Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fast Friend Friday . . . back at it !!!

Momma Bear
Need I say More. . . .
Love You Carol !!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I LOVE . . .

In no particular order. . .

My husband
My boy
My baby girl
my dogs
Neil Young music
feeling needed
mexican food
funny stories
bbqs at friends
wearing PJ's all day
Cafe Rio
getting my toes done
my family - near and far
busy vacations
sand between my toes
Grand Tetons National Park
talking and sharing
not being ashamed
Pomogrante Mike's Hard Lemonade
watching my kids swim hard
proving a point

share with me your loves. . . .

Life is good . . .

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I sit, and think, and smile, and a tear appears

I sit here tonight, after a very full day. I am watching the Olympics on TV, so wanting to move to Vancouver, but everytime I watch the Olympics, I want to move to where they are !!! I am so glad that Chicago didn't get the 2016 Summer Games. So my day and how it ended here. . . .

It started with a most wonderful walk with my dear friend Laura around Green Valley - - about 5 miles for 1 hour, 45 minutes while our kids were at swim practice. It was a beautiful day, and I could not have asked for better conversation. It was needed, it was therapeutic, it was enlightening, it was healing, it was . . . well, it just was. Thanks Laura.

Then I came home, and thought I was going to crash and nap, but I got the weird itch to wash my wonderful new car. . . she hadn't been washed in months due to the actual winter weather we are having. (Did I ever tell you how much I love weather, rain, snow, wind, etc. I love it all.) Anyways, my OCD kicked in right about the wash was done, and it wasn't going to be just a wash, it was leather seat conditioning, full vacuum, inside/outside windex, shampoo the carpets, and scrub the tires and rims. Then Tom came walking home from swimming at the new pool and said, hey why don't you help me with my truck !!! UGH. . . .

Then it was Costco. Because if I didn't go then, I knew if I sat down I would fall asleep and be done. So we - - and I say we because I just so dislike when Tom joins me . . . we spend atleast twice as much as I was planning. And this time we didn't disappoint !!! Gosh, I seriously need stock in Costco. . .you would already think we do !! Started with a cart, left with a flat bed. The checker dude was like - wow, you got all of this in one cart !! Yes, yes sir we did. . .do you think you can get it back in one cart - - no ma'am, no I can't, you need to go get a flat bed !! Oy Vie !!!

So now, with our load from "the world might end tomorrow", it was 1 hour of unloading, repackaging, vacuum packing, garbage loading, and trying to keep the dogs from eating my ribs !!! Then dinner, then finish unpacking, and now. . . . here I sit !!

Balancing the checking account - always depressing. . . doing the bills - next on the level of depressing . . . and my eyes turn to the TV. As the master of the house lies near, snoring loudly, the princess of the house is curled up next to me on the recliner, the "buff dude" as he likes to be called - hee, hee - is upstairs with his buddy Buddy and the other mutt Gunner is at my feet - - again, my eyes go to the TV.

The Olympics are on - - I cry. I remember watching the Olympics every year it was on with my family - whether summer or winter. I remember the agony of defeat on Wide World of Sports. I remember the Hamil Camel and my Dorothy haircut for the next 3 years !!! I watch. . . I watch and see the parents, I see how PROUD they are of their kids . . . I see the moms wiping tears, and then I see the dad wiping their tears !! My heart feels so much love for those parents. I see the 5000m ice skater RUN, LEAP over railings, CLIMB over cameras to get to this mom and dad not 2 seconds after he knew he won Gold !!! Wow, so much love, so much respect.

So on the eve before Valentine's day, I sit here with tears in my eyes. Someday, will I know how much my kids love me. Someday, will they be able to show me - - not publicly, but privately, when it is just us. Right now I am the mean one, I am the punish-er, I am disciplinarian, I am "the fun sucker !"

I said this on facebook the other day. . ."it is about my kids & only my kids, always has been, always will be . . . it is why I get up in the morning, it is why I breathe, it is why do and say the things I do !!! If anyone thinks there are other motives let me correct you now - - - IT IS ONLY ABOUT MY KIDS !!!!"

I love you kids. . . I love who you are . . . I love who you will become . . . and I WILL be there to see all the good, bad and ugly moments !!

Happy Valentine's Day Tom - - Thank you for planting these seeds, they are pretty cool !!!

Life is Good . . . .

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Results . . . and Cheering Section


Yes, yes he is, yes he did !!

And the greatest part . . . Grandma Beach was here from her travels to see it all !! She was funny - - she stood front and center for each night finals - 2 hours of swimming - making sure she had front row for her boy !! She stood next to me when I lost my voice, when I lost my marbles, when I peed myself (sorry TMI), when I turned around so fast to jump for joy that I whacked a guy in the head that was behind me !!! Sammy was happy Grandma was there. . . .

And then . . guess what. . . Grandma and Papa Harley were there too !! They had a golf tournament that weekend and Grandma came three days and Papa saw two days !! Funny story, Sam never told me what his goals were for the State meet. We just talked about where I thought he should finish each race and Tom and I both said how proud we would be if he won 1 event, just 1, to say hey, I am State Champion in the 100 Fly, which we thought he would win. He was like, ok. Well at the meet, after his coach said that shitty thing to him. . . he looked at his Grandpa and said, I am gonna win it all !!! Grandpa was like, ok Sam (wink,,wink) you go for it. And no one was more proud of Sam than grandpa who said, that kid had a goal and he went for it !!!

And his best female friend - Alex - she got runner up high point for 11-12 girls and they were all smiles !!!

Great Job Abby !!! Great Job Sammy !!! This is something not everyone can say . . . You are the State Champion for 2009 !!!! Cheerish it and continue to work hard !!!

Love you Bud - - Love you sweet girl Abs !!!

Life is good . . . . .

State Meet part II . . . the Kids

The kids, that is what it is about isn't it !!!

Abby's program . . . 100 free, 200 free, 100 IM, 200 IM, 100 back, 50 fly and 100 fly !!! She finished the weekend with 4 best times and highest place was 8th !!! 10 & under kids only swim what is called Timed Finals . . . one shot and that is your place. Whereas 11 and over swim prelims and finals . . .two shots !!! Abby had been sick the week before state and wasn't here strongest, but was all smiles, liked how she swam and what she improved in and you know Abby she is just happy to be happy !!! Love her for that !!! Here she is heading back on the 200 IM.

Abby is going to be a distance swimmer. . . for as little as she is, she is strong. I think that is the advantage some of the kids have when they start swimming young, the distance events are easy for them because they work so hard during practice and are use to the distance. Abby still hasn't gotten that . . . I want to be good attitude. . . she has it on some races and WOW, you can really see what that looks like !! But she needs it all the time !! We love Abby for who she is and are so proud of her and what she has accomplished !! Go Abby . . . .

Now my knucklehead of knuckleheads Sam. Just to give you a little back ground . . he had been throw out of practice 6 times in November (State was in December), him and his coach were obviously not seeing eye to eye, and I wondered how he was gonna do !!! We all wondered !!

So with Sam, I can give you a race by race account, because I was so excited and focused on him. That doesn't mean I didn't watch Abby, but she isn't at the level yet where she is racing every race !! Sam - - each race was amazing and important to him in his own way . . . . here he is in the 100 IM breast - - you could see it in his body language . . . .

So 1st race, Thursday night - - 500 free, dropped 2 seconds and finished 2nd. In my mind, was suppose to finish second, 1st place lid is a distance swimmer. Good race, looked strong !! 2nd race Friday night - 200 free. . . came into finals seeded 2nd . . .dropped 4 seconds in time and finished 2nd (again kid got 1st same kid, distance swimmer). . . if you ever told me he was going to do a 2-00 in the 200 free, I would have never believed you . . . I was excited and proud. Guess his coach wasn't and said - - "see, that is how your weekends gonna go - you don't work hard in practice this is your result" !! WTF - Sam was pissed and long story, that was the last time Sam talked to his coach all weekend . . . 3rd race Friday night - - 50 fly - - my mind, Sam was to win this . . he is a butterfly kid and he didn't disappoint. . won it by .2 - very close race, too close !!! 4th race, Saturday night 100 IM - - this is a critical race for Sam and he hadn't outright won this race ever - - welp, there is always a first time - - he won . . by .2 . . . close race, great race !! 5th race, Saturday night 100 free - - this ended up being the race of the weekend (in Sam's mind too). Came in seeded 4th, but needed to do better. . . 2 boys from another team not really been looking good and the teammate who beat him in the 200 and 500 was a freestyler . . . race starts. . . 4 boys, going head to head after 25 yards, tied, and 50 yards they were all within .3 seconds, 75 yard the crowd is going crazy, 100 yard finish . . all board flashes 4 kids with 56's !! OMG, my kid did a 56 !! I am over the moon . . . I look around and I clapping and yelling, and I look at the teammate, he looks like he got hit by a truck. . . I look at the board again . . 56.3 56.4 56.5 56.6 - the two from another team 1 - 2, Sam 3rd, his teammate 4th, big swim !!! 6th race, Sunday night 200 IM - - he and his teammate, head to head again, the teammate went 3 seconds faster in prelims than Sam . . . this is the race I seriously almost lost it. . . I had no voice, I was SSOOOO nervous, I knew this was a big race !! And just a side note, Sam pretty much didn't see me all weekend, I was so busy doing the team stuff, that I really didn't have time for me to make him nervous !! So race starts, I am standing on the side of pool in viewing area, his new coach is behind me and sees how nervous I am. Through the 50 fly, the two boys are tied, I look at the coach, he says, its ok. . . next 50 back, they are TIED, coach says, he took it out 1 second faster than in prelims (it was the don't worry mom, its ok comment), then the 50 breast and they are TIED - I mean dead heat - coach says 1 sec faster than prelims. Who wants it more. . . who is gonna push themselves and want this race - - down to the last 10 yards and they are TIED . . . they come to the wall. . . Sam kicked it in, touched first by .2 !! OMG - - Sammy's first coaches husband was standing behind me also, and he said that was the best race he has seen in a long time - - if you knew him or the other coach, you would understand what a true compliment that was !! Sam is smilin' from ear to ear !!! 7th and final race 100 fly - - again, Sam is a flyer, he should have no problem in this race, but is he tired, is he gonna push. . . he wasn't and he did. . . he came close to breaking a minute (1.00.56) which is his season goal . . . . GREAT end to a GREAT weekend . . . .

Next up . . . the results and cheering section . . . . .

Life is good !!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nevada State Swimming Championships

I first need to set the tone - -

Date: December 3 - 6th, 2009
Place: Las Vegas Muni Pool, Las Vegas
Who: Sammy, age 12 - - Abby, age 10
Team: Boulder City Henderson Heatwave Swim Team

Ok . . . so there is the information. . . what is missing is the SHEAR magnatitude of such an event !! It happens once a year, rotating every two years from Northern Nevada to Southern Nevada and back after 2 years. Our team hosts the event approximately every 5 years . . . and this was OUR year !!!

The first challenge was the brand new, state of the art swimming pool that all our planning and comfort level was based around - - DIDN'T OPEN ON TIME !! So about 4 months before the event, the City of Henderson told us this . . . small challenge !!! The team decided the only option was to rent another facility to town and host a large meet at an unfamiliar facility.

Also 750 swimmers, 60 coaches, and 25 officials were expected to attend this 4 day event. They were coming from as close as 2 miles away to as far as the other end of the State. The swimmers were as young as 6 years old and as old as 18 years old. Some just barely qualified for the meet and others, old pros !!! So, yes this was a meet that the kids had to qualify for. And to give you an idea . . our team has 350+ swimmers and only 175 were entered. So exciting for the kids, exciting for us who volunteer !!

Yes, I say volunteer - - because nope, we don't get paid to help. We don't get paid help foster the development of the kids, we don't get paid to hear and deal with the crap that people dish out because they think they are "entitled", and you know what, I don't think I would want to get paid. It is nice to give back, it is nice to see the smiles on the kids faces, it is nice to have an event run smoothly, comfortably, and with as little aggrevation as possible.

I had a tough job. . . I was the Fundraising Coordinator and also, Jack of all Trades. I choose to do what I did and had a few great partners in crime. I like talking to people, I like promoting swimming, I like see good things for the kids. My first goal was to have the best, most kick ass goody bags the kids have ever had !!! I think we did a pretty great job. . . Bag Tags (they are custom tags that go on the kids swim bags that had our logo, the meet logo and then we sponsored by two companies on the back), awesome water bottles, Sharkies organic fruit snacks, playing cards, a bottle of vitaminwater, Speedo keyrings, coupons for free food, for discount shopping, for local products and some small other items. The goal was to get everything donated or traded out . . . I think we succeeded . . . we only paid for printing of a puzzle book !!!

Then the next priority was securing donations to cover the cost of the meet and cover the cost of the exta "top notch" items we watned to present. We had each lane sponsored, we had custom lane mats, we had lane baskets, we had banners, we had decorations . . . again, I think we succeeded. We had to rent the facility and also rent a large circus tent outside for extra seating - - expenses that we did not budget for originally but now were thrown upon us !

Then came hospitality food and beverages for 60 coaches, 25 officials, and 10 volunteers who ate. This was probably the most challenging and had the most "favors" called in. But BOY WAS IT GOOD !!!! We had pasta one night, mexican for lunch, deli one day, and pasta and pizza the last !! I think the best day was the deli day where we had a baked potatoe bar - - with chili and all the topping !! YUMMY - - except that by the time I tried to eat - - the chili was gone !!! I was go bummed !!! But we covered most of the cost by trade outs and donations, and I think it was less than $500 in out of pocket for 4 days. . . yippie !!! I called two friends - - none swim family friends - - who delivered food and went shopping for me, words can't tell you how cool it was to have friends that support you !!!

Then there was a 50/50 raffle, 5 raffle baskets, meet programs . . . . ugh, can you tell it was a lot to handle. I truly NEVER knew how much work it was, never imagined the hours that would go into coordination, never really knew how bad the economy was until we tried to soliciate donations, never new how many opinions would be involved, how many feelings would get hurt, and how many people (other swim team parents) who think this stuff just all happens by itself . . . AMAZING !! But . . . what was also amazing was the effort about 20 people put in and how I will never forget this as long as I live !!!

Now, none of my responsibilites involved the timing system, the admin tables, the securing of officials, the coordination with So Cal Swim, parking, safety, security, the new printers and new computers, and sound system and rental tables and rental chairs and rental risers !!! The list was NEVER ending !!! But Gini had all this handled with ease and Kyle was by her side !!! Did I tell you the story of Batman, Robin and the Joker - - - ok, another time !! I learned one thing . . . I could never be a wedding planner - - I am way to anal, way to OCD and it would drive me crazy !!! Where would they park ?!?!?!?!?

But . . in all of this. . . did I tell you that my folks and Tom's mom were all in town over this time frame also !!!! And did I tell you the event was during month end close for work !!! And did I tell you my boy was struggling with practice and had been kicked out of the pool 6 times in 1 month !!! Yep, I lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks from stress alone. . . . . .

Next up . . . it is all about the kids !!!!

Life is good . . . . .

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well Hello February . . . .

Where did January go. . . yes I am here, yes I am alive, yes I am well !! Just checking in for a second !! I thought that keeping up a blog would be REALLY easy, like how hard is it to write down some words, share some photos, and brag about your kids - - - HELLO, McFly, harder than you think !!

I think I get overwhelmed with all the ideas I have in my head for "great" posts or "great" photos !!! I follow a blog that is beyond perfection - photos, stories, humor . . but she is a professional !!! I follow another blog that is amazing in all aspects. . but she has been doing it for almost 2 years !! I need to chill - - I am new at this, I need to take one step at a time, one post at a time, and remember that friends and family are seeing this and want to enjoy my kids - - - like I enjoy my kids !!!!

So stay turned. . . I am on my way again . . . I will recap the State Meet . . . I will recap the move to a new pool . . . I will recap Fast Friend Friday (my goal this week to get that one posted) . . . I will recap the coldest, wettest swim meet we have ever gone to all in the name of Abby . . . and I will recap the Junior Olympics which just occurred !!!

So thanks for visiting. . . I will update soon. . . I will NOT be overwhelmed and I will enjoy the ride !!

Life is Good . . . .