I signed up for another race – mostly because I want to eat and not lose any of the momentum from finishing the triathlon and partly because the next race in October is with very dear friends and its to run over the Astoria Bridge so it involves a weekend away with my spouse.
Finishing the triathlon is not a sentance that my jr. high self would have envisioned – proof that jr. high, while generally miserable, is thankfully not the sum total of existance. My eldest is going into fourth grade so we have two years left to pour in quality while she is still sane. And then according to my wise mother the goal in middle school is to just get them through it.
The next race is a 10K. I ran one several years ago. I came in dead last. I’d prefer not to be last again. Near the end of the crowd is okay. Last, not so much. I had a hard time this week getting into the gym during the day. The Scramble for the Kids is on Monday and so this last week was full of a myriad of details. As a result, two of my excercise attempts happened late evening after the three year old went to bed. Couple days ago the nine year old wanted to know if she could come along. I paused. Sometimes I run because I need a break. And last time she ran with me it involved more of me dragging her than actual running. But the jr. high kid in me wants my daughter’s jr. high experience to include fewer painful PE moments than mine had. Plus the fact that she wants to run with me is a a great honor. So I said sure.
She did great. We ran 2 miles in 25 minutes and were still friends when we came back home.
The almost 4th grader asked if we could run again tonight. I said
after dinner and after I read bedtime books to the little one (Make Way for Ducklings, This is Not my Hat and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for those of you curious).
We headed out with iPod blaring so we could both hear and I was wearing a light backpack so we could bring home treats. I asked my spouse if a run still counts if it is to the store for ice cream. He said yes. Points for the husband!
We paused at the corner because the sunset was gorgeous. The nine year old had extra energy tonight because she smoked me. I had to push to keep up. We had another mid run pause to pick up pints of ice cream (Peanut Butter Cup, Heath Toffee and cookie dough…go big!). Ran home with ice cream bumping off my back
This two miles we dropped 4 1/2 minutes off our time. Seriously should add ice cream to every run. Actually I think the fact that I was chasing her down the whole time pushed us both to speed up.
She talked me through all the post run stretches and then we sat on the couch and ate bowls of ice cream and then I dove back into golf details. And now the house is quiet, the girls are asleep and I’m grateful for today – for reading and laundry and errands and nap time and quiet moments with my spouse. And for the run. I’m grateful.
Our pastor says that parenting is not for wimps. And so we run. And eat ice cream.
Yesterday the rainy weather held off long enough for us to get in a few outdoor projects. My husband winterized the pool. I dug up the dead green bean plants, the wilty lemon cucumber plants and mountains of weeds that had taken residence all around our yard. I filled our composter. I filled our yard debris can. I gloried in the clean and trim flower beds. I went inside. I washed my hands. I had a panic attack. One of my rings was not on my finger. It was dark outside and my ring was somewhere out in the yard. Or in the composter. Or in the yard debris can.
This ring is 42 years old. My father bought it in New Mexico as a gift for my mother on their 1st anniversary. My mother wore it for years. I remember what her hand looked like with this ring. About ten years ago she gave it to me. My hand looks the same. I wear it because I love my parents, and long marriages, and my husband, and my daughters. I wear it because people ask about it all the time and I love to tell a good love story. I always said that someday, I’d pass the ring on to one of my girls. Now its out in the mud somewhere.
Last night I called my mom and I told her I lost her ring. She said “Oh honey, I’m so glad it wasn’t your wedding ring. I have another ring you can have. Don’t worry. It’s just a ring”. The fact that she is so gracious makes me want to find it more. I know this band of silver and turquoise is just a thing. But it does happen to be one of my favorite things. Lesson from my mama though is simple. People matter. Things don’t.
I spent an hour today in the rain wandering around my yard. I dug through the compost bin. (Ewwww). I emptied and sorted through the yard debris bin. (Twice). I got wet. and muddy. and a tad sad. So I gave up. I grabbed a few green tomatoes off my plants and went and found my eldest daughter. She’s always up for cooking something. Frequently she saves me from great disaster. The resident chef is training her well.
This time though I had a plan. I followed a recipe and I didn’t try to substitute any ingredients. We chopped and dipped and chatted and took pictures. She liked how messy our fingers were.
I liked the smell of the egg and corn meal frying. She liked the little tomatoes. I like the taste of the biggest circles. Fried Green Tomatoes are some pretty amazing rings. The first time I had Fried Green Tomatoes I was in Atlanta, Georgia. Great little cafe. Good ribs. Good tomatoes. The second time I had Fried Green Tomatoes was at book club. Enough said. Anything at book club is divine.
These turned out nicely. Crispy on the outside, tart and juicy on the inside. My daughter and I plan on making them every year. My baby will be old enough to help next year. I love how food entertwines us and circles the year.
I’m not giving up on my mama’s ring. A friend promises to bring his metal detector over and he’s going to comb through my grass. I hope we find it. If not, its okay. I have lots of rings. My life is circled by love.
Two things motivated me to actually grab my laptop and blog today. The first and primary reason was that a friend texted me and said I needed to blog. She’s right. It’s been awhile. The second reason is that I had one of those overwhelmed by gratitude moments. Moments where life is good and joy overflows.
The first trivial but happy event this weekend was we sold our bug. Gone are the days of swapping the precious spots in the garage. We both fit again! I suppose too gone are the summer days zipping around in a convertible but with this rainy and snowy spring I’m not convinced we’ll have any of those summer days anyway. Someone remind me in July when I’m nine months pregnant, hot and huge, to be grateful for the cool spring. At any rate, bye bye bug.
Event number two in the weekend was a date night with my spouse. We’re celebrating our thirteenth wedding anniversary. We shipped the dog and the kid off to Grandma’s and we went and saw a movie (Hunger Games….as usual, I liked the book better than the movie) and then headed into Portland for a night out. I redeemed some reward points and got a free night in a hotel. My husband scoured the internet and found a fun and funky place to eat. Hot Pot City. This place had several of the must haves for my perfect type of restaurant.
1. Its small and funky. Most of the people in the restaurant spoke Chinese. I love it when I’m in the minority.
2. They gave me lots of utensils and our own pot to cook in right at our table. I love food that you can mess with. My spouse said this was why he picked the place. This is one of the reasons I love my spouse.
3. Really good food. Fresh ginger and garlic sauce. Homemade peanut sauce made with hand pressed sesame seeds and peanut butter. Steak and noodles. Thai peppers. We met the owner. She said that having people compliment her cooking is her payback for hard work.
We walked back to our hotel, curled up on the couch to watch Drive-ins, Diners and Dives. What is with the host? He always talks with his mouth full. The episode we watched made me crave a good sandwich. I had just eaten my weight in beef and chinese noodles. I was working my way though my half of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream tub. Oatmeal Cookie was the flavor for the record. My spouse said I can’t believe you can even think about food with as full as we are. What can I say, I’m pregnant.
Saturday we met up with my parents and my daughter for her early birthday tea party.
My parents are going on vacation and are missing the soon to be six-year olds actual birthday so naturally they decided she had to have a bonus party. Guess what was served? A whole variety plate of yummy sandwiches. Yet another pregnancy craving fulfilled.
A full weekend. Family. Fun. Food. Grateful heart. Full tummy.