Monthly Archives: August 2016

Dear Dad, Just Breath (Its Almost September)

When I was about 6 or 7 I fell down on the slip and slide in my yard and knocked the breath out of myself. I was terrified. My Dad ran over and looked at me calmly and said “just breathe”. Of all the bad things in life that would happen…that would always prove to be good advice.

And so it goes. Another August. The tenth. Its funny they say it gets easier over time. Im not sure about that. I think you just learn to live with the situation. But the more Augusts that go by, the more I miss you. The longer its been since Ive heard your voice and laugh. My 25th High School Reunion is in a month. I remember you & Mom going to your 25th. It was the year I got married. Holy shit does time fly. Fast. I wanted  August to fly by. Just not so many years so very fast.

It is so crazy, weird, amazing, wonderful to see you in my kids. Recently in Andy’s back to school picture he looked just like you in your younger years. He’s funny. He’s kind. He is sensitive. Maddie is smart. Very. And independent. And cautious. Like me. She doesn’t let people in. I watch it. I see me. You know sometimes when you do…they hurt you. And keeping people at a distance is safer. Keeps your heart in one piece. Keeps you from hurting. And crying. And we don’t like to do that. I think her & I learned a few lessons this summer. About that. About our hearts. And letting people in and pushing people away. When you’ve had loss in your life I suppose thats what you do.
I dont want her to always be that way. I still let people in. Cautiously. I still burn bridges when they disappoint me. I still do that. I don’t want to but I do. You can only hurt so many times. August sucks. Sucks. For 10 years it has been bad. Funny….this one wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful. Some new friends. Some new goals. Some mistakes learned from. Some pages turned. Some books closed. And now September.
Funny how you can go from your least favorite month to your very very favorite. I love September. It has always been my favorite month. Of course because its my birthday month but its also the beginning of Fall, football season, cooler weather. And maybe each birthday is a fresh start. A new beginning. A new year. And I’ll be 44. You would be 63. Old man. OLD. MAN. And I’d tease you about that. Just so you know I am so grateful you were at all the football games I cheered at. I know it was hard to get there with your work schedule and I know you were tired. Thank you. I think parents may underestimate how much their asshole teenage kids appreciate you just being there. Just. Being. There.
So Friday is the first football game of the season. Maddie will be cheering and THIS year I’ll be on the sidelines. As a cheer coach. Funny how things come full circle. I love football. Everything about it. Im trying to like August. I worked hard at this one. I went to a concert with Mom and Kelly. I read. A lot. I wrote. And I accepted. That August may never be my favorite month but I can take it back. I took it back. Goodbye to the 10th August.
Hello September. And to new beginnings and fresh starts and trusting again and loving with all I am. To letting people in. To FORGIVENESS. To growth and joy and moments and music and concerts and a 25th reunion….and some reminiscing and some sweet memories. To all the things that can be.
Good bye August. Hello September. Just breathe.
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OLD DREAMER

I think for some of us, women of my age, there’s this switch that got turned off when we had kids. Its the “Dream Switch”. Pretty sure this may be the least politically correct blog I’ve ever written but brutal honesty was the goal….so I’ll shoot.

When I was in second grade I wanted to be President of the United States. I drew myself behind the Presidential podium speaking to the masses and really thought I could do it. Thank you Gloria Steinem for your hand in that. As years passed and I drank more beer and stole some public toilets and cemented some shit into my High School practice field I thought maybe this had disqualified me from any future public office…..little did I know…apparently anyone can run. ;)-
In High School I decided I wanted to be a writer but I was also interested in Psychology. Thats it…I would be a published Psychologist who counseled people on occasion and spoke at University graduations and made depression not taboo to discuss anymore.
And so college, a degree, a first “real job” as a Juvenile Probation Officer and a realization that changing the world may take me a little longer than I had first thought. But that was ok. That was ok. Changing the world had to start somewhere….
Then in a bar one night the trajectory of all of that changed. My friend, Lauren, made me go out. I didn’t really want to. And there he was. And a few years later, a mortgage, 2 babies just a year apart and dirty diapers and no sleep and no contact with other adults and postpartum depression and toys all over the place and a husband who worked 15 hour days I sat in a closet and cried. I was pretty sure the world wasn’t going to get changed this way.
The postpartum depression passed. I felt lucky to stay home full time with my kids. So lucky. There’s many Moms who want to and can’t. I got to. I will forever & ever be grateful for that. I am Patrick’s wife and Madelyn & Andrew’s mom. And thats pretty fucking amazing. What my body went through to have those kids….miscarriages and medication and losses and disappointment….all worth it. For a 7.5 pounder followed by a 9 pounder who have turned into  pretty damn cool people.
But you get here…somehow…time flies by and you get here and they are 14 and 16 and you are looking at colleges and planning schedules and getting drivers’ licenses and there’s a whole life in front of them and that is beautiful. Beautifully perfect. How cool it is to be 16 or 17 or 18 and just not know. Just have no fucking clue whats ahead and know that ANYTHING can happen. And I turn 44 next month. There’s wrinkles and cellulite and age spots and saggy skin and an ass load full of wisdom I wouldn’t trade for all the youth in the world. But I still dream. And is that bad? Should I feel guilty? For dreaming? For still, all these years later wanting to change the world? Or at least a few people.
I sell workouts to people and stick with them through the program to make sure they adhere to it. I help them learn to eat right and get fit. And the transformations of their minds are WAAAAAY bigger than any physical change Ive ever seen. But I do encounter the woman…often…who refuses to put herself ahead of her family. And I guess thats how they see it. I don’t. If Im not happy and healthy and fit then my family does not get the best me. Period. End of story. I cheat them when I cheat me. I think THAT would be selfish.
And so I dream big. I plan for the future. I have pictures of Aspen condos on my wish board alongside a 1980 ish red Porsche and an original Jeep and a Louis Vuitton wallet and a cure for Ataxia. Why can’t I have those things? Why can’t I? Dont I want to show my kids that their Mom can do anything she wants & sets her mind to. I think that is the best gift I can give them. To dream HUGE.  To never settle. To think average is not ok. To know that happiness far outweighs your duties to a job.
Thank you Beachbody. Thank you Thank you Thank you. For letting a 40 something year old ex-Dreamer get rid of the “Ex” part. And dream again. And build something. And be creative and selfish at times. For helping me be healthier and happier and more at peace than I’ve ever been. It may be selfish. It may not be the “politically correct” thing to do. But I can’t do anything but ME. I have to do me. And it is pretty awesome. You’re never too old to dream.
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AUSTIN

I had a great weekend in Austin. Despite my sister’s garbage disposal going out, sewage backing up into her house, and her car not starting…it was pretty cool. I went for a concert. To see the Dixie Chicks with my Mom and sister. But lets be honest….the concert was on the 10th Anniversary of my Dad’s accident and I went to be with them. My nieces happen to be the cutest kids in the entire world so that helps too. I slept with the little one. She’s a hoot. And it’s been awhile since I’ve been around little people who leak and talk a lot.

Man life can throw some shit at you. It really REALLY can. Cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, terminal illness, loss, house fires, unexpected moves, brain rot, a child with an illness…I’ve known people who’ve dealt with all of these. Some are doing ok. Some not so much. We all deal in different ways. And there’s no wrong way. There isn’t. There’s a few significant events that will happen in your life that will change everything. And you have a choice. A choice about how you respond. So many choices were taken from me. From us. I don’t get to have a Dad. He died on a highway alone. I don’t get a husband who can hike or run or live a really long time. Just the shitty hand I was dealt. We were dealt. But how I walk through that is all on me.
And let me tell you. There were days rolled up in a ball on the floor crying. Over my Dad and over brain rot. Still are at times if Im being honest. But I have CHOSEN to accept and smile. Because what is the alternative? Happy is so much more fun than sad. Smiling is so much better than crying. Laughing is pretty awesome. Adventure and hiking and traveling and concerts are pretty cool too. It’s a choice. Not every day…but every single second. I choose every second to be happy. To be positive. To find the good.
So my Mom, sister and I laughed, rode a pedicab, sweat our asses off, drank beer, sang like banshees, danced in the aisle, nearly got in a fight (Ok that was just me), and had an amazing time on August 7th. Can I just say…I’ve been to a lot of concerts. This was one of the best. They are AMAZING. That voice. Those words. The way they play those instruments. True talent. And one helluva concert. I’d see them over & over. And they made me giggle and laugh and sing on a day that maybe I wouldn’t have. But Im taking back August. Scratch that. I TOOK BACK AUGUST. Smile…its kinda fun. And makes people wonder what your up to 😉
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10 YEARS

2 DAYS, 4 MONTHS, 6 YEARS. All the same. Miss you more now since its been longer since I’ve seen you. I hope you are happy. I hope you feel peace. I do. Finally. And some guilt mixed with that. Dad there’s some days I forget to think about you until almost dinner time. And I cannot express the guilt I feel for that. I mean there are songs, smells, the sound of a Harley going down the road that are often reminders out of no where. But in general…more time goes by each day than used to. Before I think of you. And then I feel a pit in my stomach. Because I feel so guilty about that.

Life has happened. I wanted it to stand still for that first year. Or maybe 2. But it didn’t. It keeps spinning. I had a good hike today. I thought about you and Colorado and motorcycles and how quickly time goes by. I also thought about how I dont want to be sad. I have this whole “taking back August” thing going on. And its working. Mostly. I fly to Austin tomorrow to be with Kelly & Mom for the Dixie Chicks concert Sunday. On THAT day. Last year I climbed Pikes Peak on THAT day. I think I had something to prove. To you. To myself. I don’t anymore. I don’t have anything else to prove.
I am more at peace and happy and focused and content than I have ever been in my life. Its funny. I’ve heard the saying “people never really change”. They do. I did. I am nowhere near the girl I used to be. For all the good and bad that caused that to happen- I am grateful.
I miss you. I walked the stage at Summit again last week. You’d have gotten a kick out of that. I cried today. Just a little. Funny how that comes out of nowhere. I will tell you all about the kids and talk Brain Rot and stuff later. I just wanted to say that a decade is a long time not to hear you laugh. Im glad I got to hear you laugh. A lot. And what do you learn in a decade? I don’t know? Shit. I don’t know. Maybe though…what I know now is that I wouldn’t take another Dad for 85 years. I am one damn lucky girl I got YOU for the short time I had you. 53 is too young to die. 33 is too young to lose your Dad. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
Hope you ride. Far and long and into a beautiful place. I’ll drink one for you. Maybe two.
Let me ask you something….

CHOOSE TO DANCE

I want to write about Summit. I do. But Im exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally. The words are there I just cry when I try to type them. I am a very deep person. It may not seem it on the surface but I feel. I hurt when people hurt me. I love when people love me. I am grateful beyond what I can express and I am nostalgic a lot. Its a hard surface. I know that. My insides are quite the opposite.

Cheer camp a few weeks ago was emotional for me. Watching those girls. There was a particular drill they had to do where they had to carry a girl through an obstacle on their shoulders. The physical strength it took was unreal. They fell, they cried, they yelled and they had to start over several times. Many times. It was absolutely heart breaking to watch as a Mom. But they did it. They completed it. The mental struggle far out-weighed the physical. And the lesson of carrying others on your shoulders literally and metaphorically was not missed. Depending on others. Community. Team.
And so Summit follows. And just like 3 years ago at my first it was emotional. I grow so much at these events. Im lucky to have a supportive spouse who takes care of things while I can do things for me. My team. And our family. How lucky am I. And the lessons and speakers offer so much more than tips on how to build your business better. All the stories you hear of self realizations, disappointment, overcoming extreme obstacles, sadness, joy, weight loss, building self esteem….they all relate to life much more than just losing weight.
I think I may have lost my way for a bit. In my business. Maybe in my life. Its easy to do. I forgot how to forgive. And what was important. And a sweet girl at Summit and a few other transformative speakers reminded me. Im thankful for them. My biggest take away from Summit was to find my positivity and delete the negativity from my life. I hate political posts. I do. Theres nothing so divisive. And to what end? Just to make your point. I saw two posts recently. One said Donald Trump was a walking example of why abortion should be legal. And if you think thats bad the other said Hillary Clinton was a CUNT. Really. A CUNT. Say that word. What a disgusting and vile word. What if someone called your daughter or Mother that word. Its unacceptable that we treat each other this way. Words hurt. Fat, Ugly, Unimportant, Retarded, Useless, Whore, whatever it is. It is not ok. NOT OK.
So I choose to leave it. And have it leave me. I choose to focus on positive people and things. Positive posts. I have become THAT girl. My husband’s brain is rotting. I have an autoimmune disorder that is painful and disabling at times. I don’t know what my future holds. But I know I can CHOOSE how to face it. I choose positive. I choose dancing and mountain climbing and eating well and cake on occasion and travel and friends and family and concerts and love. I CHOOSE forgiveness. Theres no other option.
Thank you Taylar and Summit and the others who know who they are for helping me see what I needed to see. Truly truly grateful, blessed, lucky and full today!!
“SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO DANCE TO THE MUSIC YOU ARE GIVEN”
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