I love Washington D.C.  And I love the Cherry Blossoms.  And while we don’t make it in to see them every year, I do enjoy it when we can.  When I heard they were going to peak during spring break, I told Scott I wanted to try and go in to see them.  We had planned to go in last Monday but then the cooler weekend, slowed down the peak time.  They started peaking at the end of last week, and I thought we had missed our window.  We contemplated going in yesterday afternoon but it was grey and chillier than I wanted for walking around the city.  I woke this morning to rain and a child who needed to be seen by the Dr for pink eye, and was pretty certain our chance at the blossoms this year were done.

But, we got an early appointment and when we left the office, I noticed the sun had come out.  Scott called me at lunch time and asked if I wanted to go see the blossoms.

We went for it.

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When we got to the city, we texted Scott’s dad b/c he works in the city, to see if he was there today.  He joined us for a walk around the tidal basin.

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The girls were very excited to complete the special Cherry Blossom Junior Ranger badges.  (you know how we love becoming Junior Rangers).  These were extra special because they had a picture of a cherry blossom on the badge.

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The sun was shining and the blossoms were perfect!  It was a tad windy, but still a gorgeous spring afternoon for a walk outside.

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We even took in a few of the monuments.

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I love spontaneous afternoons of family fun!  Here’s hoping it is a smooth transition back to the books tomorrow!

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Over 2 and a half years ago our oldest son started BJJ.  For several months I’d sit in the waiting room and watch his class or wait for his class.  And during that time, I saw a women’s fitness class that took place… either during or before or after… at any rate, I’d get glimpses of the women working out in there.  And when I first saw them I thought, “Oh my goodness… those ladies are insane.  I could never do that!”   And then sometimes this thought would creep in, “Man, I WISH I could do what they do.”  But seriously, never.  I am the girl who quit softball at 8 b/c I didn’t like getting sweaty.  I’m the girl who “played” lacrosse in high school, but would sit out on push ups when the coach wasn’t looking… I was in it to have fun with my friends.  Competitive I was not.   I ran for awhile.  I even did a few half marathons and the Annapolis 10 miler.  I was proud of myself for finishing, because it was literally the hardest I had ever worked for something.  But, a few years went by and those running shoes gathered dust.  I tried a few DVD’s…Jillian Michael’s…some 10 minute work out… but they were always something that WHEN I did I did b/c I felt I should, but not ever b/c I wanted to or enjoyed it.  Working out was always that thing I knew I should do and rarely, ever enjoyed. 

And then, the gym advertised a  promotional rate to try out their Fight Fit class.  And I thought, “Man I’d like to try that.”  I vividly remember bringing it up casually to Scott…. so they have this promotion going on right now, and you can try fight fit for a few months at this special rate… and I was thinking, what do you think?  Do you think I could do that….  (let me tell you that Scott sometimes motivates me with reverse psychology… and it totally works…sometimes he’ll tell me he thinks I can’t do something and I will go all out to prove him wrong….)  I am so glad this time he didn’t go the reverse psychology route.  Because I was so insecure and if he said, “I’m not sure, that sounds pretty rough.” I would have said, “You’re right,” and I would have stayed in that waiting room.  I don’t know how he knew, but instead he said, “Yea… you should totally do that!  Go for it.”  And I thought about it a little longer and one evening while our son was at practice, I signed up.

I remember my first Fight Fit class.  It was 2 years ago this weekend.  I was so, so nervous.  I was sick to my stomach.  I remember I was grouchy and short leashed with everyone in my family.  I remember driving to the gym feeling like I would surely throw up.  And then I walked into the room, with all these ladies who I didn’t know and so many of which were so much stronger and better shaped than me, and I thought, “What am I doing here?”  Then the instructor told us the warm up and I thought, “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!  That is the WARM UP!  That is more of a work out than I have ever done in my life!”  And I thought for sure I would die.

But, I didn’t die.  I sweat more than I have ever sweat in my life, but I didn’t die.  The next day I was more sore than I have ever been in my life too.  But, I came back. 

And I loved it.  LOVED it!  For the first time in my life, I found myself enjoying working out.  And at the end of the promotion, I was hooked.  I remember they offered a discount if you signed up for a year and Scott and I were working the budget and we wondered, “Ok, so will I really stick with this for a whole year?”  2 years later and I am still there because I love it.  I love pushing my body past what I think it can do.  I love the feeling of complete pain and exhaustion after a work out.  I love waking up the next day with EVERY single muscle in my body crying out.  I love that for the first time in my life, I have actual muscles in my arm.  Real muscles!  Who knew?  I love that when I started two years ago, I could barely do a chest press with a 25lb bar and now I can use a 45lb bar.  I love that when I first started, I used a 15lb slam ball and now I grab the 30lb and a few times I’ve even tried the 40lb one.  I love that I am stronger now, at 36/almost 37 than I have ever been in my life.  I love that for the first time in my life, I LOVE working out.  I miss it when I can’t make it to the gym.  And I love that I found a group of friends there who encourage and push me. They are there to push me to run faster or add more weight.  They are there on the days when I’m the last one finishing and can barely lift that bar another time, to say, “Don’t stop, you got this!” And without them there, I know I wouldn’t be able to do it.  (Thanks ladies!) There is no way I could do this on my own at home in the basement.  I need their accountability and motivation, their push and encouragement.  I am not yet where I want to be.  I have new goals I want to reach, but I am so thankful that I am no longer where I once was.  I am so glad that I went ahead and gave it a try.  Even though I knew it was out of my comfort zone.  Even though I knew it was harder than anything I had attempted.  I am glad I went ahead and tried.  Because if I hadn’t, I am sure I would have regretted it as I sat watching in the waiting room.

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A Decade Old!

February 10, 2016

in birthdays,growing up

Some of my kids birthdays hit me harder than others.  Each year I feel the passing of time in a way I never felt for myself.  Each year I am washed with a wave of nostalgia and spend a good amount of time looking back at pictures of that precious child through the years. Each year I do my best to shower my child with love and attention and all of their favorites b/c we spend 364 days reiterating to our children that life is not all about them, and on their birthday it is mostly about them. 

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But, still some birthdays just pull at my Momma’s heart more than others.  And 10 is one of the ones that gets me. How is my second born 10 already?  How has an entire decade gone by since she came into our world

I’ve caught myself looking at her lately, letting time stand still in the midst of the ordinary and just noticing her. 

I watched her walking out of the gym with her team mates.  Hair in a messy bun, chalk on her face and hands, slowly making her way out of the gym, laughing with her team mates, and I realized she isn’t little anymore.  In my mind she’s still a level 3 barely reaching into the chalk bucket, but she’s not.  She looked mature and grown up to me then.  Granted she is not as old as the teenagers which came out of the gym in their cluster of friends, but she suddenly didn’t look as far behind them as my heart feels like she should be.   IMG_8427I watched her the other morning while she was doing her math.  Sunlight streaming in the window as she sat there methodically working through a long division problem.   She looked so beautiful to me.  I love her how her mind works.  I love how smart and logical she is.  I love the way she loves numbers and takes comfort in order.  I love how goal oriented she is.  She is not one for instant gratification.  She will work hard towards a goal and isn’t swayed when results aren’t instant. She is fearless and tough. I also love that even though she is my no nonsense, tell it like it is, life is black/white girl,  she also has this nurturing instinct in her.  She loves toddlers and begged me to sign us up to serve in the church nursery this past year.IMG_7522  She LOVES the little kids in there and seriously counts down the weeks until it is our turn to help in the nursery. Looking back at old birthday blog posts, I see she’s been like this since she was three.  I also love watching her compete in gymnastics.  I love to see that twinkle in her eyes, the smile on her face while she talks to her team mates or warms up for her event.  I can tell just by the look on her face that she is having a good time and it warms my heart more than I can express.  It’s my favorite part of gym meets.  Sure, I love it when she scores a personal best or has a particularly good meet, but my favorite part by far is the look of joy on her face. 

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This past year I’ve learned that she loves languages as well.  She LOVED Latin last year and still does.  This December she added Mandarin to her workload, working 30 minutes a day on Rosetta Stone.  I love when we walk through the grocery store and she sees something and points it out in Mandarin.   I love watching her sit at the computer, headphones on and listen to her repeat works back in Chinese.  It makes me heart smile.

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I can’t believe she is 10 this week. I can’t believe she’s been in our life for a decade now.  And I can’t believe that I am so lucky to be her Momma.  I love her more than she could possibly know.  And as we gear up for the teen years, I hope and pray that God will mold her into a lady with a heart for Him.  I pray He uses her strong mind, body, and will for His glory.  And I pray that she would never ever forget that I love her more than she could possibly know and nothing could ever change that fact.  I am so thankful to be her Momma. 

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Cut out sugar cookies are my kids favorite Christmas cookies.  And I must confess that they are my favorite to make. 

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Because, the mess and the silliness, and the giggles, I love it!

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I typically have them cut out the cookies one day and we decorate them another.  This year we decorated them with our cousins.

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More kids, more mess, more fun!

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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family.  thanksgiving

On the way home, we stopped at a new to us tree farm to cut down our tree.

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It was an unseasonably warm day and we had a wonderful time finding our tree.  Looking forward to the Christmas season!

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This weekend was our annual raking of the leaves, which is always followed by the annual Daddy tossing the kids high into the sky. IMG_4407

And truthfully when I saw our annual raking of the leaves…. I mean Scott’s annual raking.  I occupied myself with indoor cleaning and only went out to snap some pictures of the fun at the end.

The kids LOVE when Daddy throws them high into the pile. IMG_4383

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Not sure how many more falls he’ll be able to toss them so high.  But those smiles seem to push him to try “just one more time.”

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Even our dog Wendy got into the fun, much to the kids delight.  Sadly our oldest wasn’t here for the leaf fun as we camping with the scouts, but much to his delight, he also got to miss out on the raking.

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