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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Grandmother's Calendar

Nostalgia gets me every time.

When I graduated from high school, my mom, like all loving mothers, organized a graduation party for me. I remember feeling pride when she told me how thankful she was that I had scrapbooked everything that had been important in my life up until that point. From various award certificates, photographs, to even love letters random boys had written me in the second grade, I had kept it all. This habit of mine, likely, saved her a significant amount of work, too.

It wasn't until I became an adult and started to create my own life that I realized that not everyone does this: not everyone saves everything, I mean.

When I look back at all the stuff I have saved, it is kind of ridiculous. Every single thank you, birthday card, Christmas card, wedding card, and any other card, that anyone has given me, my husband or children -EVER- I still have it.


Every concert, movie or sporting event ticket? Yep. I have all of those too.

In my basement is an outrageously full filing cabinet of old resumes, bills from my very first apartment, old health insurance cards, folders of papers from every college course I have ever taken, drawings from my nieces that are now in high school, and about any other once-but-no-longer-of-importance item that one can imagine.

I just can't seem to let go of these things. I still might want some of it someday, right?

Don't even get me started on my children's drawings, artwork and reports. Simply because the storage tubs were starting to overtake the laundry room did I recently sit down and painstakingly purge some of it.

I know where I get this habit.

My dad is like me. If it has meaning or memories attached to it, he also has trouble letting it go. But is wasn't until I visited my grandmother, his mother, a few weeks ago that I finally realized why I am this way.

Grandma had just finished up filling out her annual calendar when I stopped by. She, like many people, purchases a new calendar every year and fills it with dates to help her remember the events of the important people in her life.

As she was talking about how much effort her calendar was to complete, I picked it up and started casually flipping through it. I told her that I also write out a calendar annually, but that my husband makes fun of all the silly dates I continue to transfer from the previous years, like the date of my childhood pet dying to my writing the year someone was born on the day of their birth so I know how old they are turning.

She looked at me and smiled. "Look a little closer," she said.

I did, and I couldn't believe it.

I'll bet it took her days to fill this thing out. Literally days. Living into her 80's, she had experienced quite a lot in her life, and she had kept track of much of it too.

There was hardly a day left blank, with some boxes so full that her recorded moments needed to be written into the blank margins.

Looking at it brought tears to my eyes. I got a little choked up.

She had recorded the day (and year) that my dad, as a child, had broken his hip. She had recorded the day (and year) that I had called to tell her that I was pregnant with my first child. She had recorded the day (and year) of her party when she retired as a school cook. She didn't just write down days and years for birthdays, but had also documented the length and weight in pounds and ounces of her children, many grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren.

Folks, she had even documented when she bought a flat screen television!

I had so much fun going through her calendar with her, listening to the stories that many of those recorded events brought to her mind. I even got hear a funny story about my dad and a spilled chamber pot that I had never heard before.

It was really an incredible moment. One I will never forget.

As I finished up my own annual calendar last night it felt so empty. I had previously thought that I had already recorded too many events in my life, wondering often if all of these dates were still worth copying every year.

But that has all changed.

I now find myself excited for my future. Thankful for my life. Anxious to see what important blank dates my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will fill up.

As I age the difficult truths of life have begun to wedge themselves onto some of my calendar pages. People I know and care about struggle, have pain, sadness, and even die. Not everyone lives a long life, and pray that I am fortunate enough to fill up the pages of a calendar one day.

I guess it's okay that I have a habit of being nostalgic. It's okay to save a few cards or carry over a few calendar dates.

I'll be better able to share with my children and grandchildren, and if I am so inclined, my great-grandchildren, the story of who they are.

Thank you grandma for this important reminder.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Free Belated Christmas Present- Check it out!

#nofilter #soakingwetrun #gottastart2017somewhere

Do you remember me? I am your favorite blogger. You haven't heard from me in awhile. I took a short hiatus from blogging on Mamamgottarun the last few months (although I did still blog on the official Des Moines Marathon blog if you are interested). I have a million excuses for my taking time off from the blog, but I won't bore you.

However, I do want to make it up to you.

I have the best belated Christmas (or Hanukah or Kwanza or And Everyone I Am Forgetting...) present that you can ask for: I am going to start blogging again! Yep, that's my gift to you.

You are welcome.

I know, I know... this gift is just too much, right? You are completely overwhelmed with my graciousness and generosity, right? It's okay... no need to cry... oh you are too much, truly. I really want to give this to you.

Well... truth be told, this gift is for you, but it is also a bit narcissistic and cathartic.

I need my writing therapy back!

I miss sharing my running progress, healthy eating attempts, and crazy parenting successes and failures just as much (probably more) as you miss reading about them.

So to kick off the new year I have set 4 goals. I'd like to share these goals with you so I feel guilty have public accountability and continue to work on them all year long.

Goal 1: Run another marathon! It is time. My husband won't let me put another 26.2 sticker on the new SUV until I run another one. I'm kidding, but he did actually jokingly say that. Motivation enough for me!

Goal 2: Complete my team portion of 2017 miles in 2017. My hometown has an amazing running group, Sole Crazy Runners, that I follow on Facebook. There are two ladies responsible for this group, both of whom I graduated high school with (one you can find here, the other here). This group has allowed me, even though I live 6 hours away, to join their challenge. I have been placed on one of four 4-person teams, each attempting to reach 2017 miles in 2017. If you recall, I did this challenge with three women in 2015 and it was really incredible to complete.

#firstrunof2017 #solecrazy2017miles

Goal 3: Eat cleaner. I am currently on my second round of #Whole30. It is a clean eating challenge that you take on for 30 days in order to retrain your brain to eat healthy while breaking your bad eating habits. I did it last year and was able to lower my cholesterol levels to normal range with no medication, seriously minimize my migraines, and relieve chronic inflammation in my shoulder (I had surgery last year). Right now I am on day 4 so I basically feel like ripping off my husband's face if he looks at me sideways, crawling back into bed with exhaustion, and/or sneaking into the chocolate ice cream in the freezer. Obviously I will not do any of those things, but let's just say that coming up with sarcastic comments to write in this post were not difficult today.

#whole30 #crockpot #freshproduce #day1

Goal 4: My gift to you friends: I will try hard to blog weekly. My schedule has slowed down some this semester (I am a college professor when not running, parenting or blogging) so this should allow me some free time to get back to my first love, writing.

That's it. Those are my goals. If you took the time to read this entire post, I actually do have a free gift for you. I have five 2-pack samples of KT Tape left so enter the giveaway at the top of my blog, you can enter daily if you like, for multiple chances to win all of them. Ends January 19th at midnight. I will email the winner for their contact information once the giveaway expires. Phone users: If you are having trouble viewing the giveaway at the top of my blog, try logging in from a PC or tablet instead of your phone. Or simply click "View Web Version" on the link below from your phone.

#giveaway #kttape #mamagottarun

Here's to 2017! Happy reading.

Monday, August 22, 2016

To Bean or Not to Bean: Types of Rehydration & Energy Gels #imtdmm #motivationmonday

New Post on the IMT Des Moines Marathon blog! To Bean or Not to Bean... What types of energy and rehydration gels do you prefer? #imtdmm #halfmarathon #marathon #training

 Getting my miles in!

Monday, August 8, 2016

What Types of Surfaces Do You Prefer to Run on? #imtdmm

Check out my newest post on the IMT Des Moines Marathon blog:



As some of us start training for the IMTDMM full, the half, or other distances, we must also start to think about where to run. Not just where geographically (we all know our regular running routes can get redundant and boring after awhile) but it is also important to think about which types of surface your feet are hitting with each step taken... Click on the link above for the rest of the article!

Friday, July 29, 2016

What I Am Going To Miss Most About This Summer

10. Make-up-free-wear-my-comfy-clothes-all-day-shower-in-the-afternoon-kind-of-days. Need I say more?
9. The funny things my kids say on the daily, like, "Do bugs poop?" or "Why do moms have boobs?" or "If I drink all the water in this hose will I explode?" It is really very comical and I will completely miss answering every one of their adorable, and sometimes pretty legit, questions.
8. My gorgeous summer tan FOR FREE.
7. Waking up to my 4-year-old having wet the bed since he sleeps in until 9 AM (okay I won't miss this one). The kids needs to get up at a normal time- his bladder just can't hold it in for 13 hours! But I will miss that he gets to sleep in.
6. Speaking of sleeping in, I will miss that too. Getting up at 6 AM to teach 8 AM classes is not something I am looking forward to when classes start up again this fall.
5. Morning snuggles. Actually snuggles in general. Getting snuggles all day long, whenever I want them. I can just sit by one of kids on the couch, hug them and we are immediately available to each other. When school starts, that won't happen anymore.
4. Running at 8 AM instead of 4:45 AM. Ya, that one is going to be rough.
3. Having time to plan meals, go grocery shopping, and run errands during the day, during the week. I despise doing these things on the weekends.
2. The pool. Such a nice way to spend time with the kids. Sometimes it is stressful when they fight and argue with me and each other, but in general, isn't it great to go the pool in the summer?
1. My kids. They are getting too old. Too fast. Too big. Too smart. Too independent. Too strong. Too bold. Too brave. Too funny. Too witty. Too silly. Too wonderful and I am going to miss not seeing each and every one of these things, and others, every single day. I get so envious that their teachers get to see these moments when school starts back up and we go our separate ways for another 9 months. Next summer they will all be a whole year older. Sigh. I will definitely miss my kids the most.

My three crazy kiddos this summer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What I Am Not Going to Miss About This Summer

10. Bee stings, ants, spiders and bug bites. A humid, rainy start to summer has definitely helped encourage the insect population of Kansas. Unfortunately my 4-year-old has had the brunt of the stings and bites in our family, poor little fella.
9. Arguing with my kids about getting off their iPads, iPhones and iPods. Seriously. Clash Royale, PokemonGO, Minecraft, various YouTube channels... My kids need some serious changes for the fall when it comes to the use of their tablets and technology. Especially my 8-year-old son. I don't know how I am going to handle him getting older and wanting to use these devices even more.
8. Planning so many meals and buying so many groceries! Holy moly my kids can eat BUT they are somehow so picky too! I am ready for those daily arguments to be over.
7. Watering the lawn and garden, and cooling the house. I cringe when I open up our utilities bills.
6. Running in excessive heat and humidity. It just sucks. And is not easy to do.
5. "I don't know who did it." "I don't like you." "You are the worst mommy in the world." "I'm telling grandma Sue on you!" "You don't love me." Come on guys, change it up a little. I realize you have a limited vocabulary but your go-to lines barely impact me anymore. Spice up the arguments and you might actually get that reaction from me that you so yearn for.
4. "I'm bored." My 6-year-old is the worst. Although they all three say it every day, she says it, hmmm... maybe 20 times a day? Very little exaggeration here. She could have just finished up an assembly line of snacks, movies, crafts, homework, outdoor activities and then the very second she realizes that her body or mind isn't doing soemthing, she whines... "I'm bored." I would give up my iPhone for the rest of my life to never hear that phrase again. I really would.
3. Feeling like I can't get anything done. Between teaching three online classes this summer, staying home with the kids all day and trying to keep them busy, attempting to keep our house tidy, clean and laundry free, planning and making meals, I am just tuckered out. I feel like I never, ever have time to do anything for me. I am not sure if fall will be any better, but I am hopeful that once I get back to working on campus and the kids are back in school we will establish a more solid routine.
2. The fighting!
1. I'll say that again. The fighting! These three demons children constantly argue about the dumbest things. Well, in their defense, it usually isn't dumb to them, it's actually important. However, to me it all seems so redundant, tedious, unproductive and annoying. So. Ready. For. School. To. Start. I think they are just really, really sick of playing with each other.

Just a normal drive home after running a few errands.

Friday, July 22, 2016