Monday, January 31, 2011

A busy Saturday

So my Saturday started while it was still dark out.  My daughter, Emily, had a USS swim meet about an hour away and warm ups started at 7:30.  We had to be on the road by 6:15 if we wanted to make a McD's run before we got on the road.  When we got in the car we realized the roads were  a complete mess!  It had snowed the night before and there was a lot of ice forming on the roads because of the drop in temps.  We got to the pool a few minutes late to find out that the meets start time had been pushed back due to the weather. 

Emily had an amazing meet!  She swam 100 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, and 100 backstroke.  She is a great long distant swimmer!  On the 100 Free she managed to drop 9 seconds off of her personal best time.  That is a huge amount of time to drop on a single race.  I think some of it was the fact that she and I watched her video from the previous meet and determined that her stroke hasn't changed to accommodate the 6 inches she has grown in the last  six months.  We talked about lengthening her stroke and stretching a bit, instead of short strokes.  When she applied that principle to her race she dropped 9 seconds.  Now if only she could learn to do her flip turns!  On her breaststroke race she dropped 4 seconds, which is a huge amount for a two length race!  She has been really working on gliding more during the stroke, rather then quickly pulling over and over again.  It is amazing how swimming a slower stroke can really make you go faster.  Once she figured out that fact she started to really improve her stroke!

After the swim meet we went to lunch at P.F. Chang's and had an awesome meal! 

Then, I was thrilled to get to spend the afternoon and evening with some of the best ladies I SAI sisters!  Sigma Alpha Iota is a Professional Fraternity for Women.  I was initiated in Dec. of 1991 and remained throughout my entire undergrad experience.  At the time I had no idea that group of women would be such a support group for me as an adult.  We had lost track of one another through the years, like most people our age, and have just recently reconnected via Facebook.  Last year, one of our sisters (Laura Hesselbacher Lekan) passed away due to cancer.  It really made us face our mortality and the way we were living our lives.  We spent the day of her funeral eating, drinking and laughing together....reconnecting on a much higher level then in college.  We all have families of our own now and are desperately trying to hold onto these "new" friendships while juggling our kids and husbands. 
This Saturday was the one year anniversary of her funeral.  Some of us decided to try and get together for an afternoon and evening of fun.  We never want to lose touch with each other again and made sure to have an amazing time.  After sitting around eating, drinking and laughing we made our way to "drag queen bingo" in Royal Oak.  What an hysterical night!  It is definitely something I want to do again!!

I was in the car for a total of about 8 hours total on Saturday but it was all worth it!  Thank you Emily for an awesome swim meet and thank you ladies for an amazing evening!!  Love you all!!

Friday, January 28, 2011


When the Challenger exploded, 25 years ago today, my world changed.  I was an avid space enthusiast and had already attended Space Camp the spring before.  My dream was to become an astronaut, or at least work in the space industry.  This was way before my musical aspirations came to be, and before I realized my eyesight was too bad to accomplish the astronaut dream. 

I was sitting in my 8th grade science class, waiting for my teacher to appear.  He was late and that was not normal for him.  When he finally appeared his eyes were red from crying and he was blowing his nose.  I remember that very vividly, as it made a huge impression on me.  When do you ever see a teacher cry in front of their students?  Mr. Barrows was his name and he was one of my favorite teachers.  As he walked through the doorway I could see he was dragging a TV cart behind him.  He softly said that he had some horrible news to tell us and proceeded to explain about the Challenger Explosion.  He turned on the TV and we watched the news cast, saw the repeated video of the explosion, and sat there glued to my seat with tears rolling down my face.  Having been to Space Camp I had learned a huge amount about the Challenger the previous year and was in horrible shock. 

When I went back to Space Camp three months later, for my second time, the mood was completely different.  It was very somber and serious, compared to the lightheartedness it had been the previous year.  We sat in a lot of boring seminars, but the one I remember the most was when they explained to us about the O rings and what exactly happened.  It had not even been public knowledge yet, but we were hearing about it!  I was bowled over with emotions.   That same week at camp I managed to lose my retainer and sprain my ankle.  I took that as a sign to not pursue my astronaut dreams.

I still look at the space program with admiration and always try to catch the current "lift off".  Every time I see a shuttle propel itself into the sky I smile brightly and never forget the Challenger or the Columbia.  I pray that they make it to space and then wait for them to come home so I can watch them land.  The NASA channel often shows them walking in space now and you can watch what they are doing, or hear what they are saying.  I love that! 

With the space shuttle era coming to end, let us never forget the bravery the astronauts have shown through out all the decades of our space history.  It may not be as risky, or dangerous, as a soldier going off to war, but it is a risk to their lives every time that shuttle lifts off.  Let us never forget!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guinea Pig....

So, most of you might remember our hamster, Puck, passing away on Emily's birthday in December.  We went out and bought Sammy the Guinea Pig that night and have been enjoying him ever since.

I was recently in PetSmart to buy some supplies for Sammy and ended up cracking the cashier up with some of the stories I had. 

Sammy was always very scared of us and would try to nip us everytime we would put our fingers near the cage.  I was an exception for the most part, he didn't ALWAYS try to bite me.
The other night he was trying to flip his food bowl over and I was laughing a bit.  Then he went a bit too far and flipped it so that the pellets ended up on my carpet.  That was it!  I said no and gently hit the cage with the tv remote (my back was bad and I could only reach the cage with the remote).  He scattered off the shelf and to his bed under the shelf.  After a few minutes he came back out and started to flip it all over again.  I hit the cage again and said "no!".  This went on for about an hour.  I finally took the bowl out of the cage and put it on top of it, so he could see it.  (Yes, I realize he is a guinea pig and not a child but I thought it might work).  It worked!  When I put it back in the cage he never tried to flip it again.  When he did go near it, he would drop his head and look at me to see if I was watching. I started to crack up.  I think he finally got it.  To those who say guinea pigs can't be trained, I say phooey on you!  Ever since then he has never tried to bite me.  It's like we reached an understanding. 

The thing that had the cashier absolutely cracking up was the fact that I was buying Sammy his second wooden "tunnel".  It is a tunnel made out of sticks that he can climb on, crawl through, or chew on.  I bought it knowing he would chew it, since I can't put hay in there now.  Well, the first one lasted about a month.  He completely chewed it so that it is gone.  Completely gone!  I didn't realize this wasn't normal until I told the cashier that I was buying his second one.  She couldn't believe it.  Crazy guinea pig! 

He is pretty cute and funny.  He keeps up laughing and makes the dog jealous.  Now if only I could get him to poop in once place I'd be a happy camper!! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ongoing struggle

I have an ongoing struggle with my weight.  There!  I've said it.  For years now I have been on and off a diet so many times it makes my head spin.  I love to eat, but hate the result.

As a child I was a very active swimmer and could eat whatever and whenever I wanted.  I should mention that I have always felt like I was fat and never once felt like I looked good. However, looking back I know differently.  I have never binged on food or liquor.  I feel like I am a pretty controlled eater for the most part.  So, how did I get to where I am now?  I think it's a combination of stress, lack of time and convenience.  It is so much easier to go through the Wendy's drive thru then to go home and spend 30 minutes making something to eat. 

I have rejoined Weight Watchers, for probably the ten millionth time.  However, this time feels different.  I am exploring my feelings and figuring out WHY I eat out, or WHY I feel the need for snacks.  Each day I am picking one good thing I have done, instead of the things I could have done better.   For example, I had to take my kids to a birthday party on Saturday and instead of having a whole piece of cake I cut myself a piece the size of my thumb.  It was literally three bites, small ones at that, but it gave me the satisfaction of allowing myself the cake while not completely ruining my diet.  I have also figured out that I go out to eat at restaurants, not for the food, but for the socialization with friends.  I noticed that when I am out with friends I don't even pay attention to what I am eating, so why not eat healthy.  If I'm not going to pay attention to it anyway then I should eat the things I know are better for me.  All this has resulted in an 11 pound loss since Jan. 1.  I am very proud of myself and hope to continue this path I am on!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Today is the one year anniversary of my friend Laura's death.  She was an amazing woman who died of cancer.  She left behind three children and a husband.  Laura was in SAI with me (Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional fraternity for women) and was one of my pledge sisters.  When I feel like I am at my lowest and am really feeling down and out, I  think of her.  I think of the way I can still watch my daughter swim or my son learn martial arts. I think of how I can still feel the warmth of the sun and the wetness of the rain and snow.  I can still dip my toes in the ocean and listen to the waves crash into the sand.  I can lay on my back in the grass and watch the clouds go by on a warm summer day.  I can fully enjoy a piece of chocolate cake or a glass of wine.  I am learning to accept who I am,  through Laura.   I think about her daily and thank her for being in my life, as short as it was.  I feel I am a better person because she was in my life.  I know that sounds corny but it's true.

  I am not taking life for granted, and never will.  Each day I am here on this earth is a gift from God!  I don't take any friendship or acquaintance for granted either.  They are gifts from God!  I don't take my ability to play flute beautifully for granted.  That is most definately a gift from above!  I don't take my kids for granted, since they are a gift from God as well!  My husband.....a gift from God!  My from God!  My life!  A gift from God! 

All of this was figured out in the last year, since Laura's death.  It really shook me to the core and I promise to never take my life for granted again!  Neither should you!!

Very first Blog...ever!

Hello there.  I am new to blogging and am not sure what I am doing, but I am excited to be starting this journey and hope that my life is not too boring for everyone out there in the blogging world.  I will be blogging about my life as a mother of two children, a wife,a  friend, a daughter  and a professional musician. 

It is very hard to balance a career I would love to have with the life I do have.  Sometimes I feel as if I have given up a lot to be a mother and wife but I wouldn't change it for the world!  My family is my life!

I am hoping this blog will enable me to unload some of the burdens I keep bottled up inside my mind and maybe enlighten someone in the process.  I know I am not alone in my troubles, but sometimes I feel very alone in life.