Monday, November 10, 2014

Feeling March in November...

It's scary to feel in early November the way that I usually feel in mid-March.* Knowing how much colder and darker it will get in the encroaching months of bleakness kind of makes my stomach churn.

Being able to pinpoint the impetus behind a fluctuating mood helps...a bit. It only helps a "bit" because the factors that are in power of my mind's balance aren't really negotiable. It's a non-negotiable fact that I have 3 kids that are very active, which require me to spend a majority of my waking hours just driving and waiting. It's a fact that I have a husband whose job tends to pull him away from our house for lengthy business trips. He's my best friend and best source of support and life just doesn't feel balanced when he's gone. It's a fact that I am having issues with a few of my own character and body flaws, none of which are really things that I can "do" anything about. I can't become younger, or less gray-haired, or ever look much better than I do today.

All of these facts are clear-cut and easy for me to diagnose as half of my problem with my current state of mind. The other half is the lack of motivation that is a side effect of being mildly depressed. Having a lack of motivation in March is something I'm used to and something I can handle. I know how to make things work and meditate and delclutter my life in March so that I can be whole again in April and May.

But it's only November.

I'm not so sure how I'm going to make it through the winter if I'm feeling like March when it's only November.

*If I'm being perfectly honest, I've been feeling like March since August, but the sunshine and air and dirt of this summer was medicine enough to alleviate the gloom and doom. It's harder to be cheerful when the sky is dark before supper.

**Not a danger to myself. Don't worry. I'm just really, really empty.

Friday, October 31, 2014

I Believe I Can Fly

Ever since I was a little kid, I wondered what it would be like to jump out of an airplane. 

When I was 10, I KNEW I would do it someday.

When I was 13, I was pretty sure I would do it.

When I was 18, I thought it might not be such a great idea, no matter how awesome it looked.

When I was 22, I laughed at the idea of leaping to my certain death from a fully functional airplane.

Obviously, I've never skydived before.

But I did get to experience the sensation of skydiving!

I was invited to check out the iFly Indoor skydiving facility in Naperville, Il (along with the other very awesome and attractive fellow blogging friends you see above. Aren't we smoking hot in our jumpsuits?). Without a moment's hesitation, I jumped (ha) at the chance!

Honestly, the sensation of flying was so amazing, I could have spent hours in that wind tunnel. HOURS.

It might not look like it, but that position right there requires some serious ab work out. If I could spend 30 minutes of flight in a wind tunnel every day, I would have abs of steel and a stress level of negative 43.
I mean come on! Look at that! LOOK AT ME FLYING LIKE A BIRD! With just a few more minutes in that tunnel, I could have figured out how to curve my hands and feet to bend that wind to my will. This is certain (in my mind).

You can fly at iFly, too! There are locations all across the US, but the most local ones in Chicagoland (Rosemont and Naperville, IL) are offering a fantastic deal at Costco. Check it out:

Thank you SO much to iFly, for providing this unique experience! My kids are anxious to fly for themselves, and I am eager to once again fly like the Eagle I know I am.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary pass to iFly in exchange for an honest review. These words and opinions are all my own, and no monetary compensation was received.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Final Single Digit

I'm writing this birthday post a few days in advance, because I know myself too well to think that I will be able to write a meaningful letter to you on the day of your birthday. I'll be too busy cleaning the house, baking a cake, and pulling out baby pictures for "just one minute" to write. So, instead, I'm writing this on Wednesday, sitting by the window while you and Evan sleep in and my coffee grows as cold as my feet.

You're turning 9 on Friday. The last of the single digit birthdays, it doesn't seem to make people gasp and sigh over the loss of the baby years quite as much as the dreaded "10," but I have been through "9" twice before, and I know what it means.

9 means that you, my youngest, my baby, my only daughter, are almost a pre-teen.

(Typing that hypenated word made me gasp, then make that breathy laugh that means I'm trying not to cry. For what it's worth, I'm losing that battle.)

9 means you can take the dog for a walk by yourself, and ride your bike to friends' houses, and I only worry a smidge.

9 has you reading chapter books, studying complex science theories, diving into math problems that take more than 1 step, and asking questions that require me to answer with "let's look it up to be sure." You are leaping ahead academically and it is all I can do to keep up with you.

At 9, you are kind and respectful (most of the time), outgoing and funny, and an absolute light of my life. You are more than your age and you reinforce what I firmly believe: childhood is not a preparation for your adult life. Childhood IS life, and you, my child, are living yours well.

My hopes for you are that you always live as you do at 9: full of excitement and wonder, dedicated to the work in front of you, eager to help those who are lost or hurt, first to jump off that cliff while encouraging your friends to follow, and always happy to return to our arms and tell us all about your adventures.

I love you more than salted caramel ice cream and raspberry cream Fannie May candies.

Happy 9th Birthday, Corinne!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Log

Nothing quite like starting the day with a jolt of realization that the alarm didn't go off and your teenager just missed his bus. After that whirlwind, I feel I truly earned this cup of coffee. I think the bright side of both of us oversleeping is that it means that I fell asleep last night. With this week's track record, any sleep is a WIN. Monday night earned me a grand total of 45 minutes of sleep. Yes. 45 MINUTES. Tuesday then earned me the title of "Fun Mom."

In an effort to save a little money, I turned the heater off yesterday morning with the intention of turning it back on before bed. (the house was plenty warm and the sun was shining - there was no need to have the heater on!) Good intentions only make a difference if you follow through, though. Currently sitting in a house at 58 F. Typing with chilly fingers makes for interesting typos.

My baby turns 9 tomorrow. We don't need to talk about that much more than to recognize how hard her milestones are for me. I am absolutely proud and grateful for having a healthy and amazing daughter in my life, but it still hurts my heart to know how quickly she is moving through these years. Each year that passes is one less I get to have her in my home, and one less I get to be a parent to a CHILD, and not all teenagers. It's not the worst tragedy in the world, of course, but it's still important in my life and makes my heart clutch up. It's real and something that will never come easily for me. Add to that milestone birthday the fact that Patrick has been in NJ this week AND I have my period AND I have been ridiculously sleep-deprived, and you will get a slight grasp on just how whacked out my mind currently is. Chocolate would be much appreciated.

Can you blame me for wanting to experience more of this stuff? It's almost over. It's hard to accept. The harder I try to relax and live in the moment, the more quickly it seems to fly. If I don't pause and look back, I forget that these moments, these 2014 moments of a 15, a 12 and an almost 9 year old are ones I treasure just as much as the younger ones.

sniff sniff

The heater seems to have finally made a difference, my coffee is cold, and my nose is running. Tracey - 0  Nostalgia - 4,378

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One of those days...

One of those days where you realize that the super comfy red sweatshirt you found with the letter "M" on the left side is actually a maternity sweatshirt from Motherhood...

...and your pre-teen argues for over 20 minutes about what a "good" is, and whether or not you know what you're talking about...

...and you discover you're out of cat food AND cat litter...

...and your teenager has a stiff neck, but you're out of Ibuprofen...

...and the internet is being kind of an asshole with real articles that aren't real, but you're an idiot for believing it because "DUH, it's SATIRE," sheesh...

...and you truly want nothing more than to curl up in your bed with extra socks, a heated blanket, and a bowl of soup while watching multiple episodes of Homeland, but there are appointments and activities to attend in the darkness of a fall night in Illinois.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lego Landfill

There's something really satisfying about vacuuming up a couple of errant Legos from the corners of my living room.

Related: What percentage of our current landfills consists of Lego blocks? On average, since my eldest was about 10 (the time I stopped fretting about vacuuming up a Really Important Piece), I'd say I've vacuumed about 30 of the single or double blocks a year. MINIMUM. There have definitely been a few of those swords and accessories, maybe a leg or arm as well, and OCCASIONALLY a "Big Piece" has gotten tossed because I am not sticking my hand into a canister of dust and dog hair just to rescue a toy that should have been put away. If every mother vacuums 30 pieces of Lego (a conservative guesstimate, in my opinion), and there are X number of kids playing with Legos since their original plastic debut in 1952, then how many square acres of land is full of sad little singleton Lego bricks?

Kind of makes me want to go dig through that canister now.

The key point here is that I VACUUMED TODAY and we aren't having company or ANYthing.

Thursday, October 09, 2014


I like reaching out to other people, because you never know what small detail may just be the ONE small detail that totally flips that person's day (week? Life?) around.

A simple link on Facebook flipped my day around. A link to a page about the universe and all of its massive expanses of the unknown is what it took for me to reveal a little perspective on my otherwise ordinary Thursday morning.

When something as unfathomably enormous as an entire collection of unexplored galaxies isn't visible by the human eye, my mind has to marvel at how insignificant my daily trivialities truly are. Annoyances are just that: annoying. Whether or not my floor is clean or if my children learn how to properly conjugate a verb isn't worthy of more than a moment of my worry. These are made up issues to occupy our brains from wondering and worrying about the real questions of our lives: Why are we here? What is the purpose? Am I important?

If a galaxy can house trillions of stars that may have billions of planet systems which may give life to an untold number of life forms, then the significance of my life is not of LESS value, but MORE. The value of my mind and the love within my family is just as large as that of those hidden galaxies.

Most likely, I will never know what lies outside of our own solar system. And I really don't care, because all that is truly important to me is directly in front of me, every day I have the opportunity to open my eyes and breathe on this tiny blue planet.

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