Sunday, November 08, 2009

Serving what some would call "the least of these"

Last night, Andy, Kevin and I helped the Salvation Army's "Grate Patrol" in Washington, DC, handing out food to the homeless. The SA van goes out every night and has regular stops. Our church is responsible for donating the food and manpower (besides the driver) the first Saturday of each month and this month, my small group took on the task. Kevin and I delivered food one other time but this was Andy's first time doing it.

Kevin loves this project and enjoys getting out of the van to hand people things directly, including going with an adult to people who can't make it over to the van either because they are sick or injured or don't want to leave their belongings behind for someone to steal. The people we serve get a kick out of having Kevin there. I was sure one woman wanted to tuck him in her bag to take with her.

Driving to the city last night, Kevin asked, "What if we see homeless kids?" He asked in a thoughtful but not emotionally sensitive way. I said that we wouldn't likely see homeless kids because most people who are homeless aren't children and that most children who are homeless live in shelters. I also said that I don't really know that much so I could be wrong.

And wrong I was, as we did encounter two boys with their father. The older boy was about Kevin's age (7) and the younger was maybe 5. They were near the front of the line at a large stop so we were busy handing out food and didn't get a chance to talk to them but we heard from the driver that the boys' mother was deported. Their father was taking care of them - they were born in the U.S. so are U.S. citizens - trying to make his way and get the woman to be able to come back to the U.S. From the little interaction we had with them, they seemed well-adjusted, which is a strange thing to say about kids on the street but that's the first thing that came to my mind. They were with their dad and doing what they knew. I'm sure they haven't always been homeless, but they, at the moment we saw them, were taking it all in stride.

Looking back, I wish I'd gone outside the van to talk to them (I was inside dishing soup most of the time but could've made time to walk over to them). Something else that struck me was how Kevin looked at them the same way he looks at any kid. He was kind of shy and didn't want to make a trip over to talk to them but I could tell he would've gone with me if I'd gone over. And that's how he'd be with any child - in school, at the store, on a sports team...

Last night was a great chance to encounter the people that we serve - to look in their eyes and see part of ourselves and to then turn our gazes inward and see part of them inside us. What makes us human is the same in all of us.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fun With Short Hair

Every couple of years, I cut off my long hair to donate it. This surprises a lot of women with long hair as they can't imagine having short hair. Some even think short hair is boring and not versatile. I believe that a little creativity can go a long way and I've provided some examples below to help get your creative juices flowing.

Most days, my hair looks like this.

That style looks pretty good on me and it works well most of the time. But sometimes, I feel a need for change.

Without the weight of long hair, short hair can be given more volume rather easily. View Exhibit 1 - Voluminous Style.

The next example is for those days when you are oozing confidence and feeling a little playful. Exhibit 2 - Pigtail Style.

Don't we all have days when we're less than confident about that large blemish on our forehead? Bangs cover a multitude of sins! Check out Exhibit 3 - Bang Style.

I have moments - ok, days - when I feel like lashing out at the world! I display my feistiness with the look shown here. Exhibit 4 - Lion Mane Style.

When all else fails, you need to have a "go-to" style that makes you feel taller, thinner and more sassy, all at the same time. For those times, I present to you...


...Exhibit 5 - Bozo Style.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tour de France

The Tour de France started on Saturday! It doesn't show on our TV but I usually keep a close eye on it through the computer. Unfortunately, this weekend provided no time for that. Now that I'm at work I'm at the computer, but, well, I need to work. And I have serious deadlines that I have to work quickly toward.

I did spend a few minutes this morning looking for live updates, which I usually watch at the Official Tour de France website and VeloNews's Tour de France site. As technology marches forward ever faster, it appears that plain text, live updates that are reasonable for skimming through quickly every hour or so are not supported. Coverage is primarily by video with plain text being saved for the post-stage articles. There are text updates at the official site, but they automatically refresh differently this year and when I'm trying to read previous updates from, say, an hour ago, the view screen keeps refreshing and flipping back to the top of the page where the most recent updates are. VeloNews was like that in the past. Darn annoying.

I don't have time to figure out the best way to keep up with the Tour as it's happening, which is quite a bummer. It hasn't felt like nearly enough to just read at the end of the day who won the stage, who has which jerseys and what the general classification (overall, ie: yellow jersey) standings are. I need more Tour!

Maybe tomorrow when I'm not working and I have only 142 things to get done at home while entertaining the kid, then I'll find time to keep up with the Tour, at least for a day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

That ol' feeling again

I just looked back through my blog and found a post from September of last year when I lamented about not getting the same "warm, fuzzy feelings" from the things I usually would enjoy. I remember a couple of months, or so, of general malaise and being easily angered. It went away rather suddenly, if I remember correctly, but it really sucked while it was happening and I couldn't figure out what to do with it.

I feel the same way again now. I'd like it to go away, please. Immediately. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One piece of pantyhose

I cut a piece of pantyhose to cover the hole at the bottom of a flower pot and Kevin didn't know what it was. I was glad for that because it means I never have to wear it! On the way back outside, I asked if he was still carrying the pantyhose. He said, "I just have one pantyho."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today's mood

I have been so tired and cranky today. Make that tired, which causes the crankiness. I tried hard to be "engaging Mom" on this first day Kevin and I had together for summer break. I would've settled for "happy Mom" or "tolerant Mom" but it just wasn't happening.

I was so tired that I fell asleep in the middle of a sentence while reading out loud to Kevin this afternoon. Actually, that's not so strange for me, but it's an example of how tired and drowsy and dozy I felt.

Today was my turn to go for a bike ride after dinner and I had a feeling I'd get 100 yards up the road and fall over. The opposite happened. My legs and lungs felt the best they've felt yet this season. I then expected to feel energized when I got home, which I often do after exercise.

While I was a bit more social than I felt like being the rest of the day, I still wasn't happy, gracious or engaging. I was tolerant, though.

Not sure what's going on, but I don't like it. Except for the great ride part. That was pretty awesome.

Monday, June 22, 2009

He must get that from me

After dinner tonight, Kevin and I rode bikes around the neighborhood. He's gotten the hang of his new bike and we ride farther from the house now, so he needed something more to keep his interest. Not surprisingly, he came up with something imaginative. I was expecting a trip to the "grocery store" but got this instead.

"Hey, Friend... I'm riding my bike to raise money for homeless people. Do you want to do that, too?"

How do you say no to that? "Sure, Friend, I'll ride my bike to raise money, too."

We raised more money with each lap we rode and then handed the money off to the guy in charge. Then Kevin said, "There's some food leftover. Let's deliver it to the homeless people." So we rode around the neighborhood stopping to hand off pretend food to pretend homeless people in our neighbors' real front yards and driveways.

And then it was time to go inside to get ready for bed. Serving the needy is tiring work.

Father's Day Interview - 2009

Father's Day Interview with Kevin Aguilera - June 2009
(see previous years' interviews: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

What is Pápi’s name? Andy
How old is Pápi? 42

How much does Pápi weigh? 1,000 pounds *hee hee*
What is Pápi’s favorite color? Red

What is Pápi’s favorite food? Butter! *grin* For real? Watermelon
What’s his favorite thing to wear? Tank tops! *hee hee hee* - I don’t know

What does Pápi do at work? Build
What does he build? Books

What is Pápi’s favorite thing to do? Work
What is Pápi’s favorite thing to do with you? Play! I mean, make me tickle. Um, I don’t know.

What is Pápi the best at? Building
What should Pápi practice doing? Typing
What should Pápi go to timeout for? Yelling loud and timeout for sneezing real loud and yawning really loud

What is your favorite thing to do with Pápi? Play!!
Play what? Fun games Like what? Pretend games
Where do you like to go with Pápi? Toys ‘R Us

What does Pápi do that makes you laugh? Tickle me
Is Pápi a good singer? Hardly
Is Pápi a good dancer? Hardly

Do you have an idea for another question? “Is Pápi stinky?”
So, is Pápi stinky? Yes, very.
Any other questions? “What is Pápi’s favorite movie?”
OK, what is Pápi’s favorite movie? Batman. No! Scaaarrry movies *wiggling fingers*

[8 hours later, Kevin suggests another question]
Does Papi burp loudly? Very, very, very!

Does Pápi love you? Yes
Do you love Pápi? Yes

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ride Observations

Road ride, 6/19/09

  • My new bpa-free but squeezable water bottle (I shopped around a lot to find one and I found it at Larriland farm, of all places, for half the price of a regular bottles at an outdoor or bike shop) is slippery and hard to get in and out of the bottle cage, but I plan to keep working with it.

  • There are trees in bloom right now that are very pretty with dark green leaves and long, yellow flowers that STINK like mad.

  • My highest heart rate was 175 bpm.

  • Route 99 is better riding than neighborhood streets because there aren't many places I have to stop and my average speed is higher.

  • Route 99 is harder riding than neighborhood streets because there aren't many places I have to stop and my average speed is higher.

  • I can't imagine how professional riders come down those mountains so fast in a clump of other riders without crashing every time - or having a heart attack.

  • There have been lots of changes to bike shorts in the past 10 years. It's hard to find them without thick gel padding now. The jury is still out on whether I like it or not. I think it extends too far to the front and will cause me problems after a few rides.

  • I hate running. Why do I keep trying to like it? Cycling is so much more "right" for me.

  • My ankle feels great but I have less range of motion than I thought. But it's still doing great and doesn't negatively affect me when riding (at least, not that I realize.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ankle progress

My ankle has been feeling very good and the physical therapy exercises seem to be working like a charm. (Give it up for Robin Caruso at NovaCare Rehabilitation in Ellicott City!) I have almost full range of motion in all directions and my stabilizer muscles are coming around. I can now walk on uneven ground without a problem.

I'm still unable to move fast, jump, run, etc. But I've come a long way.

I have to wear a compression wrap on my ankle all the time or else my ankle swells a lot. With the swelling doesn't come extra pain, and I don't feel pain as I'm doing things that cause the swelling. However, the swelling is persistent.

Yesterday I had a followup with the surgeon and he was surprised by my recovery so far. He said my pain is ahead of schedule - I can do things without pain that he wouldn't expect this soon. My swelling is on schedule. He said to expect that by 3 months after the surgery (end of July) my ankle will be 75% healed on the inside. At 6 months (end of November) it'll be 90% healed. That means the swelling is normal and will continue for quite some time.

My instructions are still to do whatever I can tolerate, pain-wise, but because my pain is mild with the activities I'm doing so far but I'm still having the (expected) swelling, I need to take the swelling into account and make sure that it doesn't get out of hand.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I asked Andy what kind of shirt he thought would go with a certain pair of pants.

Andy: Something athletic-looking.
Me: Like what?
Andy: Something with a v-neck and cap sleeves.
Me: How do you know the term 'cap sleeves?'
Andy: I get around. *pause* I've seen Old Navy commercials.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Everything in life changes with a different perspective. I know that and am never surprised by it but I always enjoy being reminded of it.

Last year I spent a couple of months wearing an ankle immobilizing walking boot. It allowed me to walk around but kept my ankle completely still. I had to take it off to drive (on, off, on, off, on, off, on...ugh) and it wasn't comfortable to stand in because there was no flat part of it since it had a rocker bottom for more comfortable walking. I couldn't play any sports and it was tiring to lug that thing around.

On Wednesday, I got my cast off. Now I'm in an ankle immobilizing walking boot with crutches. My ankle is to bear weight as tolerated. Last year's stints in the boot limited my activity. This time, the boot gives me more mobility. I'm wearing it instead of a cast that I couldn't take off, couldn't get wet, and had no flat parts on it for even balancing my foot well, let alone putting any pressure on it. I had to use crutches constantly. I couldn't drive. Now I can walk, use crutches or not, take the boot off to shower and take the boot off to drive.

The boot meant limitation last year and freedom this year, and there's exactly nothing different about the boot itself.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 2 of surgery recovery

Yesterday morning I had my "trigonum excision" surgery. It was not bad all around. The pre-op stuff was efficient but handled with care and kindness. I was in the operating room at the time I was slated to be there and the surgery took less time than expected. The surgeon told Andy that the bone practically popped right out of my ankle, which was surprising because there's usually more stuff to cut it away from.

While I did have to get fanned by the nurse when she stuck my IV needle in, I didn't faint. I tolerated the anesthesia itself in my usual way - meaning that I had to say "thank you!" with a big smile to every doctor, nurse or assistant who so much as looked at me. I woke up twice during the surgery - I didn't feel anything because they put a pain block in my leg - and I remember saying in my best drunk-voice, "You guys are doing a great job! Thanks!" I'm such a nerd.

We got home yesterday at 12:30 pm and I got settled on the couch with my leg up and then we had some lunch. We both napped after that and when Kevin came home from school, he visited with our neighbors for a couple of hours.

Last night I slept in bed (I thought I might stay on the couch) with my leg on a pillow and I was able to sleep on my sides as well as my back. I felt quite comfortable! Andy had to use earplugs as I snore when I sleep on my back, but he was ok with that.

This morning I woke up feeling pretty good. That's always a kicker, though, because when you feel good, you do more. When you do more, you feel worse. Feeling better leads to feeling worse! But I knew that would happen so I tried to remain laying down with my foot up as much as I could. A nurse from the hospital called me to see how I'm doing with the pain, the medication, eating and drinking, etc. She also warned me about the "feel good -> do too much - feel worse" cycle which is always good to reminded of.

I ate lunch outside with my foot up on a stool but it turns out that if I'm sitting up, my leg isn't high enough to thwart the pain. I'm best laying flat with my leg higher than the rest of me and I will do my best to stay that way for another day, or until it doesn't hurt so much more to be out of that position. I guess I should get off the computer and go do that now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good company

On Friday I'm having surgery to remove the trigonum bone ("os trigonum") from my ankle because of pain and swelling it's caused me for the past year. Seems I'm in good company as I just found this blog post from a couple of weeks ago about a professional soccer player, Dean Ashton, who is out because of os trigonum syndrome. Then I checked out his website and found a recent post that says he had the surgery and is recovering well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

iPod Nation

Andy gave me an iPod for Christmas and we've loaded our CDs plus some new tunes on it and it's really great to have all of that music at my finger tips. I can walk (someday jog again) while listening to music. I can do housework while listening to music. I can mow the lawn listening to music.

I've come to realize that although music is always available now in a very convenient form, I don't always want to hear it.

I have various genres of music as I'm sure we all do - from classical to reggae, heavy metal to country. I can listen according to my mood and activity. Sometimes, though, what I want to listen to is nothing. Or just the normal sounds of life.

When I listen to music all the time, I disengage from my inner thought life. It turns out that my inner thought life is an important part of who I am. I need that time to think. I need that blank space to allow my thoughts to wander. I need the chance to be at peace with nobody talking at me, even when the talk is melodic and has a good beat.

I wonder whether the youth of today will miss out on knowing how to be alone with their thoughts when they have grown up knowing all music, all the time. I wonder whether the adults of yesterday wondered the same thing about people my age when we grew up with televisions in every home and FM radios with cassette players in every car?

The Favorite

All my life I've felt like someone's favorite. The favorite child, the favorite grandchild, the favorite student, the favorite niece... By no means do I feel like everyone's favorite everything. But there is always a group of people that I can think of and feel truly loved by; not by what they do for me but by how much they seem to enjoy my presence.

Maybe I've just been so self-centered and egotistical that it's obvious to me that people would like me best. But it's clear that in most parts of my life, I'm not the favorite, so I don't think that's it.

I wonder how different my life would be if I didn't think that people saw me as their favorite? Who would I be if I didn't feel that adoration (real or perceived?)

How important is it to let the people in my life feel that they are my favorite? Who could they become if they were made to feel that special?

Friday, April 10, 2009


I rarely listen to "Christian" music and "Christian radio" and I don't get along. But there is one song that I feel each time I hear it.

"Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus - or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence - or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine."


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Birthday CD

Andy has been buying songs from iTunes and burning them onto CDs for one of his coworkers whose tape deck just broke. Kevin now wants Andy to make a CD for him. So far, he's asked for "Who Let the Dogs Out?" as sung by Baha Men, "Stop! In the Name of Love," performed by Diana Ross and The Supremes, "Love Lockdown" by Kanye West and "Mambo Italiano" as sung by Rosemary Clooney. Is this a normal birthday present for a 7-year old?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Where have all the deer gone?


We usually don't get such a nice showing of crocuses in our yard. More often, we get giddy at the sight of the first bloom and then the deer and rabbits come along and chomp down that flower and all of its buddies before they get a chance to grace our yard with their color. We never knew we had so many crocuses as we've seen this year.
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My husband loves me

Most nights, Andy has to annoy me before he can rest. It is usually something simple like ripping my pillow out from under my head as I'm about to lay me down to sleep or flicking his fingers in my frizzy hair poking out from my head while I'm trying to read. There were a few weeks recently when, every night, I came to bed to find this - reindeer butt - welcoming me to slumber.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On the road again

I didn't start walking until I was 14 months old. That's within the "normal" range but in our culture of recording every drop of milk taken in, ounce of poop excreted and developmental milestone ticked off the chart(hopefully before all the baby books and mom websites say it should happen), it's a bit on the late side. There was nothing wrong with me. My mom says I just didn't seem to have any interest in getting anywhere. She could put me on the living room floor with a couple of toys around me and go into the kitchen to make lunch and when she returned, I would be in the same spot. I had no need to be pulling on her apron strings nor to check out what was past the length of my arm. I think that I still exhibit a general contentment with my life and acceptance of the way things are.

Once I got on my feet, I developed like most everyone else - I enjoyed scooting myself on the trike bike, pedaling myself on a regular bike, and, eventually, driving myself in a car. The feeling of freedom that permeated my soul when I got my driver's license was indescribable. I didn't own a car but had rather generous use of my parents' cars. For years, I loved driving. I felt free, unencumbered, full of opportunity, and independent.

These days, driving a car feels like the opposite of what it once did. It doesn't make me independent - it makes me dependent on the car, which is built with computer chips and circuits that I'll never understand and could never fix if I needed to. It makes me dependent on the roads - where they go and don't go and whether they're jammed with traffic. It makes me dependent on maintenance personnel - to diagnose and fix chips and circuits and get to those darn spark plugs that car manufacturers now make unreachable with normal tools - who hopefully don't take all the money from my wallet in the process.

When I want to feel true freedom of motion now, I get on a bike. Bikes are still simple machines even as they incorporate new technologies. All parts are fixable with a little bit of training and a small set of tools. I depend on no one but myself when I ride a bike.

When I move my legs, I move the bike. I feel my muscle fibers contract and work together, my heart rate increases and my lungs suck in more air. I cover ground. I put space between where I was and where I am. My legs are the pistons and the calories I've eaten are the fuel. I feel the wind in my face. I feel the sweat down my back. I hear the vehicle engines around me and see people stuck in their climate-controlled boxes. I hear the birds calling. I smell the fields, each one surprisingly different. I tuck on the downhills. I stretch on the flats. I sing songs in my head on the uphills and push, push, push. I smile and laugh when I make it to the top.

My body gives up a lot of energy to ride a bike. My soul gains a lot of energy to ride a bike.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When good fortune is a mixed blessing

I have a great job. I work part-time in a professional field which provides a rather large paycheck. I have the flexibility to say on any given day that I can't work because my son is sick or there's a snow day or whatever. I don't have to find a substitute to do my work for me that day, I can use vacation time or sick time or make up the time - whichever is easiest for me. I get to play ultimate frisbee during lunch. I can do my work from home when I want or need to. I can get full benefits (health insurance, life insurance, vacation and sick time) even working part-time. And did I mention that I get paid a lot and can move my hours around however I need to without much stress?

Let's say that I had this incredible job as described above but didn't like the work itself. And let's say that it wasn't just that the work wasn't enjoyable but that I was so disinterested in the work that it was nearly impossible to do my best at the job, to give it my all, to become better at it each day.

It seems pretty easy to say, "Suck it up and enjoy what you get from the job that benefits your family." It also seems pretty easy to say, "If you don't like it, don't do it. Find something else. The details will work out and you and your family will deal with whatever changes you have to face."

The problem is that acting on either response is not easy. Can you imagine trying to find a job that doesn't require a college degree in its field and that I would enjoy that would pay what I make now? Or that I'd be able to work part-time? Or that I'd be able to get up in the morning, hear that school is canceled for snow, sleet or hailstorm and just email in to say I won't be able to work that day and the company is totally fine with that?

Sounds impossible. And yet, I believe that people should try to follow their passion even if it means that material things don't come as easily. And that people should accept chances to stretch their faith and personality. So it sounds just as impossible to follow the "suck it up" response.

If I wasn't so fortunate to have an incredible job, moving away from it - hypothetically - wouldn't be so hard.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Scene: Kevin and me lying in his bed at bedtime

Kevin: Mommy, *giggle* what if someone passed gas in someone else's face? *giggle*
Me: That would be very rude.
Kevin: Ok. But what if there was a small person and a tall person and they were standing in line together?
Me: *blink*
Kevin: And then the tall person passed gas and it was in the small person's face just because that's where they were standing?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

My maturing sense of smell

I hung some laundry on the line today. I don't have enough line space to hang much at a time so I usually leave the clothes for the dryer because it doesn't matter so much when they smell delicious and they're kind of uncomfortable when they feel like a board when we've grown used to them being soft.

As soon as the weather is nice enough to hang laundry outside (even if it's a warmer/breezier day in the winter) I immediately throw the blankets and sheets through the washer. When I bring them in off the line, I bury my face in them for 5 minutes to inhale their goodness. Then I make everyone else in the house stick their noses in, too. Then I spend a half hour walking on air with a ditzy smile on my face because I'm high on the smell of fresh.

When I was a kid, we hung miles of laundry on the line. And by "we" I do mean I had a big hand in that chore. For some reason, I forget how much I hated that now that I'm an adult and am making the choice for myself - plus there's not so much line to fill at any one time.

I sucked my thumb (and index finger) until I was 9 years old. My blankie was my lifeline. It smelled delicious in a different sort of way. My mom says it smelled like grunge but I prefer to think that it smelled of love. Love doesn't always smell of fresh air, though, and I HATED the smell of my blanket after my mom washed it. I tried desperately to not let her wash it and especially not hang it on the line.

I think that if I smelled that blanket now, as an adult, I'd think that it smelled good because my brain would remember. But I can't, for the life of me, imagine why anything could smell better than a blanket dried on the line.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I won't be wearing that today


I left my sandals on the front porch after kayaking two weeks ago.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I could write about

1) Lent - our church often mentions Lent as a side note but this year it is a focal point. I'm looking forward to that.

2) Getting re-acquainted - next week I'm meeting an old friend for lunch. We knew each other as kids and haven't been in contact since. It'll be more like meeting her for the first time than getting re-acquainted because the amount of time that we were together is very small compared to all that has happened to each of us since then. I look forward to 'catching up' with her, but it'll be strange because I really don't know her at all. I think it'll be a fun experience.

3) Birds - we have tried three times to see the White-winged Crossbills at Centennial Park that have been reported there by many people over the past few weeks. We've yet to see them. They're not usually around here so it would be nice if we could see them while they're visiting so close to our house.

4) Charisma - what's with our volleyball team always playing differently when our captain isn't there? It's not that we don't have the talent to play well without him. It's as if we mentally come unglued. We don't feel like a cohesive unit. Maybe it's just me and nobody else feels that way, but I honestly think there's something to it. I wonder what we can do to fix it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Leave the past in your behind

Andy always makes himself laugh when he says that.

Anyway, this Facebook thing is insane. Or, at least, it's making me go almost insane. I knew that I'd find people on there that I've lost touch with since college and that is really cool. I found a bunch of people from high school, as FB is basically set up to make that happen easily. That's been cool, too.

Today I came into contact with a bunch of people I knew mostly in elementary school and through a bit of middle school.

When I was 7, my mom enrolled me in a once-a-week gymnastics class. I wore my short-sleeved, hot pink leotard and my ringed tube socks, pulled all the way up, as I learned rolls and cartwheels, jumped off the springboard, balanced on the beam and swung on the bars. The parks and rec program I was in had a competitive team for older girls but my teacher said she was going to start a younger team and asked my mom to bring me to the try outs. I remember going through the different skills while different coaches wrote scores and notes on their clipboards. At the end, all of the people who tried out were sitting in a big group on the floor mat while the coach read off the names of the kids who made the team. She listed a bunch of people and I can recall looking over at my mom who was standing in the doorway and she smiled but shook her head a little, like, "Not this time, but oh well." Then I heard my name and both of our faces lit up!

Little did we know that those couple of hours of tryouts were just the beginning of 6 years of countless hours spent in the gym, in the ballet studio and on the road to meets. We practiced 3-4 days a week in the gym, took ballet lessons and had meets on the weekends (not every weekend, but we'd practice when we didn't have a meet.) I went through dozens of leotards, rolls of tape and Ecotrin (ibuprofen wasn't the star of the drug show yet.)

We spent a lot of time with our teammates in the gym and carpooling. We set the bars for each other, rooted each other on, spotted each other, set up the equipment at every practice, cracked each others' backs during warm ups, provided resistance during extra strength and laughed a lot together. Most of us grew up together from being little girls to teenagers.

Tonight on Facebook, I've found a number of the girls - now women - that I spent all those hours with in my youth. It's so bizarre to see them as adults with histories of college classes, friends, roommates, husbands, kids, and countless other experiences that I didn't experience with them and will never know. But I still feel a kinship with them and am excited to find out what's going on in their lives, even if the last time I saw them was 23 years ago.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What are you doing right now?

That's the question that Facebook posts to me every minute of every day. And I must confess, I love Facebook.

That's what has been keeping me from my blog for the past couple of months. But Facebook is not a blog and doesn't allow me a reasonable (to me) way to write the lengthier things I sometimes like to write. I don't write so much for my 'audience,' as there isn't a big one out there and at this point, I believe all except maybe one person from my known audience is on Facebook and can keep track of me there.

Most of the time, writing something in my blog allows me to ponder it, question it, mull it over and dig deep into it - sometimes before, sometimes during and sometimes after writing it.

So, anyway, to start myself back up on this blog, I'll post a conversation (some of my favorite posts to re-read after the fact are conversations) from last night.

Me: Andy, I'm about to fall asleep but I don't want to miss the end of the game! Make sure I don't lean over on you or I'll surely fall asleep.

Andy: And I'd want you awake why?