Tuesday, May 21, 2013
There's been some hyperventilating going on over here. And this time it's me, not Leah. It's not one thing in particular, just kind of everything all at once.
There are happy end-of-year things going on, like Tuck Follies and the elementary school choral concert I had the opportunity to accompany. There are birthday parties and BBQs galore. Lots of good weather - sunshine and rain - and flowers blossoming everywhere.
There are lots of sad things going on, like Kate's immunizations (she was NOT happy with me today), some runny noses and throwing up, saying goodbye to friends and doing way too many things for the last time.
There are lots of scary things going on too. Like scouring the internet for homes for sale in the mid west, securing a packing/loading date with our mover (and realizing it's in about three weeks), and purchasing one-way airline tickets for this little family of mine.
Every time I open my email it's something about graduation or moving or saying goodbye. Every time I walk into Leah's school, I'm nearly attacked by faculty, students and administration who have just found out that our family will be moving before the school year ends. Every time I look at my to do list, I'm paralyzed with all that I should do - including finding new therapists and teachers and pediatricians and neurologists and schools.
I wonder how Leah will be accepted in Iowa and if we'll find aides and teachers who are as good with her as they have been here. I wonder how I'm ever going to unpack and keep Kate alive at the same time. I wonder how I'm ever going to make new friends when I don't know a soul out there.
I'm really excited for our new adventure, but I'm also really nervous. And scared. And sad. There's just so much to do. And I'm a little afraid to do any of it.
I was hoping that writing some of it down would make it a little better. It did. And it didn't. At least I get to check "blog" off my to-do list for today. That should postpone some hyperventilating until tomorrow.
Monday, May 13, 2013
The afternoon of Kate's birthday was kind of cold and glum. We had hoped to have a BBQ to celebrate with some friends, but the weather didn't cooperate. We decided very last minute to still have some people over to celebrate with cake and ice cream.
I baked three cakes (yes, three). One sheet cake to share, one ombre smash cake that I forgot to add eggs into (this is what a cake without eggs looks like) and one ombre smash cake that I baked correctly. Yay!
We ate a quick dinner (thanks Kelli for doing the dishes!) and then opened our home to some fabulous friends to celebrate. Kate was a blessed girl as our friends and family were very generous. She loved getting help opening the presents and then inspecting each one.
And then she showed everyone her new trick (don't mind the dinner and cake in her hair).
We had a lot of fun celebrating our ONE year old with so many friends who have helped us through this first year.
And this big sister totally let Kate have the spotlight. She sat back, smiled and ate her cake and ice cream. And maybe swiped one new book.
We love our squishy Kater potater!!
Posted by mj at 10:50 PM
Sunday, May 12, 2013
With Kelli and Big D in town, we didn't have enough room in trusty Larry to transport all six of us to church in the same car. So, Holbrooks to the rescue. They offered to take Leah with them!
It's a well known fact that Leah prefers boys to girls - kind of always has. But this just takes it to a whole new level. With those two handsome devils by her side, I'm pretty sure she'd be okay if we ran out of room in our car every week.
Posted by mj at 2:58 PM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
This morning I ran the Big Lake Half Marathon in Alton, NH around Lake Winnipesaukee. Before the race, all I knew about Lake Winnipesaukee I learned from What About Bob. But there's more to it. Lake Winnipesaukee has three islands all named Loon Island, it ranges from 20 to 169 feet deep, is 504 feet above sea level and has lots of wild animals in the region (otter, beaver, muskrat, mink, fisher, mooser, deer, black bear, coyotes, and bobcats to name a few).
The word Winnipesaukee is a Native American word with two popular interpretations - "Beautiful Water in High Place" and "The Smile of the Great Spirit."
And, for my personal experience, I'm going with the former because the smile of the Great Spirit was definitely not upon me this morning. More on that in a minute.
As Michelle and I woke at 4:30 and drove to Alton as the sun rose - wait, we didn't see the sun rise because it was POURING rain - we were a little nervous. Michelle ran this race last year in the blazing sun and neither of us was looking forward to running the hills of NH through puddles. But, because of the rain, we thew all expectations by the wayside and just decided to have fun.
We arrived at the school earlier than we thought and sat in the car eating a few pre-race gummy worms while the rain splattered on the windshield.
Eventually, we donned our rain jackets and made our way inside to use the restroom and wait for our friends who had our bibs.
While we waited, I walked to the gymnasium to put some bandaids on my still-blistered-from-Boston toes (did I mention I lost my first-ever toenail?!). As I was about to sit down, I looked to my left and saw a dad feeding his daughter a bottle. Only, this daughter was maybe 5 years old. I looked at her and knew immediately that she had Rett syndrome. I sat down and looked at the girl.
When her dad looked up, I said, "I'm sorry. Your daughter just reminds me of my daughter."
Confused, he said, "Really!?"
I reponded in the affirmative and said, "Could I ask what your daughter..."
He cut me off and, with a smile, said, "What she has?"
"Yes," I replied.
"Well," he said, "she has this rare neurological disorder called Rett syndrome."
Smiling, because I already knew, I responded, "My daughter has Rett syndrome."
The light in his eyes was unspeakable. He grinned from ear to ear as we chatted a little while longer and exchanged names. Turns out he remembered us from the Blue Sky Girls event in Boston last October. Today, he was running with his daughter (who cannot walk) and his wife was also running. It put a smile on my face and a silver lining on a seriously rainy morning.
Our friends arrived 10 minutes before the start, right as it stopped raining. So Michelle and I ran to put on our bibs and throw our bags with all of our rain gear at the bag drop before we lined up.
The first 7-8 miles of the race were picture perfect. The temperature was a bit humid but cool. I ran at a 9 minute pace and was well on my way to not only realizing a Personal Record, but running in under 2 hours! Then I just lost it. I just couldn't keep going. My mental game went out the window and I kind of just gave up. The final 5 miles I not only didn't keep my pace, but slowed so much that I missed even my PR by 4 minutes - which means I slowed by an average of 2 minutes/mile on those last 5 miles which is just ridiculous.
Though I'm frustrated with myself for not doing something I know I could do, I do have to admit I was a bit exhausted. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I even had an mini-breakdown as I approached the finish line for some obvious reasons - but still, the outward expression of those emotions was unexpected.
It was a beautiful race (truly Beautiful Water in High Place) with some amazing friends (who all reached their goals!!) and I don't regret running it at all. Just hoping that the Smile of the Great spirit will be upon me next time I try my hand at 13.1 miles.
(Tiffany, Ashley - her first half marathon!!, Michelle, Catherine, Maren)
Posted by mj at 11:19 AM
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
The taking of the class picture each year at Tuck is quite an event. Not only do the students smile for the photo that will hang forever in Tuck Hall, but families, partners, first years and more are invited to join in the celebration. It is complete with a champagne toast and performance by the first years.
Tuck Class of 2013
...with name cards so the history books will be correct.
Tribute by the Class of 2014
Tuck 2013 Partners
Tiny Tuckies - super glad to be there
5 of the 6 LDS 2013 Tuckies
I wasn't expecting to be emotional, but couldn't help it as thoughts of graduation came rushing in. Don't worry, I wasn't the only one. Students, faculty, administration and families alike were all wiping tears away.
This year the weather and sunshine definitely cooperated, so much that the students were roasting in their suits on the steps of Tuck.
In other news, I, too, was roasting as I wrangled three children (one non-able bodied 6 year old, an able-bodied wandering 15 month old and a not-yet-walking almost one year old) across a parking lot and down a long sidewalk before I reached the green. It was a circus. I was rushing to get there after Leah's horse riding session and I made it just in time to see the students cheer as their photo session was complete and the first years began their tribute.
Lucky for me, I had two extra hands to help me on the way back to the car.
It was a fabulous day to celebrate the fabulous Tuck School of Business Class of 2013.
Click here to see the video. And don't judge the poor woman in the background herding the three kids. Despite what it may look like, there was no abuse.
Posted by mj at 9:37 PM
Friday, May 3, 2013
(We're big Taylor Swift fans in this house, so we'll let her sum up the night...)
Oh my, what a marvelous tune.
It was the best night, never would forget how we moved.
The whole place was dressed to the nines, and we were dancing.
Dressing up, dinner with good friends, and dancing one last time with some fabulous friends and classmates sure made for an incredible evening.
Laytons, Holbrooks, Hawkins and McKenzies at Tip Top Cafe
Posted by mj at 11:49 PM