About 10 years ago I reconnected with my mother’s boyfriend from long ago. And yesterday was the first time I had seen him in over 27 years. We managed to carve out some precious time to spend together. He also brought one of his daughters and his son, some of my earliest childhood friends. And it was incredible. With my mother having passed away so long ago and not having any siblings many of the memories I have of this time period I have kept to myself. Sure I’ve mentioned my early childhood, but most of the details we kept hidden away in my heart and mind.
I’m not sure if I could ever put into words what it felt like reliving those memories with the people I actually made them with. To have those things in common with others, after all this time, was surreal. My mom’s ability to make ridiculous amounts of Italian meatballs. Our camping trips in the snow. Feeding chipmunks in the forest. Jumping off the rocks into the water at Kings Canyon. Hiking. The pillow that my mom sat on to see over the steering wheel of her first car. Riding our bikes to the candy store. Our lemonade stands. Crawling out of our second story window and watching fireworks on our roof. The reason I HATE watermelon. All of it, I hadn’t thought about, let alone talked about, in YEARS.
I feel so connected to my past now. Like it was somehow validated as real and it’s no longer dreamlike. Sadly, I didn’t even know it was all starting to feel that way. When I found the quote below by Lois Lowry from The Giver, I was blown away. Memories DO need to be shared. I feel a genuine sense of peace about this whole experience. It’s like I got relief from something that I didn’t even know was upsetting to me. I may never know why God chose this exact time in my life for all of this to happen, but I guess I really needed it because it all feels pretty darn good. And I’m thankful. Very, very, thankful.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you no longer walk down memory lane alone!!!
The truth is that I have been into health and fitness since I was 12 years old. And a donut lover for even longer than that. The summer that I turned 12 was pivotal in my life. I started watching the Richard Simmons show and I was hooked. I began exercising outside of school PE classes and started experimenting on my own in the kitchen with healthy recipes. The life I laid out for myself that summer, stuck. I’m not saying that I didn’t eat junk food like every other teenager, I did. But that is when I learned that there can be both if I leaned more toward making healthy choices most of the time. This carried on for years and even crept its way into my career when I was given the opportunity to work with bariatric patients prior to and after their weight loss surgeries.
So why do I bring all this up?
Because today is National Donut Day. And as much as running, exercising and eating right is a part of my life, so has this favorite childhood food. Jelly donuts will ALWAYS stir up fond memories of yesteryear for me. Memories of New York (I was born there), my mom, my grandmother, and little pink bakery boxes tied with string. I love that weeks like this I am literally a walking oxymoron. With Running Day and Donut Day all occurring in one week, I feel like I get to celebrate the things that stir up a lot of wonderful memories for me. A lifetime of them really. And that is pretty cool.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you love the life you have created and get to eat a donut too!!!
Both my “little” girls had a rough day today. Libs is OVER school, testing and college prep. And I don’t blame her! She definitely needed a BIG mama hug when I picked her up from school. My poor Reese fell twice today. She is not clumsy so when she falls it can really upset her. Falling twice had her in tears the second she saw me at the school gate. My poor baby! My heart hurts for both of them them. But today I was also reminded of what all these rough childhood days can lead to. Like seeing both my BIG kids out there adult-ing like champs today. Trust me, Sid and George had their fair share of rough childhood days too but to see them now, you would never know it. They are so ADULT-ISH. HA! I admit that the cuddles and snuggles that this momma gets to give and get from her “Littles” on yucky days like this can’t be beat. But neither can the joy I feel watching my older kids spread their wings and fly. Today reminds me that EVERY season in life has its ups and downs, but if you push through and lean on the ones who love you then there will be brighter days ahead. I also am reminded of how much love I have in my life. Not just to give, but also what I get back. I’m blessed and so incredibly thankful.
Well, I hope you all have a day where your heart is full!!!
THIS. WEEK. The finale to our incredibly busy Spring. It seems like I’ve waited an eternity for this week to arrive. It’s been a LONG one and I wondered if we would make it with all our responsibilities met. Surprisingly, we did! But we are limping to the finish. I have definitely BEEN THERE, DONE THAT as both a runner and a mom. HA! Saturday I thought WE GOT THIS! But then Sunday afternoon came and I started feeling run down AGAIN. This cold/UGLINESS has been no joke. It has knocked me on my tush a few times. Luckily yesterday I felt a lot better and I got a ton done. I was so thankful because this week is the last INSANELY busy week we have of the school year. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week in our district too and I really try to make it special for Reese’s teachers, her aides and her therapists. It’s a lot of work, but when I think about what they do for her on a daily basis I just want to go overboard in thanking them. On top of that, Libs had a dental appointment yesterday. Which wasn’t a big deal, it’s the rest of her schedule this week that has me a little unnerved. She has two SAT tutoring sessions, an SAT practice test, her AP U.S. History exam and a whole slew of other tests and projects. Most of these things are out of our control. Things are scheduled when they are scheduled and you can’t do much about them, other than do your best to accomplish everything. Reese’s schedule is better than Libs but not by much. She has her usual dance and musical theatre classes this week but she also has two recitals and a Track Meet … all in about 24 hours! Again, how does everything seem to end up at the same time?!?! Oy!
Well, I hope you all have a day where things don’t pile up!!!
Last week I mentioned that there was a project that I had been working on. Well, I can share it now! I had the privilege of being part of a video for Voices for the Voiceless that was released for World Down Syndrome Day! The video was posted to social media today and it shares various stories about the experience myself and other moms had upon learning that we would have a child with Down Syndrome. Sadly, many of us had a less than pleasant experience with medical professionals and faced people who suggested that we abort our precious babes. For the record, no mother should ever have to defend the value of her child’s life! I encourage you all to watch the video and feel free to ask me any questions. If you haven’t noticed I absolutely love sharing about Reese and our very special world. Also, tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day and as you all know Reese is my hero! So we will be celebrating HUGE!
Well, I hope you all have a day where you love an EXTRAordinary human!!! https://youtu.be/okgcAn4uIEA
I mentioned yesterday that Reese had her hernia repair surgery. Now I know that it wasn’t a major surgery but I expected Reese to be quite mellow and even-keeled today. Nope. If she feels fine she is up playing, dancing and singing like nothing ever happened. To the point that makes this mom nervous the day after surgery! Then when she’s worn herself out, she lays down and “vegs-out” on her iPad. I’ve tried suggesting that she plays just a little gentler but she wants no part of my advice. Apparently there is no middle ground in her recovery process. HA!
Well, I hope you all have a day where it’s ALL or NOTHING!!!
Reese’s hernia repair surgery was this morning. It went very fast and was quite routine. THANK GOD. Her recovery room experience was a little rough though. She had a pretty hard reaction to the anesthesia and she was inconsolable for about a half hour. Which is totally normal, but it was REALLY tough to see my baby girl like that. They told me that she might react like that, but it still didn’t make it any easier seeing her so distressed. BIG SIGH. I also learned something new today. Having experienced various types of surgery with my children, I can tell you that one thing is for sure. Whether it be a major or a minor surgery, if it is your child, it’s all pretty scary. And when it’s all over, you are SO THANKFUL.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel relieved that it’s over!!!