Saturday, July 27, 2013

The anticipation of 32

Well, Good Morning, everyone!!

After an hour in the garden pulling weeds on this fine Saturday morning, i finally feel like i have processed turning 32 tomorrow.

And here's what i have thunked.

It started two weeks back, as i anticipated the ol' birthday. Which i truly love. Birthdays are the best and Jeromy lets me celebrate for like the whole week.

No matter what the plans turn out to be, i just look at him and say "but its for my birthday!?"  And i am always able to wander free for about a week.

But this year, i feared something different.

Like I said, it started two weeks ago--when i was asked by my friend to sub on her co-ed ball team.

Of course i would. Its what i do.

Until i realized on my way to the fields in Anoka, that my stomach was nervous. Like really nervous. Gurggly and all twisted up in knots.

Of course i arrived about 30 minutes early so that i could sit and anticipate my fate.

As i sat there, in my minivan watching players start to sprinkle in to the fields, i felt sick.

Like what a baby? Right?

I'm a ball player. If nothing else. I fell 110% confident with a ball coming directly at me at high speeds....but not this night.

This night i felt like a Mom. An old, scared, and timid my minivan.

I crossed my leg over my lap and dissected everyone around me. I looked to the vehicle next to me and saw another girl waiting to head out. I gave her the courtesy nod and half smile and then looked the other direction.

Then i saw a big guy walking to the field with a kid. Good, i thought. Another old timer.

But as i looked closer, i realized that that was in fact, his teeny tiny childlike girlfriend.


So i sat there, trying to talk myself up. Remind myself of how much i love the thrill of the lights, the sounds, the speed and the crack of the bat.

And then it happened.

I uncrossed that leg of mine.That long, giraffe like limb that follows me around....

...and my foot.....



I honked the horn with my leg .....and just about pooped my pants.

My eyes darted around to meet every other eye...staring at me.....

wondering if i honked cause i needed something....

Oh, my gosh. Kill me now.

But with my cat like instincts, i pulled the best Cameron Diaz that i could and threw my arms up in the air shaking my head and smiling.....Like "Whaaaaaat just happened, hip young cool kids who drink alot an look angry?!?! What the what?? Right....Oh, we're all just silly--aren't we."

I think it worked.

Besides the small amount of pee that was in my pants....i was cool....i was gonna make it through this....

My friend soon arrived. But by then i had already counted myself out. Assumed the position of girl who takes a rocket of a shot to the face, and headed to get my cleats on.

The game went fine. The team was great. I played like a 3rd grader. Disappointed with my batting (and my dead bat.)  But I survived.

And ya know what? They asked me back for the next few weeks.(i'm going to pretend that i didn't know they were hard pressed for girl players)

I continued to tell my friend that i was just feeling really old, as we walked to the car. And finally she looked at me and said, "these people are all your age if not older."

And there ya have it.

It wasn't that i was old. It was that i was frail. Cautious. Aware. I was a mother.

That's what it all boiled down to. My kids had softened me. And my girl league wasn't challenging enough to keep me fresh.

The whole ride home i thought about my glory days. When Jeromy and I played softball together.  Its a good memory for us. Its how me met after all.

I will forever love being under the night lights, on a field, with a glove and a bat. Simply because the memories are the greatest.

When i arrived home i was determined that if i was gong to play co-ed ball, that we were going to get the ol' team back together, no matter how old they were, and we were going to have one last glory season....

Jeromy agreed.

But i don't think it will happen....cause we are, after all, old.

The week went by as i anticipated 32. I went from joyful to grumpy. Telling my brother over the phone that "sometimes its like i'm the only person who likes to get together with everyone. Like its just a check off the ol' list, a mark on the calendar--for everyone else.  You think this joyful personality comes naturally? Cause i work at it. I socially work at life. And no one else does. And i'm sick of it. I'm done.."

And i was certain that i would not call anyone for --at least--one whole day.

And i stewed and i sulked and i complained.

It was a buggar of a few days.


Doesn't anyone else every feel like that? Or are you all so content, so sure of yourself that you never second guess?

Don't even answer that...

I don't want to know.

Anywho, i talked to my brother a few days ago and we chatted and all was well, of course. Cause never, in a million years, would i be mad at him. I complain to him, sure. But never would i be mad.

And he told me. "Ya just got to make it through it. Sure, theres a few days where you dread it and mop, but then its like new years and time to start fresh". He went on to tell me how he had a renewed spirit after his birthday last week and that he had done some construction at his house, that sucked, but that felt good when he looked at the finished project. He felt rewarded and renewed--and i would too.

And i know, i get that. I mean, i am the New Year's Eve freak that insists on resolutions and loves to make plans to be better.

And normally i do for birthdays too....

But something was holding me back this year.

Age. I just don't like it. It really is hard on me. I think alot and as i progress in years...i wonder if i have done enough or if anything has even mattered.

Have i waisted my precious time?  I don't know. I just never can know.

So, last night. I went to play co-ed ball again.

And this time, i was determined to be myself. Have fun. Talk alot. Dig in. Cause if i was going to go down swinging, you bet your behind, i was going to go down swinging hard.

My first hit was a hard one. BUT it was caught.

But, seeing as how my wonderful hubby got me a new bat for my birthday, i felt hopeful.

Cause its a nice bat. And i love it!  (thank you my love, for knowing me so well....i loooooove it! It wields power, i'm sure of it)

"Next shot", Kandi said "if you can pull the ball, hit it in right cause their left side is strong,"  To which i replied.

" I can pull it."

And it was on. That is all it took. Direction. I needed to be told what to do, so i could make it happen. That's how i work.

Everything else went out the window. I didn't care. I was aiming to pull it right.

Boom. First pitch. Smack down the RC field. And i was on. Moving and feeling good. It felt good. Its what i needed.

So i kept at it, every time i batted. And ya know what?

The next game i went from the new girl at the bottom of the order to the third batter.


That's all i needed. I needed to remember what i love.

I love ball.

I dont' care where i am playing. Who i am playing with. Or what field i'm on.

I love it.  I needed it.

Jeromy and i will soon be members of that team this fall. (or specifically the email my friend got last night "Hey, can you ask your friend with the sweatshirt if her and her husband will  play Fall ball with us?")

Yes!! Girl in the sweatshirt. I'll take that!!

And i think i'm gonna like it.

So today after i reclaimed my joy. I woke up and headed out the the garden with my boy and started that sweatshirt.

And ya know what i realized?

Its gonna be a good year.

Because i am going to make it one. I am going to be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.  (and always swing for the fences.....amiright?!!)

My new birthday year resolution are yet to come...but for now, I have to go make pancakes for some hungry kids--cause i'm a Mom. And that what i do.

Monday, July 22, 2013

4H County Fair

As i anticipate going to the Anoka County Fair today, for the 2nd year in a row to have my girls enter their projects--and be judged on them--for 4H.....i'm really excited.

So excited that i am writing this post now (1:58) before we go to the judging with our friends Samantha and Camryn at 4:30ish.

I can't wait. And this year Jeromy is actually home early (that's a pro and a con) so he's able to go with us.

I warned him that the judging isn't the most exotic thing, but that i find it amazingly cool to watch as my kids enter their projects, get in line and wait for their turn to go up on stage and meet with a judge to tell them about why they choose their project and how they made it.  Its such a valuable skill (especially in a day and age where kids can only type "LOL" and can't keep a face to face real human conversation going)

So that part is just a great skill to practice. One that i thought Ruby wouldn't do last year, since she gets so nervous. And she was nervous. Her tummy hurt the whole ride to the fair.  But afterwards the reward of putting an effort into something and seeing it through to the finish is so great!!

It thrills me.  And i'm a bit of a newbie at this, but I know its something that we are going to continue for a very long time.  (So get ready, Bri, for a lot more late night texts of  "When is the judging again" and "what am i supposed to do"...)

4H is for the responsible, independent thinker.....none of which i am .

So i am always thankful for my dear friend, who helps me along the way and reminds me of whats to come....i can only hope someday my kids grow up to be 100% more responsible than me. But with my sense of humor....RIGHT?

Anywhooo, here is some pictures of the girlies preparing their projects.  Laney choose to make a tie blanket just like Ruby did last year (because we need 475 gazillion of those...just in case we get cold!) and a tye die shirt.  And Ruby choose to do a tye die shirt and make her favorite muffins--pumpkin.

Its really been fun working with the girls. I'm proud of them for all their hard work and excitement!!

 Here we are trying to decide what pattern we want to try. They made good choices. Both different and uniquely cool.
  Ruby's is all tied up for a bullseye pattern.
 Laney's is a....something pattern...i can't remember.....
 Time to dye them.
 Still dying.  

(Oh, Hello husband--that's a nice behind you got there, thanks for NOT moving it when i told you i was taking a picture, man)
 Finished coloring. I was worried after seeing her snake like pattern--that she wouldn't like it.
 The bullseye.

 (Junior got to do one too, i quickly threw it together and he dyed it.)

Here's the finished product. Cool huh?  I think they are just beautiful!! Way to go little 4H cloverbuds!!! Mommas proud.

 Then Laney started to tie her blanket after picking out the pattern at Walmart.  It truly was a back breaking we got it done.

 Its so totally like more psychedelic tye dye, bro--Peace, Love and 4H!!!

 And here's the finished blanket. Beautiful and full of color--just like my girl!!
 Then this morning Ruby got to baking her pumpkin muffins. Her favorite. Which just happen to be a family favorite since Grandma, Uncle Sam and Auntie Lisa all make them too.  Kind of special if ya ask me!! Its like a little family tradition.
 She did a great job paying attention and doing it all be herself.
 Even cracked 4 eggs perfectly!! That's my girl.
 Mixing in the most important part....PUMPKIN!
 Very serious business scooping the mix into the tins....precision work.
 Boom--into the oven they go.
 Ohhh, careful my girl-don't burn yourself while i am busy taking a fun picture!!  

25 minutes later the buzzer beeped and we were taking them out!!

Ahhhh, lookin good.
 You know what, on second thought-- Mom will take them out and you put on those gloves to make it look like you did it.
 And  then let them cool a bit and remove em from the pan and start over for the second batch
 Mmmmm, muffins......They truly are delicious. I'm so glad she made them.
And that she shares.....Mmmmm, muffins AND coffee.....(yes, AND butter...delicious buttah))

Now....time to get ready to head to the fair......i'll tell ya all about it when i get home......Until then.....

(Hi there, i'm back home now....)

Alright, so next we headed to the fair....

 Took a quick shot at the gate...
 Walked to the 4H building...
 Waited in line and got to see beautiful Brianna's face, to lessen the anxiety...
Ruby's turn came first--she was nervous--but she did great.
Then Laney took her turn and talked to the judge...
Then they both received their participation awards...
Then we saw our FRIENDS, Yea!!! I was excited...
Ruby got real grumpy real fast after the judging--but we didn't know why, so it was hard to get a genuine smile out of her....until this picture.

which i think is really funny .

And then we went to McDonald's and the kids fought the whole way and Ruby got in trouble for her sass and then Junior smacked Ruby in the forehead and she started crying and then i threatened his life and had to get out of the car and spank him and then he started crying and then McDonald's screwed up our order and then we all started crying....


I mean we were all mad.....

And we silently drove on.

Until I asked Ruby why she was a bit grumpy after she showed her stuff and she finally said that she was mad that her judge didn't ask her many questions about her projects and she felt bad.

Which in turn made me feel bad....

...which in turn made Jeromy decide we should stop at the school park to get out and play and run off our "mads."

Which we did and it was fun. Until i realized that i run like a person who has smoked her whole life. I couldn't even catch Laney on the playground when i was "it." Seriously she could always evade me at the slide because when i went to jump down it, i had to do it gingerly and sideways as not to break my huge mammoth sized Momma hips....which in turn hurt my wrist...

Which lead me to realize that i am terrible at tag and the one time that they "let" us not be it....i just got scared when Jeromy started running a me and i tried to beat him in a foot race....and i ran towards the field....

...and has anyone ever ran away from Jeromy and won??

Uhhh, i think not.

Finally i said "I QUIT!!! Running is for the birds...lets go home!"

And then i took this picture of the "winners" while i dreamed of water and oxygen...

 It was a great day.