Sunday, December 19, 2010

tri tri again

I have a secret. Oh, don't worry. It's not as embarrassing as it is just plain frustrating. See, I love to compete. And I'm pretty good at it, too. Not really at winning things, but more at turning things into a competition. As this drive has no positive use in my daily life (besides drag racing old ladies through my neighborhood [unbeknownst to them]) I try to ignore it. But every once in a while it comes out. Playing a friendly game of cards with neighbors turns into a nail-biting, trash-talking battle of wills/skills/luck. Even playing K at Donkey Kong Country on the old Super Nintendo at my parent's cabin can result in either a few smug "IN YOUR FACE!"s or quite a bit of pouting, depending on how I fare. To me that whole, "It isn't whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" adage just sounds like something that losers say. Like I said, I try to keep a lid on the crazy, but sometimes I scheme up ways to let it out. I usually regret them. 
This weekend I registered for a race. The first race that I will attempt since a 5k I ran with my (hot) mama on the Fourth of July FIVE years ago. But I didn't register for a 5k. Nope. I signed myself up for a sprint triathlon. ... I know. I think I've really lost it this time. I have always wanted to race a triathlon, and recently a few amazing people have come into my life who have accomplished this feat. One of them has even taken me under her wing and sworn to me that I can do this! And I believe her. ...Totally lost it.
So. I swim, bike and/or run five days a week. I spend my free time reading up on wetsuits and power gels. I have dreams (and nightmares) about crossing the finish line (more often about drowning. Crashing. Burning). I have Googled the words "non-hideous bike shorts" (apparently they don't exist) and have even been seen in public in a rubber swim cap thingy many times (not cute, my friends. Not. Cute.) 
My trainer/friend has made me promise that for every time I tell myself I can't do this, I will tell one person about my race. And since I have had  a hundred negative thoughts this weekend alone, I figured I would count publishing my terrifying and embarrassing goals here for all to see and call it good. So, April 16th (the weekend I finish my first semester back in school! I have lost my mind!!). 7 am. Vegas. Lake Mead. Heaven help me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yo Mama

Mother knows best. You know it's true. Back when your bike always had air in its tires and your bed magically made itself each morning, mom knew everything. From how to make boo-boos better to explain why popcorn pops (or, nowadays, why Edward is obviously much more sensitive and mature than Jacob), her no nonsense take on life made the boogeyman recede into the dark, dusty corner of your imagination where he belonged and gave you no doubts as to what was really important in life. But in today's world I am no longer convinced that "Mom" has the answers, and am left desperately wondering where the next generation are going to get their inner compasses tuned, since an hour of Sesame Street per day doesn't seem to be cutting it.

We live in the "She started it!" generation. Throw a rock in any direction and you will hit someone trying to blame, sue, exploit or burden someone else for all of life's problems and inconveniences (note to readers: Please don't literally throw a rock. You will most likely hit someone with his lawyer on speed-dial.) Responsibility is something that is someone else's problem. Politicians blame yesterday's leaders for today's headaches and tomorrow's uncertainty without blinking an eye. Parents blame teachers, government, sugar, music, friends, Happy Meals, lead-based paint, corporate greed, temperature changes, doctors, text messaging, movie stars, breakfast cereal (do you see where I am going with this?), and each other for their neglect and their children's complete disrespect for the way things (should) work. "Someone gave him drugs! It's not my/his/anyone-but-your fault!" gives way just as easily to, "What am I supposed to do? YOU should have medicated him!" My personal favorite (sarcasm for the parents I would most like to punch in the teeth) are they that blame French fries and Hostess cakes for their Elementary-age children's obesity. Are you kidding me?! They eat their meals with you! You are providing them with a never-ending supply of Oreos and that oh-so-healthy pattern of starving, bingeing, and late-night snacking! What are they supposed to do? Oh, I'm sorry. You're right. It must be the school's fault for having Cheetos on the menu.

The more I look at the headlines of the day, the more I wonder if the logical solution of personal responsibility and problem-resolution will ever be heard. It would seem that everyone loves a good fight too much to care about the solution. With more people today involved in the he-said, she-said politics of this country than in the last few decades combined, the time for real conversations about the problems our country is facing (more value-related than policy-based) is now, yet conversation has been replaced by name-calling and hair-pulling. Even so-called news shows have become more talk show than cold, hard fact. I am no longer surprised to turn on major news networks and find celebrities (known more for sex tapes and partying than work in legitimate film and music careers) weighing in on issues and promoting their latest line of hair extensions in the same breath. And you thought terrorists were scary.

For this finger-pointing plague I have a solution that, to some (idiots), is going to sound old-fashioned. Let's take an episode out of our Leave It to Beaver past and get back to the idea that Mother actually does know best. You know, before Mother was a Desperate Housewife or a Scotch-wielding stage mom. I believe that if moms ran this country, real moms whose lives consist of bake sales and scraped knees, we might be able to get this whole mess straightened out. It would take some discipline and sacrifice (dirty words to many), but following yesterday's Mom's example is just the thing to get us pointed in the right direction today. Let's teach things like personal responsibility ("You made this mess, you clean it up."), individuality ("If Kim Kardashian jumped off of a bridge, would you too?"), problem-solving ("I don't care who started it, figure it out."), and accountability ("Did you do your homework? Take out the trash? Do the dishes?").

 If we leave the task of teaching values to someone else, kids will only learn what the cast of The Real World has to offer them- real skills like how to binge drink and take group showers. And if we don't hold them accountable for their actions, we will only breed a new generation of finger-pointing hypocrites who can play Halo all night long but can't keep a job and are looking for someone else to pick up their tab. No one else is going to do this for us. No one else is to blame. Life can be hard and that's okay. We can't insulate our families against all of the horrible things out there, against those who would hurt them, or the crap that happens. We can only teach them to be the best they can be, to rely on themselves and their Creator, to not look for hand-outs or cop-outs or the easy way out and to keep their faith strong. And I just don't think Elmo can get all of that across AND teach our kids about hand-washing and the letter K in his 10am time slot. Perhaps once his album drops.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

growing, growing, gone

My little girl is getting so big! I'm starting to freak out juuuust a little bit. But wouldn't you? I mean, she no longer needs my help. Ever. Even when she absolutely can't do something on her own, she asks me for some privacy! Soon she'll start hushing her conversations when I walk into the room and locking her journal!! I mean, as soon as she has a journal. And can write. And read. But all of that stuff is right around the corner!! Sorry, I'll stop my hysterics. Here are her school and soccer pictures. If she isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen tilting over a soccer ball, then you have seen some pretty crazy stuff.


My dad was asked by the woman who teaches newspaper and yearbook at my old high school (he is a teacher there) to ask me to write a little something about what I am up to nowadays. Ten years ago this coming Spring Coronado HS opened and I guess she's putting a page in the yearbook with updates from the first graduating class of CHS. I'm paring this down a ton (like, to a paragraph)' but I thought I'd post what I wrote originally here. You know, in case you were bored.

Ten years ago I was a Junior joining a relatively small group that would become the first graduating class of the Coronado High School. That year I played first chair cello in orchestra, joined the Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic (barely scraping by in last chair), and played CHS soccer, finishing a nearly-undefeated season as keeper. I also got my first ticket, nearly flunked my math class, had more than one ridiculous crush and tried desperately to pretend that I was cool (I didn't fool many). During my time at CHS I had amazing opportunities to make friends, mistakes, memories and, in the process, was able to learn some things that I have found useful in the past decade, including how to fool a few more people into thinking I'm cool. Suckers. 

I'm not sure that my accomplishments thus far are terribly impressive, but I have tried to jump into life with both feet. I have been married for six years to a super cute guy with lots of dreams and a weird last name. We both work at a business that we own (which has tripled in size in the past year!) managing properties, including three of our own duplexes. We are also (slowly!) working toward degrees, mine in English, his in French (unfortunately that whole sucking at math thing still applies). We have a four year old little girl named Avery who is healthy and bright and beautiful beyond all reason. We were lucky enough to have another little girl last summer, Carter, who is a living doll and her big sister's number one fan.
As I left for college  my dad gave me some advice that I tried to follow and love to repeat. He told me, "Now is the time for you to be selfish. It might be your only chance to figure out who you are and what you want." Taking that advice has made all of the difference to me. I realized what was important to me and have been able to pursue those talents, values and dreams ever since. I have not followed a typical path or made all the right moves, but I know who I am and what I want. This Fall I signed Avery up for Pee Wee soccer, which she enjoyed more for the treats and high fives at the end of the game than she did the running and kicking. But whether she takes to sports or music, or simply aspires to be a world class mom or employee or friend, I hope she'll do it with all of her heart. Whatever you decide is important to you, I hope you'll do the same.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I miss you Blog! Without an easy camera-to-iPad connection I have felt less inclined to post about our amazing Halloween, my dreamy birthday/anniversary trip to Portland or Thanksgiving. I know that's an awful excuse. We are all doing really well here, rest assured. Here is a quick update (I know you're dying for one, dear Blog!)
Avery is playing Pee Wee soccer and really only puts up with it for the treats and high fives at the end of the game. She still loves preschool and is the most beautiful and imaginative kid ever!!, I am absolutely not biased. Why would you ask? Anyway, she is a pro at playing pretend and making up stories. And her logic is completely impenetrable! Example: Avery loves play food and is always inviting me to picnics in her room where she serves soup. Always soup. I have never heard of anyone serving soup at a picnic, but that is beside the point. She also follows me around with a mini suitcase full of play food in case of an emergency picnic. So, this morning when she came up to me with both hand pressing her case closed, she asked me to help close her "soup-case"! How can you argue with that?
Carter is nearly six months old and is getting so big! She rolls around like a little log and is so sweet and happy. Any day now she'll be crawling around and then walking and then driving. I'm just trying to hold on for dear life and enjoy the ride.
Klayton is finishing his latest semester of school, keeping our business running nearly single-handedly and doing wonderfully. Next month I am starting school to (finally!) finish my degree up at BYUI. I don't know how I have the nerve to add one more thing to our crazy schedule, but I am so excited to be able to earn my degree! I have been called as the Assistant Webelos leader (Cub Scouts! ...gulp) in my ward, have joined a women's organization for furthering education and am loving spending time with my family. I've also been writing a lot lately, so sorry if I post a lot of random stuff on you, little blog. We are all getting ready for a wonderful Christmas and I promise to keep in touch more often! Until next time...