Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 was inspiring.

What inspired me in 2010...

Grady, Brock, and Mac--They inspired me to be a better wife and mother everyday.

Teddy and Bea--THE PUGS! You haven't seen love until you've seen the boys in my house hug a pug.

Our vet, Lance Hirsch--We spent quite a bit of time at the vet this year due to Munson's ailing health and acquiring new pups. The day we lost Munson was such an emotional one for the boys and I. Grady was out of town and it couldn't wait. Lance gently held the boys' hands, explained the life of a dog and how Munson's life would peacefully slip away. He showed great compassion as he taught the boys about the circle of life that Saturday morning. Thumbs up for the compassionate and sincere caregivers of humans and our pets.

My Girlfriends--They made me laugh my bottom off everyday and laughter does a body good!

Yoga--I got a taste of this physical and spiritual practice which I hope to devote more time to in 2011. It truly stretched not only my physical self but my mind as well. 

The Gym--This was the year I finally added a weight circuit to my workouts. This made me feel strong, and somedays I even felt like a bad-ass.

Blogs--There were lots of beautiful pictures, words of wisdom, and everyday stories of Moms and their families out there. I was lucky enough to peek into the lives of these bloggers. I found lots of comfort and support in sharing professional and mundane experiences with other mothers and now new found friends in the blogosphere. 

Rosalie Davis and Betsy Robinson, my instructor at The Schenck School and Mac's former tutor--if either or both of these amazing women are willing, I think I found a mentor for the new year. Betsy worked miracles with Mac, helping him find his confidence, and I've since watched her do it with several other children--what a gift! Rosalie helped me find a passion I never knew I had--1. wanting to sit in a classroom and learn something foreign (how to teach Dyslexics to read), and 2. the desire to explore new opportunities in the new year. 

Books--I didn't read as many as I wanted to, but nontheless, I was drawn to a number of memoirs. Reading the stories of folks who faced huge life challenges and how they coped gave me lots of inspiration. I already visited my favorite bookstore today and added 3 new memoirs to my library. 

Music--I sure hope one of the kids wants to play something musical one day because I find lots of inspiration in music--whether it's country, blues, folk or pop, I love (and am lucky) to work from home and play what I like to hear. There might be guitar lessons in the new year for me. We'll see if I can get to that. Be thinking of a good country music pseudonym for me. 

The Santa Shop--I found the inspiration to hopefully help even more of the underprivileged in our community next year, by sharing with them this year at St. Martins School and Church.

I know I am leaving things out. 

Mostly, I think I found inspiration in the little things every day--a freshly lit candle, a full CLEAN basket of laundry that was folded, a freshly vacuumed van, a fire in the fireplace, and dinners where we were all at the table together. 

Here's hoping 2010 will melt into 2011 tonight with Grady and I giving thanks for the good health of our family and friends. The following quote from Mark Twain is going to stay next to my desk this year to keep those resolutions in check. 
To whoever is reading this, I wish you peace in 2011. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Baby it's cold outside!!!
That's 21 degrees in case you are thinking you need to go get your reading glasses----21!!

 It should really be quite illegal to be the one that has to drive carpool on these mornings--though I am spoiled and have the heated front seats so after about 7 minutes I am roasty toasty. The gas gauge does read Empty though and quite frankly I am completely sexist. It's a man's job to keep the tank filled. I might have to indulge and go to full service lane today. 

There's a few folks who are staying warm around here.....
 The Christmas mice were warm enough to indulge in peppermint milkshakes before our "ELF" screening last night.
 On a random note, after much arguing and cussing at strings of white lights yesterday, we have lights!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Have you hugged your pug today?

As I reflect on my 38th year (today is my birthday if you are anyone but my family reading this)....I am reminded that my life is one big analogy. That saying you see on needlepoint pillows: "I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am" is about THE. MOST. HONEST. TAKE. ON. MY. LIFE.

I didn't grow up with dogs. I was forced into them---another reason my husband is still the best thing that ever happened to me.

Some days I think they (the dogs) are the only ones that understand me. Of course, (not unlike Grady and the boys) I am also the only person that understands them as well. I know when and how and where they like to eat. I know when and where and how much they need to do their business. I know when they need their quiet time, play time, snuggle time. Oddly, they know when I need mine. Meet the puggies. They've stolen my heart and everyone they've met. Wouldn't trade them for a million $$. My loves....

Friday, October 22, 2010

I dare you..... take a few minutes to go to this link, watch the trailer and see this film.

Last night I was afforded the privilege of seeing a screening of Race to Nowhere. We ended up on the front row and as a bonus got to sit near the director and have a few minutes one on one time with her. What an inspiring parent.

In a nutshell, it's no surprise to any of you that most of us are parenting kids who are running on a hamster wheel--but not only are the kids, but we the parents are too. (hmmmmm--what's wrong with this picture?)

I would encourage each of you to send this link to any educator and parent you know. This is a film which can't help but make you want to join in or start a grassroots movement in your community schools. I am working to get a screening for our school and neighborhood as we speak.

Please take 10 minutes on this. You'll be hearing more from me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I rode my butt off....

...only to find when I fell into the bathtub after the race that it was still there! Dern!

I had quite the experience yesterday under the clearest blue skies, sunshine and cool breeze. I participated in the Tour de Pink. It was one of those postcard days. I told my dear friend, Tracy who I was riding with that if I were a painter I definitely would paint this day.

Back to the race--50 miles on road bike---a little overly ambitious I learned. Fortunately, I was completely ignorant when it came to road races---otherwise I would have been scared to death and probably talked myself out of it.  Once I was on the route with the 600 riders out to raise $$ for breast cancer there was no turning back. I would pass people that I couldn't believe were riding so I knew if they could do it surely I could too.

Fast forward--I did FINISH---but it was not easy. I heard your voice Collette--"Anything worth doing is hard."

Tracy was very supportive and although she could have left me in the dust, she stuck with my pace and encouraged me the whole way. We got to the 1st rest stop. I thought surely we'd already been 20 miles only to learn we'd been 6. (ewwwww) The next rest stop would be at 21 miles and I thought when I got off my bike I surely would not be able to get back on. Tracy made me eat a banana, apples, nuts, drink a gatorade, and re-fill our water bottles.  We used the restroom and I was ready to get back on because I knew Grady and the boys would be at the 1/2 mark cheering us on. Easily found them at mile 25 for a quick photo op. 2 of the girls we started riding with called Tracy to say they had just crossed the finished line--OMG!! Through sign language, I tried to tell Grady I was in over my head and how could I go another 25 miles UPHILL---yes--I think 49 of the 50 miles were all uphill. I'm sure you're thinking "how could that be?" Keep reading.

We got to the last rest stop--Mile 35--only 15 to go----Yippee. That was a much needed rest and the volunteers were soooooo supportive and after re-fueling and laying on my bottom moaning for a few minutes in the grass--I knew the sooner we got back on the bike the sooner we'd be done. All I could think about was a steak dinner.

This is where you can start feeling sorry for me. We'd made it I thought about 43 miles---man---only a few more to go. Tracy told me she thought we were coming up on a REALLY LONG BIG hill. "Wait--what were the last 38 hills we did?" Anyway, I told her she was doing so well she could just power on ahead and  I would meet her at the end. She said, "No--I will power up the hill, but I will wait for you. Just do whatever it takes to get up the hill. If you have to walk, walk it."

I think she knew I was getting really fatigued and didn't want me to make a mistake on my bike that could cause an injury or accident. As I was on my own for a bit, I started to get a 2nd wind, knowing I'd accomplished over 80% of the race, the sun was on my back and Perimeter Mall couldn't be too far ahead. I was in the home stretch--until---unbeknownst to Tracy and I someone had manipulated the directional signs---Uh insert A_ _ hole!

Experienced with road races, Tracy had determined there was no way the route would take us on Roswell Road so she turned back looking for me. Ignorant me, looked at Roswell Road, cussed to myself and thought--"the signs say turn left" I guess that's what I'll do. I am an idiot!! I started praying right there in the middle of Roswell Road. If I was lucky I would escape with my life. I couldn't believe this was the route but also I couldn't believe a lot of other things I'd seen this day so I plugged on. I did get on the sidewalk though and thought if I get pulled over i will just start crying and get the police officer to drop me off at Perimeter Mall. So I am trudging UPHILL on Roswell Road with half of Atlanta traffic whizzing by me at 70 miles an hour. I kept thinking I'll see a tour de pink sign at any moment---no signs. Lucky me, at this point my chain falls off. My hands were shaking so badly I didn't think I would get the chain back on, but I willed it back on and kept trudging---really trudging.

After what I knew had been surely 10 miles with no signs I finally saw Spalding Drive. I knew I could get back to Perimeter via Spalding so with my tail between my legs I made an executive decision to go it alone and get off course. I had no gatorade or water left, my legs were shaking and I knew I had to finish.

Shortly after turning on Spalding, a peace came over me as I saw about 6 riders coming towards me from the opposite direction across the street. I hollered at them--"are yall headed towards the finish line?" YES!!! They waited for me as I crossed the street and rode the last 3 miles with them. 2 of the riders were the cutest couple. He was actually pulling his wife's bike with  her on it and riding himself up the hills we were cussing. Man---where was Grady?

Obviously I really screwed up, and as a bonus I got to ride an extra 5-6 miles!! As I crossed the finish line behind riders who had ridden 100 miles I was just happy to see Tracy and talk to Grady on the phone. 55 miles for me---took me approximately 5-6 hours but done--CHECK!!

I learned several really important lessons yesterday.
1. I can do it.
2. Always carry your cell phone.
3. ALWAYS carry the map of the route.
4. ALWAYS carry the map of the route.

Thanks Tracy for believing in me. Thanks Grady, Brock, and Mac for hugging me at 25 miles. Thanks John McDonald for fixing me up with a bike. Thanks Richard for the steak dinner and thank you all for your support and contributions to a good cause.

Friday, August 20, 2010

School Daze 2010

We celebrated two 1st days of school this week. I think the only one who was disappointed here was sweet Teddy Bear Thrasher. He's still sitting in Mac's booster in the car hoping he'll get to sneak in for a 1st day of school. Yes, he lost his two big brothers to 4th and 2nd grade this week.

Growin' up.....lots to be thankful for here.

This is how we celebrated...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to a favorite....

You were and always will be my handsome husband 1st and I love you to the moon and back!! What a bonus to see you as a Dad who does it all----Brock and Mac are lucky to have you as we all are. Happy Father's Day to our "Everyman" Dad---the biker, surfer, skiier, camper, coach, teacher, couch potato, chef.....

It won't surprise you that Grady is an all-star Dad. He came from really great stock---His Dad, Grady III is a super cool delight and his grandfather, Grady II built his own airplanes, walked on their wings while in flight, etc. Need I say more....