Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things I'm thankful for (oh, so profoundly grateful):

- My jobs. All of them. And the fact that even when I'm slightly overwhelmed and a bit overbooked, I still wake up looking forward to going to work. And also that I am privileged to work for kind, amazing people. I could not have picked better bosses if I'd tried.

- My home. Tiny and perfect and mine. It's taught me so much about contentment,  and about how little you actually need to live well (and how even less you need to be happy).

- I'm so, so, so grateful for the kids in my life, the ones I nanny and the ones I teach and the ones I borrow. When I asked God several years ago to give me lots of children in my life, I had no idea how richly He would bless that request.

- I'm incredibly grateful that five years ago, somebody gave me back the ability to choose to be happy. Unless you've suffered from real, physical depression, it's hard to explain the way this disease impacts your life on virtually every level. I'm so, so lucky to be living in an age where modern medicine not only had the tools to end (for me) a struggle that had lasted over half my life, but offered them to me without judgment or misconceptions. When somebody gives you your life back, there isn't a day that you don't wake up and thank God for it.

- And that said... I'm grateful that we don't plan our own lives, that we are guided by a hand stronger than ours. I could never have planned this amazing, wonderful life, but I'm glad He did. :)

Friday, November 20, 2015


I didn't realize I'd signed on to work today (when MB asked me, I thought we were talking about next Monday), and I panicked just a little when I realized the error, because while it's a sunny day in the mid 50's right now, it's most likely going to dip into the 20's tonight, and I still haven't winterized the water line. I was planning on doing it next week, when I'll have some spare time thanks to Thanksgiving, but the cold beat me to it by a couple of days.

The first time I winterized the water lines after I moved into the trailer, it took me two days, an immense amount of tears (seriously, I sat on the floor with hoses and heat tape and insulation and just BAWLED) and I had to keep going back and forth to Lowes for a different this, more of that, an extra one of those. Last year (second time around!) it took me about four hours to get everything winterized.

Third time's the charm, because today I had everything switched out in just under an hour! :) While I'm not thrilled about the cold (who is?), at least now I'm ready to face it. I'm actually looking forward to the cold a little bit - laying in stores of hot apple cider, wearing cozy slippers and sweatshirts, and enjoying some pumpkin pie with family. I've been having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year; it's not that I'm anti-holiday, it just feels way, way too early to be thinking about Christmas. Which is odd, since I'm usually one of the first to fire up the carols and put out the holly LOL!

Some other things I'm loving lately:

- The triplets have been on a happy, well-behaved, affectionate kick. We still have our normal two-year-old issues, but the last few days have been remarkably pleasant. Nobody's quite sure what sparked it, but we're not jinxing it by asking! ;)

- My new phone. Galaxy S4. SO MUCH NICER than the old one I had. #thankful

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Everything's Going Swimmingly!

- I hate to say that there's nothing going on in my life right now, but really, there's nothing going on in my life right now. Except swim. I'm pretty much just loving through the everyday rhythm of life right now and loving it.

- Last Monday (the first day of our new session) I got an email from my boss saying my advanced coach - the one I've been shadowing whenever I have a chance, the one I've learned so much from, the one I bring my stupid questions to, the one who covers four of my six advanced classes each week and SIGNIFICANTLY reduces my stress level - was "out." Did I have a backup plan for the class?
I completely freaked out. What does "out" mean? Does "out" mean he quit? And if so... (cue instant panic attack)
(This was probably due in part to the fact that a few weeks ago we had a rough week and he looked a bit frustrated by the end of it, and one of the moms casually remarked, "Gosh, I hope he doesn't quit!" And even though I knew he wouldn't quit over one bad week, I would really, really hate to lose him.)
But as it turns out, "out" really meant "sick" so I calmed down. But really, though. NEVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN.

- One of my coaches also didn't show up for their class on Wednesday and it was absolute chaos. I guess I should add that even in the midst of it, I dimly had the thought, "Huh, last year I xoukd have been absolutely hyperventilating by this point, so I think I'm getting better at this..." but still. Stressful. My coaches were troopers, though, and totally hung in there!

- Speaking of which... I have the best team this year. At the beginning of the season I dealt with some issues I had with one of my coaches, and while it was stressful and I still hate conflict and all that, the resulting peace means that everyone - everyone! - on the team is awesome to work with. There are no unmotivated people here. This is such a change from last year, and I can only imagine it probably won't happen again, so I'm relishing it while I can.

- I had a kid arrive for class last week, remember that she'd been promoted into the next station, and burst into tears. She was scared to go to her new class. I sat on the bleachers with her and we watched the new class for awhile, and after a bit she decided to give it a try, and ten minutes later when I walked the deck, she looked up at me beaming and exclaimed, "I LOVE station 4!" :) Made my heart happy. (The joy, not the crying lol)

- I had another kid show up who'd just had a flu shot. She was whining a bit about how she couldn't swim that day because her leg hurt, she'd just gotten the flu shot, etc, and she explained to me how the flu shot meant she now couldn't get the flu.
"So you're invincible now, like Superwoman," I told her. What did invincible mean, she wanted to know. I told her it meant that nothing could stop her (like the flu).
Her eyes got big. "I guess I AM like Superwoman!"
Her mom asked, "Are you going to do ten bobs today?"
(We've been trying to get her to do ten bobs forever.)
She looked at me. "Do you think Superwoman could do ten bobs?"
I assured her she could.
Ten minutes later the coach called me over and told me that she wanted to show me her ten bobs. She did them perfectly.
"That's awesome!" I told her. "I guess you really are like Superwoman today! Now you can work on floating!"
"Do you think Superwoman can float?"
(You'd better believe she can!)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Of Life Lately

- I'm getting REALLY excited about our trip to Floyd, VA next weekend. Our first trip was so much fun and way too short, and I'm looking forward to having more time and space this time. We're staying in a huge house we found on airbnb, and we each have our own bedroom, a huge kitchen, and 30+ acres of woods/trails to explore. I'm looking forwards to finding come new inspiration. (Not that I'm feeling uninspired, but I remember how energized I felt after our last trip.)

- Week 2 of our Whole30 is almost over. I've been eating lots of eggs (hardboiled, softboiled, over easy, scrambled, you name it), lots of fresh tomato sauce, tons of veggies. A lot of salmon. Not drinking enough water (need to work on that). Went to the grocery store hungry today and same home with "pepino melinos" (no clue), a dragonfruit, and a starfruit. also broccolini, watercress, and heirloom colorful tomatoes, which I must stop eating by the handful, or I won't have any left for the recipes I need them for this week!

- On the meal plan this week: chilled Asian shrimp salad, meatballs with paleo bbq sauce, baked chicken, steamed salmon, bolognese sauce, and a Mexican frittata. Still not sure whether I'll try to eat out in Floyd or pack meals, or both.

- I bought myself a new phone this afternoon! I'd been thinking I'd get a new one as a Christmas present to myself, and had decided to buy a Galaxy S3 (since that was the newest model within my price range). I casually went over to Walmart's website to see I'd their prices were comparable to my cell company, and they were having a sale on the S4, bringing it down to the same price as I'd been going to spend on the S3. I deliberated for a little bit, talk over specs with my dad, and decided it was too food a deal to pass up. :) It should hopefully arrive before our trip, and I can't wait to try it out!

- One of the things I'm most excited about is getting a waterproof case and being able to take it into the pool with me, since I've been baking a lot of video clips over the last few weeks. We got an instagram account set up for my coaches and I've been slowly filling it with example clips of our students. So far it's been well-received and I'm hoping this helps keep everyone on the same page!

- I've also been drinking coffee again, this time just black, no cashew milk or coconut cream. After having a few very unsatisfactory cups, I realized that it was the acidity of the lighter roasts that I didn't like, switched to darker, less acidic roasts,  and began enjoying my cuppa again! :) Today Maggie and I headed out to ft a cup of coffee and find a workplace with wifi (she to do homework, me to write lesson plans for my advanced class and watch swim videos). We originally headed for Starbucks so she could try the Hawaiian Ka'u I've been loving, but when re parking lot proved untenable, we diverted to a local shop and tries their Ethiopia blend, roasted on site. (It was excellent!)

Sunday, November 1, 2015


- Finished week one of Whole30 today. In many ways it was way easier than last year (my first W30). I never did get crazy cravings (though I miss cheese :( ) and hit the "food as fuel" stage by about Thursday (whereas last year it wasn't until week 3 or 4). I did, however, get a terrible headache on Tuesday that lasted until Thursday, when it reached migraine pain levels. I went home from swim and crashed early in a completely dark house. On Friday it wasn't as bad but still definitely present, so I treated myself with chia seeds, black coffee, and a handful of ibibuprofen, and went to work. Not sure if it was any of the above or the fact that we took the triplets to the pool (and water always makes everything better!) but by afternoon it was gone and hasn't come back. I don't actually know that it was connected to the W30, but I'm suspicious.

- I worked most of the weekend, but after I got off work today I had visions of going to the bank, depositing my paychecks via the atm, then going grocery shopping and coming home to food prep for the week. Which is why I panicked a little when I got to the bank and realized that my debit card expired today. :/ Normally my bank sends me a new one automatically a month or two beforehand, so I hadn't given it a second thought. I scraped together all the cash I had on me or squirreled away for emergencies, and managed to get everything I needed for the next few days with pennies to spare. Tomorrow I get to deal with getting a replacement card. Yay.

- I did, however, get to spend a lovely evening at home, listening to The Big Broadcast while I cooked for the upcoming week (bolognese loaded with peppers and squash and spinach, hard-boiled eggs, tandoori chicken, shrimp and peppers, and a pot roast) and then did a quick cleaning spree. House looks great, I'm exhausted but happy, life is good. :)

- I'm really, really loving the weather this fall. I rolled the electric heaters back into storage after that one cold weekend. The heat kicks in a couple times each night, but I've had the windows open every day, it's perfect snuggle weather, and I'm enjoying every second. Looks like it should mostly hold steady for awhile, too. I'd be thrilled if it lasted til Thanksgiving!

- This morning my friend posted a recording of the church bells ringing in her home parish, and it made me smile and laugh out loud. Being alive is wonderful!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


- Last minute sister date with Liz to the movies (Hotel Transylvania 2);  cherry coke (only at the movies!) and extra butter on the popcorn.

- Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! I even defrosted and cleaned the refrigerator. Cleaned the girls' cage. Washed dishes. Put away laundry. My house looks great! (Now to keep it that way...)

-  Maggie, Ruth, Mom and I started another Whole30 on Monday, so Sunday was mostly spent in grocery shopping and food propping. I'd forgotten both how expensive Whole30 can be (especially that first week) and how much planning/prep it takes (although less than the first time we did it - experience helps!). That pretty much explains why it's Wednesday and I'm only just now recapping the weekend - the fog is real. ;)

- I'm wrapping up my second month of teaching the advanced class, and I finally feel comfortable enough with our routine to write it down for my two assisting coaches and declare it official. I'll keep tweaking at it (I'm ALWAYS tweaking at something!) but "We have a plan!" ;)

- Is it just me, or did the last two months just whiz by?! I can't believe it's almost November... feels unreal. A couple of weeks and we'll be into the holiday season. Is it sad that I'm already looking forward to my college coaches returning? I saw this: and immediately texted Connor, challenging him to a contest as soon as he got home. ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Swim Your Own Race"

by Mbali Vilakazi
There is life here
Beneath the surface tension
of shattered
bones, dreams and splintered muscles
things broken
and those that may never be replaced.
Pulling the weight of it,
you do not tread the water wounded
and in retreat
By the determined strokes of fate
you swim your own race
The shoulder of your strength leaning
against the turn --
the eye that didn’t see that day,
stopping the clock on the vision of your time.
You continue to beat
into the heart of the spectacle
Manchester City, Beijing, Athens and London.
In no ordinary silence
do we watch
our own feared hopes waking
and now, breathless
in awe --
you are unforgettable.
Woman of scars, and triumph
the dance is fluid
tears of loss flowing
towards your many firsts
You are the Order of Ikhamanga
in gold.
A flower,
beautiful and unique
among the baobabs of the land
Your shape shifting
The disabled-abled body
A quest
untempered by its tests --
“if you want to get there, you go on”
You have already won
You always do
And we do too
We are the believers.
The message in its possibility:
A new freestyle,
Long distance
And in your own lane.