her.  “I know how to do speeches and stuff, so you can set up the fundraiser.”   What was she talking about?  Cammy sighed and rapped my head.  “We’re going to do an awareness money raising thing, right?  So that other daddies and mommies don’t have to starve and stuff?  They can have cheeseburgers, Dorito’s-”
“Wait, you’re saying…I don’t even know you!”  Cammy threw up her hands.  “You do now!  Don’t you want to help other kids’ parents?”  I did, but I still felt selfish.  “You know, I’m working through my own problems and I need some space, so shoo.”  Cammy planted her feet stubbornly and glared at me.  “You want to, I can tell.  Stop being a jerk!”  I spun around.  “Fine.” She huffed.  She stomped away. “Wait, Cammy!”  I called after her.  She stopped and looked over her shoulder.  “Where do we start?”  I asked, and she pumped her fist in the air.

                Cammy and I worked for more than a month.  Turns out she’s a computer whiz and she made a website that helps inform people about all the families whose dads or moms go away to war for sometimes more than a year.  I set up posters about our website and how you can help military families.  I got to know her a lot better, and we became good friends.  Tyler still avoided me, and wouldn’t come to the door when I went to his house.  I felt terrible.  One day at school, I caught up with him at recess and walked beside him.  “Hey dude, I’m sorry.”  I said quietly.  Tyler kept silent and walked faster towards the blacktop.  I raced to keep up.  “Tyler, really, you need to listen to me.  I was messed up, man, I couldn’t think straight!”  Tyler spun around, his fists balled.  “Oh, and then you go and make friends with a puny girl.  Is that how it goes?”  I was taken aback.  “No, we’re working on—“ 
“You just started ignoring me!  I didn’t know why, until some random kid told me that your dad got hurt.  Some great friend you are!”  He stormed off, and I was left standing in the grass, my white sneakers coated in mud and dew, looking as crummy as I felt.  Geez, I didn’t even think about what Tyler would think about my brand new friendship and silent treatment.  I knew I’d never be able to take it back.  Thinking about my dad’s last words to me, “Believe, dream and inspire Ky, and people will always be grateful.” 
“Yeah, well, I tried that and see where that got me?”  I murmured up at the clear blue sky.  Tears stinging my eyes, I sought a shady corner and cried the rest of recess, leaning my back against the cold brick school.
                Cammy called at least five times that night, but I didn’t feel like answering.  Mom raised her eyebrows to see me silent at dinner.  “Hey honey, what’s wrong?” she asked softly, leaning across the table.  I spooned a bit of mac ‘n’ cheese into my mouth and didn’t say anything.  She looked terrible these days, her hair all rowdy and messy and she always had black rings under her eyes.  I always felt bad whenever she tried to smile.  Mom sat back and sighed, “Your girlfriend called today.”  She thought that would get me talking, but I bit my lip and remained silent.  “Is this about your father?”  I looked up at her weary eyes and held back the tears.  “Everything is about him Mom.  Why did this happen to us?”  I said loudly, setting down my cup with a bang.  Mom covered her mouth.  “Excuse me a moment, Ky.  I’m really tired, sweetie.”  Then she just got up and left.  After a moment I dumped my half eaten dinner in the trash and laid in bed, staring at the ceiling before calling Cammy. 
                A whole other month passed.  I was a nobody.  Sat alone at lunch, played at recess alone, and rode my bike alone, up and down the streets.  Kids called me cry baby, wiener, butt face.  And Tyler watched it all happen.  Expressionless.  Cammy and I talked about our plans on the phone, and were prepared to do our big speeches on Open House night, Monday.  On Sunday night I recited my speech over and over again in my room, a nervous wreck.  Our plan was to stand up, say them fast, and get it over with.  Cammy was really excited.  One day I asked her how her dad had died.  For the first time since I’d met her, she’d been silent.  Then she’d said, “In the war, some enemies invaded their camp.  Shot him in the head.  Quick and painless the way they described it.”  I didn’t ask any more questions.  I fell asleep Sunday night at 11:00 and because my alarm clock didn’t go off, woke up at 7:30.  Quickly getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing my teeth, I ran down the sidewalk to school.  When I got inside, I looked down and realized I was wearing two kinds of shoes.  Wow.  Smooth move, Ky.  Be ready for some kind of teasing today.  And I got it, for sure.  The guys made up a new one.  Tar hair.  That one kind of stung cause I have my thick black hair from my dad.  By the time Open House started, I was so nervous my hands were shaking real bad.  Cammy went first.  My mom hadn’t shown up, but hers did.  A fair haired lady with tons of freckles blew her kisses.  Cammy gave her speech about her dad and how we needed to raise money for our troops overseas.  She sure created some tears in the crowd and didn’t look scared at all.  My turn.  I walked up onto the stage and clenched my teeth.  “Hi, I’m Ky.  Well, um, I guess I just have to say…” I launched into my speech and the crowd watched intently.  At the end I suddenly said, “Well, my dad died in the war too and before he left he told me I should always believe, dream, and inspire, and people will always be grateful.  And, I love my dad a lot, and will always follow his advice.”  I saw a head pop in the door.  Mom.  I swallowed.  Her eyes were filled with tears and she was smiling.  I continued.  “My dad was amazing and brave, so please also follow my dad’s advice.  He—well, yeah, I love him.”  Tears streamed down my face, and I saw Tyler grinning and applauding wildly.  “Good job.” Whispered Cammy.  I got down, and Mom hugged me.  “I love you Ky.” She said, her hands stroking my hair.  “I love you too, Mom.  I love you too.”

                   Yeah, that’s my story. And if you ever need good advice, just remember my dad’s. Believe, dream, and inspire, and people will always be grateful.                        

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm Thankful...

That I got breast cancer. Crazy right?  And yes, I am crazy...but let me explain.  (no, it's not just because of my "free" tummy tuck & amazing new girls!)  This is the month of "thankful" statuses on Facebook.  I love it.  It's so much better than all the whining & complaining--which I've been known to do from time to time, of course.  Now, I have never participated in the "thankful" statuses & I don't know why...other than I just don't.  It's not that I'm not thankful!  In fact, every night I pray to God thanking him for ALL the blessings in my life--my family, friends, job I love, roof over my head, MY HEALTH!  Yep, I even say thanks for my health.  And that's kinda funny considering the other day I was having a weird stomach pain & told my boss I was ready to pass on the torch for mysterious body malfunctions!  I'm over the poking & the cutting...but I'm also thankful for it.

School started here at the end of August.  Since the beginning of school this year, I have been contacted by 3 different women in my life regarding their recent diagnosis of breast cancer.  These three women have chosen to keep this diagnosis relatively private & even tho they are on Facebook, you wouldn't know the personal health journey they are taking right now.  And each of these women come from three totally different paths in MY life--none of them even knows the others. They came to me with questions, but I also believe with HOPE.  And that right there is why I'm thankful.  I've been in their shoes.  They've got a scary journey ahead of them--some don't even know all the details of what that journey will entail yet.  It's so long right now that they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But that's where I'm standing.  And as long as I'm here, they can get there too.  At least, that's what I hope they're thinking.  I hope that's why they've reached out to me. With that being said, I certainly don't have all the answers...but I have a boob expert in my back pocket as I am so thankful to have an amazing breast pathologist for a sister.  And, she has always been there.

Breast cancer sucks.  ANY cancer sucks.  Big. Time.  But there's support out there--there's HOPE out there.  My heart is so heavy for these 3 women right now (all mothers...all with children elementary age or younger), but I know they'll be okay. I'm so thankful they knew they could talk to me.  I'm so thankful for doctors like my little sister who make it their life to study & research breast issues.  God puts us in a place at a certain time for a specific reason & while that reason may not be revealed immediately, it's really on purpose.  I am thankful I was in that doctor's office on July 7, 2006 and I'm thankful that I got breast cancer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Good-Bye Summer...

It's time to say good-bye to Summer 2013.  We took our bi-annual camping trip with the Carsons, and some additional families this past weekend.  There was much fun & laughter had over those 4 days & 3 nights.  And fortunately for you, I did gather some quotes which made it to our regular "Camping Top 10"...except this time, there was so much good stuff being thrown around that we made it to TWENTY!

I will preface this Top 20 with this--we have some kind of friendship here with these folks.  We all have family by blood who we love & adore. But we also have that "family" that we choose--these folks are part of our chosen "family" and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.  We have known each other anywhere from 10 to 14 years (and in John's case, NINETEEN YEARS).  We're excited that our children are growing up together (and we're growing OLDER together).   Makin' memories...that's what it's all about.  Enjoy!

                       Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip 2013 
                                               Top 20

20.  Um...tag you're it.  My swamp butt itches & I need to go wash it.

KC offered support while Ryan was fixing a broken "arm" on the camper.

 19.  If you weren't a cancer survivor, I'd kill you right now.

18.  I don't know what you want for your top 10 because I'm pretty friggin' funny!

Too cute for words--a picture full of some of my favorite Wealers keeping cool in the pool!

17. If you don't have frank & beans, don't intervene....

Boys working together to fix the broken stuff...and enjoying it.

16. Could you go tell your boyfriend to change his tampon?

15.  Sneakers, a diaper & a been drinkin'?

Cute Luke in his camping gear!

14.  Ask Satan for the salt & pepper.

13.  I'm just gonna sit here & be sexy...

My Peeps

12.  He just put it in her mouth & she said "mmmm, that's good."

11.  It's YOO-HOO you idiot!

10.  You're acting like a boob so you got the dog with the boob.
I can't put an appropriate caption on this picture because so many things are happening--let's just say this is the end of Day 3!  

9.  "When I go camping, the first thing I like to do in the morning is go on a trail run," said no one ever.

Lumberjack Uncle John

8.  Jenny "My Nipples Fart Because They're Part of My Butt" Wealer

7.  If you squeeze it, I'll pinch your leg!

This girl knows her way around a pond & a fishing pole!

6.  You bite me, I'll bite you harder.

5.  I'm gonna poison your food for going on a walk!

4.  My boob looks saggy because my 2 is lower than your 1.

The shirts say it all...

3.  It's easier to be nice to strangers than you all!

2.  KC, don't wander off!

Celebrating Ally's 10th birthday with an Oreo Ice Cream cake!

1.  Boom.

Joey volunteered to take the gaggle of children fishing.  What a good man.  Boom.

I'm already excited for Memorial Day weekend 2014!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Super Dad's Day

So, my hubby got the short end of the deal this Father's Day when I scheduled Jackie & myself to be gone all day on a girl scout trip.  He's always a good sport, though, and didn't mind terribly when we decided to celebrate a day early.  It started with an early rise to cook breakfast.  I am a sweets-in-the-morning kinda girl.  I love me a chocolate muffin or donuts, danish or coffee cake.  Joel, however, likes his eggs, meat & potatoes.  So, I found a breakfast pizza with crescent rolls, cheese, hash browns, sausage & eggs.  (I found it on pinterest, printed but did not pin so I cannot seem to locate it again right now. :/)   But it was PERFECT--easy peasy & so so yummy!

Next we gave him his gifts.  Since his birthday was just a month ago & I may have gone a little overboard, he'd already asked for nothing.  But...that's not gonna happen.  So, we did a little something.

Jamison & I found a couple plastic beer mugs at Target that were screaming "Daddy's Summer Lawn Mowing Beer Mug" so we picked them up.  Then I was piddling around on Pinterest & ran across this idea...and paired it with a super hero questionnaire (I also found on Pinterest, but printed without pinning) and we ended up with this adorable Super Dad gift for Daddy.

Daddy's Super Dad Box of Beer
 (We did not follow the blog example exactly--Joel got the contents of his bottles to enjoy on his own!)

Daddy reading the bottle tops.
 Now, my favorite part of this gift was having the kids fill out their questionnaire about their Super Dad.  I helped Jamison with his ONLY by writing what he said--word for word.  I had a difficult time keeping a straight face, and then an even harder time waiting to share this with Joel on Saturday.  I will keep this till the end of time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Are YOU 16?

There's never a dull moment around here.  It's our first day of summer break, and we had the following conversation at lunch.

Jamison:  Mommy, are you 16?

Me:  Yes, honey.  I AM 16!

Jamison:  How old is Daddy?

Me:  He's 16 too.

Jamison:  Are you bigger than Daddy?

Me:  Yep.  I am actually bigger than Daddy.

Jamison:  Then why aren't you stronger than Daddy?

Jackie:  (as she rubs her belly) Jamison, you can tell Daddy eats more carbs than Mommy & Mommy runs.

Jamison:  Ooooohhhhhh.....

I'm not sure how Jackie's explanation actually answered his question but it did satisfy him.  And I'm not gonna argue...she IS kinda brilliant.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Brad Pitt

I was watching the Today show this morning & they were talking about Angelina Jolie again.  If you've been living under a rock & you don't know why she's been in the news lately, you can read about it here.  I respect her decision to be proactive--I applaud her all day long for taking it public & being so real about it.  Joel & I joked when the story first came out that we'd love to see how long Brad sticks around after...we have the same running joke at our house about us.

Then Hoda & Kathie Lee were talking about how happy the couple looked together during their first public outing since her surgery.  Kathie Lee described them as "truly in love, not just lust."  And they put Brad on a pedestal for staying by her side through the whole thing.  He's so amazing, he loves her so much, you can see how happy they are together--even more so now than before.

Time Out.

Now I'm not saying that theirs isn't true love.  I'm not saying that Brad hasn't been an incredible partner through all of this.  I'm not saying that they aren't more happy now than they were before.  I don't know them.  But Hoda & Kathie Lee don't know MY "Brad Pitt".  The reality that Angelina's surgery SUCKED balls isn't something I will argue.  I'm sure it did.  In fact, I know it did.  And I know because I've been there.   And you know who else has been there?  Joey.  More than once.

I joke that my body looks like Frankenstein, but it's more like Humpty Dumpty.  Last night we were looking at my torso alone--it's like a treasure map!  Look, there's the scar from my "free" tummy tuck (aka DIEP flap surgery).  That one was the drains from the first mastectomy.  Oh that one?  That's from the gallbladder removal.   That's the 11 hour SGAP surgery scar right there.   And that one is where they cut a new hole for my belly button.  Oh and those are the holes from the drains x4--for each surgery in that location.  Yep, I could go on and on and on....

My "Brad Pitt" tells me I'm beautiful every single day.  He did it before 2006 & he's done it every day since. Every.Single.Day.

He told me I was beautiful while I was while screaming profanities in post-op while laying on a "pillow" made out of a pillow case stuffed with towels.  He told me how beautiful I was while feeding me ice chips on a plastic spoon when I was too nauseated to eat anything else.  He told me I was beautiful as he emptied & measured the fluid from my 2-6 drains, depending on the surgery.  He held my hand & said "How you feeling beautiful?" every time I woke up from a drug-enduced sleep.  He shampooed my hair & held my drains while  I was in the shower & told me how beautiful I was as he helped me dress so we could leave the hospital post surgery.  There's something about a man who still truly thinks your beautiful even after he has witnessed you birth three children, have your stomach & butt marked up for surgery, your breasts removed and pass a kidney stone the size of Montana!

So, Brad Pitt, you are one sexy man.  You are a good man for standing by your girl & professing your love for her post double mastectomy!  You have women swooning all around you even more now! got nothin' on MY "Brad Pitt".  Angelina is a lucky girl.  But, not as lucky as me.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Who Wants to go Camping?!?!

It seems I've been absent from my blog for almost a year & it was this past weekend's camping adventure that brought me back to it.  I had to create another TOP TEN list & I will waste no time gettin' to it!

The big difference between this post & my previous top ten Camping is Fun!, is that we had the Hoffmann family join us this time.  What wonderful memories were made with the 3 men folk cookin' us great meals, and 8 wee ones to run around playing together!  Life IS good!

Memorial Day Camping with the Carsons & Hoffmanns:

10.  Is this elf's house?

9.  You'll be hearing from my divorce lawyer.

8.  If you take them off their leashes & let them just sniff each other's butts for awhile, they'll calm down.

7.  I'm sorry, I was just doing my Shakira real quick!

6. I've had 3 cups of coffee, one Coors & a Benadryl...what could go wrong?

5.  Your new chair is really comfy & it's a nice it or that's where you'll be sleeping tonight!

4.  I'm only crabby when I don't feel good, or you're around...

3.  I'm so glad you don't have cancer anymore so you can be less self centered.

2.  If you had hair, it'd be on fire right now!

1.  I'd rather have another vasectomy than spend 10 minutes talking to her!

When's the next trip, friends??  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Would You Say?

So my kids left town with Memaw.  It's been 11 days.  The two weeks leading up to their departure I was in full-on panic mode.  Yes, I love breaks from my children.  I adore alone time with my hunny.  But, I've been working from home full time, around my kids, for 7 years.  They're my JOB.  We didn't have plans to go away because Joey was still working so being in the house that usually has 5 people for 2 weeks with only 2 people was an unfamiliar thought to me.  Day 1 was rough.  Josie was weepy when they pulled out of the driveway.  I worried about them on the road all day.  Joel had an abnormal full day of work which left me to sit & wallow alone.  After they were safely in bed at Memaw's that night, my tension eased & the kids have been having so much fun that I've been able to really enjoy having the time to do my own thing for the last 10 days!

In addition to cleaning & organizing & sleeping & eating junk food & watching movies that have been on our DVR since LAST summer, we took a weekend trip to Philadelphia just to goof off. During our trip we were approached by a group of gals out on the town for a bachelorette party.  We were standing by the *LOVE* sign downtown, waiting our turn in line to get a picture when one of the girls said, "Excuse me.  Are you two married?"  Note--this is where, later, I told Joey I wish I had thought quickly enough to say "Yes...but not to each other.  Shhhh..." But I didn't.  Instead, we both said, "Yes??"  You know like, WHY?  Are we gonna be part of some crazy bachelorette dare if we are?  So, the cute blonde says, "Great, my sister over there is getting married in one month & we're wondering if you could give her your best marriage advice?"  Uh........all the girls (there are probably 10-12 of them) get closer to hear our wise words.....and she says "If you want some time to think about it, would you mind taking our picture?"  Joel says, "Sure, if you'll take ours?" 

So, while the girls are getting set up under the sign for their picture, Joey says, "What advice are YOU gonna give them?"  I joked, "Probably don't do it!"  And he laughed, "That's a good one....but seriously what are you gonna say?" 
This man is the love of my life. 

After picture taking was complete, the girls stood patiently waiting for our advice.  I offered that if/when she has children, to always put her marriage first--make time for each other always.  We shared that our 3 children were off visiting grandparents in MO while we were enjoying a weekend alone.  They liked that.  Whew, I passed!  Then it was Joel's turn.  I laughed and said "You can't say Don't Do it."  And the sister of the bride said "Actually, that was the advice of the very first person we asked tonight!  No Joke!"  Eeeek!  And he said, "No, I say keep the lines of communication open."  Whew, they liked that one too!  Yay us!

So, then we went off to dinner.  But while we were sitting at dinner, we couldn't stop talking about the advice.  Well, actually, it went like this...

Me:  Do you really feel like we do a good job of keeping the lines of communication open?
Joey:  Yes, you sure do.

Yeah, exactly.  I talk.  Joey smiles & nods.  But hey, it works for us. 

And while *I* couldn't stop talking about the advice, I kept thinking of others I wish I'd said. Joey just kept nodding & agreeing with me.  So it was OUR kind of communicating.  Here are a couple that we thought of later...

*Make sure you have a boyfriend & he has a girlfriend.  BUT, make sure your spouse is friends with said boy/girl friend.  Otherwise, it just won't work right...
*Remember that your vows are a promise, not a suggestion.  Not sure you can keep that promise?  Then don't get married.
*Being married doesn't mean you have to stop having sex.  In fact, have lots of it! Just remember to have it with the person you married.
*Back to the one I did share--always make time for each other.  We don't have much money.  But we're rich with time together.  It's a sacrifice we've made so that we can keep our relationship & family unit strong.  And when we see couples who have been married 40, 50+ years, we don't *hope* we'll make it that long...we know we will. 

I don't know that bride's name.  I don't know when or where she's getting married.  But I wish her & her new husband the best of luck in their new adventure thru life together!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Girl

I took 2 rest days post race & today it was time to get back at it. The oldest girl child, Jackie, decided she wanted to work out with me.  She got her presidential fitness results yesterday & was none too happy.  The girl can read, write, spell, tell a story, shoot a basketball....but she doesn't do well with fitness testing apparently.  I decided to try a workout I found on Pinterest (I know you're shocked that I have found ANYTHING on that site!) called Killer Kardio.

Isn't it so colorful?

We went out to the garage & after Set 1 Butt Kicks, we really couldn't sustain a full minute of everything & decided for our first try at this we'd just do 1/2 of everything listed.  That made it more do-able for the Not-So-Fit Wealer Girls.  

Here's just a little glimpse into our conversation:

Mom:  That sweat is just your fat cells dying!  
Jackie:  Oh...I thought sweat was just a sign that I needed to take a bath. 

(while doing our second set of burpees)
Mom:  These are the ugliest burpees ever done!
Jackie:  I bet it's really hard with your long legs!
Mom:  Yeah, and just think about how old I am too!
Jackie:  Oh, you're not that's not like you're even 45 or anything.

(walking to the street to start 3rd run)
Mom:  You ready?
Jackie:  Yes.
Mom:  Ok good, cause I'm not. (panting)
Jackie:  Really?  I'm not either.  I just said I was because I thought you were.

When we got back to the house she decided she'd like to work out with me over the summer to work up to doing this entire workout in full, so that's our goal.  We'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 11, 2012

And It Went Like This...


7:30am--Husband drives Jamison to a friend's house for the day.

8am--9 girl scouts & 7 adults set off in a caravan to downtown DC to celebrate the 100th Year of Girl Scouts at the National Mall.

10am--We are in our spot, blankets spread, chairs unpacked & ready for the day.  Husband leaves us to meet a friend whose picking him up for the wedding he's in at 4pm.

11am--Everyone is HOT.  We're in a field by the Washington Monument & it's at least 90 degrees with no shade & minimal breeze.

12pm--Girls are dropping like flies.  No one wants to eat.  The water line is taking 45 minutes to an hour to refill bottles.  Everyone is CraNkY!

2pm--Done. Stuff is packed. Just waiting to do the Guinness Book of World Records biggest flash mob dance.

2:30pm--Give up on the dance & start to walk away.

2:35pm--Dance starts.  We drop everything, participate in the dance & THEN continue towards our cars.

3:30pm--At cars.  Girls cooling off & perking up a bit.  Load everyone up with snacks & drinks.  I wave goodbye as my girls head home with friend for a sleepover.

4pm--I'm in the parking garage bathroom.  I have a wet washcloth from home, a stick of deodorant, *some* of my makeup (as I forgot my foundation), and a dress.  I do what I can with my hot sticky mess to get ready to meet hubby at wedding reception.

5pm--Arrive at wedding reception. (after roads were closed & the directions I printed were useless) Hubby is super handsome in his suit & I enjoy visiting with friends.

8pm--Remind hubby that I have a 7 mile race in the morning so we should be leaving soon.

9pm--Tell hubby it's TIME to leave.

9:05pm--Tell hubby to say goodbye to bride & groom.

9:15pm--Grab keys & tell hubby I'll meet him in the car.

9:20pm--Watch hubby run across lawn to get into the car that is running & in front of the wedding location.

9:45pm--Rub hubby's back while parked on side of 495.  (I won't go into the details...)

10:15pm--Put hubby to bed with fan & glass of water, big kiss on the forehead & appropriately call him stupid.

10:30pm--Shower the layers of sunscreen & stink off.

11pm--Finally crawl into bed.

**Wake every hour worried that I'm oversleeping.  Or from stomach pain thanks to my nerves.  Or from husband snoring.**


5am--Alarm clock goes off.

5:15am--Can't decide what to drink and/or eat, so make both coffee & water bottle.  Grab granola & nuts, Access bars & backpack.

5:30am--Head to pick up Michelle.

5:45am--Realize Michelle can't get into passenger side of my car without getting hand *dirty* from 495 incident night before.

6am--On the road in Michelle's van to Baltimore.

6:15am--Realize I've forgotten my stop watch.  DAMMIT!

6:45am--Park van on random road near race start.

6:55am--Find one dollar bill lying on sidewalk while walking toward race start. (lucky day???)

7am--Approach Team Fight tent just as they begin Dedication Circle.

7:15am--Meet Sam, who is running with me for this race.

7:30am--Head to race start.  Pretty much feeling like throwing up.  Wondering WHAT I WAS THINKING!?!?

7:35am--Race starts.

**Here's the point where I usually give a play-by-play of my actual race, but this one was so long, that I'm not sure I can remember all the details.  I'll just give some highlights.**

*Since I forgot my stop watch, I had to use the stop watch on my non-smart phone which kept shutting off on me.  And I thought that was super dandy at 7:30am.  No, my race partner Michelle NOR Sam remembered watches either.  We were quite the team. :)

*Sam was a trooper to hang with me.  I told him I get whiny--he said he has 2 sisters. I told him I start to swear when I'm toward the end--he said it would not offend him at all.  We were the perfect pair!

*I was very happy for all the water stops when they happened.  I took a couple swigs of Gatorade, one sip of water & then poured the rest of the cold water on my neck & down my back.  It was glorious.

*At every mile marker I shouted "YAY!  Mile 1 down!"  Sam said, "What's 6 more?"
  When I said "Yay!  Mile 3 down!"  Sam said, "What's 4 more?"  And so get the picture.

*When we hit the Mile 6 marker, it was like hitting a sun-filled brick wall.  There was no shade, no more water & a mile to go.  On my first walking break of the first interval after that marker, I said "I'm gonna walk just one more extra minute."  I was feeling tingly & I thought "I'm not gonna pass out THIS close to the finish!"

*When that second minute passed, I just kept on walking.  I saw racers walking the opposite direction who had already finished with water bottles & wet towels.  I considered tackling one of them for just one swig of water!

*Then we saw Ben with his CT5K shirt & camera.  I said, "We can't be walking in the pictures Ben takes for CT5K so let's get back to it."  Sam figured we were only about 1/2 mile from the finish at that point & that's all I needed to know.

*As we turned the final corner & could SEE the finish, Michelle appeared on the sidelines (superwoman ran it out & left us eating her dust back before the Mile 1 marker) "YAY Jenny!  Sprint to the finish, it's all down hill from here!"  (It literally was a decline in elevation, not just a figure of speech) BUT I was close to the end & my sweet self was no where to be found.  Luckily Michelle loves me & just laughed when I screamed back, "Shut it or I'm gonna punch you in the face!"

*And then there was the finish line and the big clock said 1:33...which is 3 min past my goal time.  And I don't know my official time yet, but EVEN so, I'm way super duper extremely pleased that it was that close at all with the extra walking in the final mile.

*Lady past the finish line had a bucket of cold, wet towels.  She says to me "Honey, would you like 2?"  Um, yes, actually 2 would be great!

Big Goal Race #1 of 2012=DONE!  Next up, training for the half marathon in October.  As soon as we got in the car on the way home Sunday, I told Michelle I didn't know if I could actually run a half marathon.  She said "Sure you can!  We'll do it!"  And I was reminded of a time when I wasn't sure I could even run a 5K, much less 7 miles.  SO...I guess only time will tell.

All I know is THIS is a weekend we will NEVER forget!

Monday, June 4, 2012

6 Sleeps...

This was me one year ago this week...

I was nervously waiting for my very first 5K to begin.  I had trained for 12 weeks with the CT5K team & Coach Bob.  I had no idea if I could actually run 3+ miles without walking, but this was going to be my first ever try & I wanted to puke just thinking about it.

This is not the face of a confident runner...
But, I did it!

Survivors finishing CT5K Spring 2011

I ran with the team again in October 2011 & signed up for a 5K in December, just for fun.  

This year I am running with Team Fight, another program of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.  And in 6 days I will run my first 7 mile race.  If you had told the me in the above pictures that in just one year I would be running a 7 mile race, I would've laughed in your face.  Seriously.  In fact, just a few weeks ago I was laughing at the thought!  

I have been training since January--worked up to 5 miles, 6 miles & even struggled through a 7 mile run a couple weeks ago.  Yesterday morning I got a text from my running buddy & partner in crazy...

One week from now we will be basking in the afterglow of our run!  I'm getting excited!

One week?  Crap.  After some joking back & forth, she sent me off for the day with much confidence that not only are we gonna rock the 7 miler next Sunday, but we'll kick butt in October when we do the half marathon together!  EEEK!  

Well, I decided to pull one more 7 mile training run out before I cut back for the week...and took off to the street with my iPod, inhaler & water bottle.  I was about 1.5 miles into the run, feeling good still, when I saw this cute man coming the opposite direction.  

With eyebrows arched, "Wassup?" he says.  This cute boy decided to run the rest of my 7 with me.  And we did it.  It was ugly.  I got to 5 miles feeling pretty good.  He asked me at one point if he was pushing me?  I said "Honey, you push me even when you're not physically here."  

But that last mile was torture.  Of course, if you know my husband, you know he's a chatty little thing.  He kept asking me questions, to which he expected me to have the breath to answer.  He is also the most optimistic person on the planet & kinda makes me crazy.  He says "Running is stupid" under his breath & then literally runs a circle around me waiting for me to catch up.  "You're doing great!"  "You're so awesome!"   When I told him to just shut up, I reminded him that this was like child labor--I love you, I adore you, I thank you for the thought BUT if you don't SHUT THE F#*K up RIGHT NOW, I'M GONNA PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.  Yeah, it was kinda like that.  He just laughed & said "I know."  But he did shut it.  Until I hit the ever-so-slight incline on one end of our street & I started swearing.  He goes, "You got this!"  Yeah, it helped.  But don't tell him I said so. 

So, when we got to 6.8, he ran ahead the extra .2 & stood there with his hand out for me.  I hit his hand & immediately--like I had timed it somehow--Martina started singing "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" in my one ear that I still had the iPod attached.  I looked at that adorable smile on my man's face & started crying. He took my hand & we walked back to the house quietly.  

It was EXHAUSTING.  But I did it.  And I know on race day it will be fantastic!  I think Michelle was right--there's gonna be a whole lot of basking & glowing on Sunday!  I actually *might* be excited myself!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's All I Seem to do These Days...

Here I am updating you on yet another run...and I've been trying not to bore you with more posts about my progress, but today is a big one for me.  I'm a little proud.

About one year ago I wrote an entry about my first season of CT5K progress.  And it included my first experience of running longer than 4 minutes at one time.  I also mentioned the day that I ran 2 miles without stopping for the first time--26:07 was my time.  I am proud to be slow, by the way.

This year I'm training for the 7 mile Survivor Harbor race coming up in a couple weeks and then the Half Marathon in October.  In my last entry I shared my first 6 mile training run experience & since then have actually completed a 7 mile training run at 3/1 intervals.  Yes, that cute boy of mine suggested I just go for it, so I did.  Just happens that at the 6.5 mark, I was this close to calling it a night--I had finished a personal longest run, it was dinner time & I was TAPPED out on energy.  But, as I rounded that last 1/2 mile loop & started to walk for my cool down, my iPod began playing Martina McBride's I'm Gonna Love You Through It.

Well, dammit.  I took the hint.  Seven miles done with 3/1 intervals in about 1:31.  So now I know I CAN do it!  (AND I was even able to get out of bed the next day!)

Today, I decided on a shorter distance but with no intervals.  I just popped in to note that I finished my first 2 miles today with no intervals in 23:25, one year after doing 2 miles for the first time in 26:07.  It's not record breaking, but it's exciting to me!  

Don't worry--this race is in just about 3 weeks so after that you'll get a break on my running reports.  But, if you're interested in supporting Team Fight and all that they do for young adults & their families during & following a cancer diagnosis, please consider making a donation to me at my website.  If you have any questions about the Ulman Cancer Fund & where the money raised is spent, feel free to give me a call!  This is an amazing organization & I am beyond honored to be representing them on June 10!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I'll take it...

I turned 36 yesterday.  I'm not hung up on age.  You're only as old as you feel right?  Well, honestly, some days I feel 150.  But not today.  After my family spoiled me with gifts last night, I decided today was the day to push my running to the next step & go for 6 miles.  As I was getting ready to leave the house, I mentioned this goal to my ever-positive-and-overly-optimistic-but-completely-adorable hubby.  Today was sunny & beautiful and I had the time to do a long run....BUT....I don't like setting myself up for failure so I mentioned that I didn't know if I'd be able to make it the full 6 miles without getting a drink of water.  No, seriously, I'm such a slow runner that I get thirsty quickly!   He said, "After everything I've watched you go through, I'm certain you can make it an hour with no water. Go run your 6 miles.  You can do it."

This amazing man about the things I've gone through. The fact that those words slipped past his lips is all it took.

6.12 miles done.  Time?  Yeah, it took a long time.  But it's the longest distance to date.  And I know that it was his words that gave me what I needed to get it done.

Oh, and the adorable, green iPod Nano he got me as a birthday gift & loaded with my favorite songs last night might have helped too.