Monthly Archives: July 2016

GIRL POWER

So I was asked to be the assistant cheer coach for our High School Varsity squad this year. I love cheer. My daughter said she wouldn’t mind me doing it at all (pretty cool of her since she’s on the squad). We just finished up a week of cheer camp. For those that don’t know what cheer camp is….it pretty much can be summed up as “one week of pure physical and emotional torture”. You will be pushed beyond your emotional limits, your physical limits and your ability to refrain from killing your fellow teammates. This week brought back a flood of memories. But the biggest thing it reminded me of and reiterated for me is that women are badasses.

I knew this. I’ve always known this thanks to my Mom. But watching my 16 year old daughter BE a badass pretty much brought me to my knees.
I’ve said before that the greatest thing my Mom (and Dad) taught me was to value and nurture friendships. The relationship you have with your spouse or significant other is greatly important. HUGELY important. But unfortunately I come from a line of women who’ve lost those spouses very early. And without the band of women who they had to surround and nurture them through those losses…Im not sure they would’ve made it. Friendships you make, build, nurture throughout your lifetime, are the people who will comfort you when pain comes.
I watched it with my Grandmothers when my Grandfathers died. I watched it when my Dad died. My Mom’s friends are unbelievable. Angels. Growing up my parents always had date night and made time for each other but there was no mistaking how important friend time was as well. My Dad went on trips with his friends. Guys’ nights out. Happy Hours after work. And my Mom did the same. Always. Even when we were small. They found sitters or Mom stayed with us so Dad could go our or Dad stayed with us so Mom could have girl time. It stuck in my brain how normal this was. I thought all Moms and Dads had lots of friends.
So from the time our kids were born Patrick & I have ALWAYS made time for guys nights for him and girls nights for me. Always. It has been vital to our relationship and our overall well being. And I am so incredibly grateful for parents who taught me the value of that. And my second Mom, Lynda, who on my front steps one day my senior year of high school said “NEVER follow a boy. Build YOUR dreams and YOUR life and support yourself…ALWAYS”. Little did I know how valuable these lessons would be.
My Grandma and Mom were widowed pretty damn young. There is a good chance I will be too. And as shitty and awful and sad and scary and unfair as that is…..I am so grateful for the many MANY hours alone I had my kids, did it on my own, knew how strong I was, and all the time I invested in friendships.
So this week, as I watched 23 cheerleaders spend 7 straight hours a day, every single day with each other it made my heart happy. They bicker like sisters. They argued about who was doing the stunt right and who was doing it wrong. They gave each other black eyes and bruises and there were tears. LOTS of tears. But let me tell you something. They have each others backs. They will sacrifice their face to catch a flyer who is falling. They will lay down and let someone land on top of them so their teammate will not get hurt. They will give each other tampons and clean shorts and hair ties and share their water and pat each other on the back and cheer for 20 minutes telling their sister and teammate “YOU GOT THIS” when she’s terrified to throw her back tuck. They literally hold each other up. They hold hands and wipe each others tears and fix each other’s makeup when the guest coach is cute ;)-. They loan each other money and hold each other’s hair when someone is puking (that comes in handy later) ;).
So watching my daughter in this amazing camaraderie was pretty fucking cool. I don’t know what her life has in store. And that alone is awesome. I hope for her happiness, and strength and love and a relationship that makes her happy. I hope for her health and beaches and mountains and cures for Hashimoto’s. And I hope for her the incredibly deep friendships I have experienced. The woman-hood. The happy hours. The hikes with best friends and drunken dancing and God forbid she finds herself alone…the support of a sisterhood. There are shitty things I wouldn’t have wanted in my life. Many. But dear God I couldn’t survive any of them without my friends. My women. Here’s to strong women. Who can!  And some badass cheerleaders who not only survived Hell week but are gonna KICK SOME ASS this year!!
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TAKING BACK AUGUST

In a few weeks, on August 7, it will be 10 years to the day that my Dad was killed in a motorcycle accident. And every single summer since then has been a roller coaster. Of emotions. Inevitably I forget. And in June I start to feel angry, detached, sad, push people away. Every year. And I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Then I remember. Oh…this is me now. THIS is me now. You are NEVER the same. You NEVER get over it. It NEVER goes away. You NEVER are not aware. You NEVER heal completely. And I think more than missing my Dad these things make make me the saddest. That it takes a piece of you and YOU are NEVER the same. Im not the same girl I was on August 6, 2006. I guess you mourn a lot of things when someone close to you dies. Even the loss of yourself.
I noticed in June I felt agitated. Distant. Sad. Like pushing people away. I thought “well….here we go”. Then I decided. Im not letting this take me anymore. Not one more summer, not one more August, not one more minute. I’ll never be the same. Never. And that’s ok. It’s really ok. I have cried about Brain Rot a LOT. I even maybe sort of asked “why me?” briefly. But I quickly realized “why not me” , “why not us”. Im one tough ass chick and if anyone can handle this shit its me.
Im still far FAR from being thankful for motorcycle accidents and Brain Rot and Rheumatoid Arthritis but…..it has all made me who I am. What I am. The good, the bad, the girl who pushed people away, who doesn’t trust, who is cautious about people but would jump off of a mountain. The girl who started a business. The girl who up and moved one day to Colorado. The girl who knows she’ll have to go it alone one day. So why NOT me? Thick skin, rough exterior, mushy insides, cusses a lot, cares even more, loves hard, says YES more, writes more, feels more, hurts more, appreciates more, stops and soaks it all in. Thats me now. And I don’t think I’d want to be any other way.
So fuck you motorcycles and deer and Brain Rot and arthritis and people who just don’t “get it”. I take back August. I take back summer. I take back ME. And all that THAT means now. Since that day when things changed. When I changed.
I can honestly say Id have never moved to Colorado if not for motorcycle accidents and Brain Rot. Id have never climbed Pikes Peak. Id have never started a business. Id have never done a lot of things. And how fun would life have been without those beautiful moments?
Here’s to a beautiful rest of the summer and all of the things I have BECOME rather than LOST. All of the magic that MIGHT happen instead of the things that can never happen. To smiling instead of crying. To happy instead of sad. To leaping first, looking second, taking chances, regretting nothing, loving harder and taking back August!
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16

Im not quite sure why but my daughter turning 16 today is really hitting me hard. I wrote a blog a year or so ago about how I know once they have a driver’s license they are gone. Really. I mean I was. On my 16th birthday I stood in the DMV line bright and early with my Dad. I passed the test, we went home and I drove away. And as symbolically as you can get…that was it. There’s a freedom with driving that makes it impossible to turn back time. To make them still NEED you. In Colorado the law requires you have your permit a full year before you can get your license and since we didn’t get Maddie’s permit until October last year she wont have her license for a another few months BUT….SIXTEEN. Man.

I wanted a child so badly. And because of a blood clotting disorder I was unaware of,  I Iost SEVERAL pregnancies pretty late term. So when Maddie made me a Mom 16 years ago today it was pretty amazing. Every damn day has been a lesson in humility, patience, compromise, sadness, joy, anger, screwing up, getting it right, being honest and every other emotion under the sun. She is stubborn, funny, witty, intelligent, beautiful and determined. Funny. As happy as it makes you that they’ve become this cool person that can live on their own, have opinions, argue back, be kind, make choices….it is bittersweet.
I don’t know how we got it right with her. Maybe we didn’t. Maybe she’s this great person because of HER. I have never been a conventional parent. Ever. Im acutely aware that she lies to me, hides texts, snap chats cuss words, may not ALWAYS be where she says she is. I know she keeps her friends’ secrets. From me. And while most parents don’t think thats ok…and maybe its not…it is normal. Very normal. I did all of that. She makes great grades. She is kind. She is determined and successful and damn it she is 16! Doing all that you should and shouldn’t. And isn’t that a cool thing. I hope she makes mistakes, gets heart broken, finds love, makes life long friends, skips class in college once or twice to go water skiing, is scared, unsure, confident, stands her ground, dances a lot, helps people without anyone knowing, takes chances, follows her passion, eats Ramen noodles, flies to Paris, and loves music…….all of it. All. Of. It.
I used to sing Leann Womack’s song “I Hope You Dance” to her while she was in my tummy. And I hope she does. Always…….always choose to dance.
Happy Birthday to our beautiful Madelyn. Grab life by the balls little girl….there’s no other way to live it.
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