Friday, November 10, 2017

Showing up...you are ready!

Many people have asked me as of late what is next...and I have nothing on my race calendar.  It is very strange to not commit to anything and just keep running and working on staying strong.  After being out of commission for almost three weeks I treasure my fitness more than ever.  A wise woman once told me that the hardest thing about getting back into shape is getting back into shape.  So this week I have watched my intake, focused on getting proper sleep, continue my PT exercises to strengthen my back and core and as the months seem to tick away I am reflecting on the year as a whole already.  Time can slow down at any point...and I am promising myself that I will not fall into the holiday craziness...taking back Christmas this year! ;) #badmoms

When looking at my races I didn't set any PRs this year but I still had a lot of fun and did a few classic to me races and other brand new ones.  I did races with friends, did a few alone, and always seem to have my community of runners and non runners to come back to.  Many people may be reading this on the eve of running a big race...there is a big one here tomorrow in Virginia and seeing all the posts of these people who are anxious, excited, crazed and scared make me so giddy with excitement!  YOU ARE READY!!

Running a race is a lot like planning a wedding or being pregnant.  The build up is huge and so is the preparation!  You can talk to so many people and there are a million different ways to do the same thing.  You have to figure out what works for you, what you are comfortable with, what you can sustain...and then trust in you.  You have to build your community that will help you with the tough decisions and emergencies and know that sometimes you have to look at things from a different perspective.  But with all things the hardest part is showing up.  You are there...you have shown up..trust in that!
So all of you racers or future races...when it comes to race day eve...know you are ready, know you have sacrificed for something, know that this is the fun part, know that this is what you trained for, know that the nerves are just you ready to tackle the goal ahead of you.  Know that you are supposed to feel this way and you need to bottle all of the energy for tomorrow.  Remember that you can't control the weather or how your body will react to nutrition or cramping or chilly temps.  None of that can take away from all that you have put forth.  

I may be talking a little extreme...I tend to go a bit overboard when putting myself into a race...but either way...we all have goals, A, B and C goals.  We want to do good...we want all this work to be worth it...we want to do a little better than the last time we ran this distance.   When you toe the line tomorrow remember all the people that joined you on this journey, remember how important they are to you and this process.  Know that they are there with you virtually and cheering you on and that they know how much you have sacrificed to tackle this goal.  You have shown up...and they believe in you...know it is time to believe in yourself.

This next part is just as hard to write as it is to read.  Remember that this race is just a race...that you are there in a moment of time and as important as it is...you are healthy, you are strong, and there will always be another one.  Know that plans change, and goals shift, and tears are sometimes shed in more than just happiness.  And in that moment of what feels like mass disappointment, you are stronger than you ever knew.  All that you have gone through is not for nothing and this race is not just another medal to hang or a notch on your belt.  It is just as much a part of you and sometimes may have felt like a full time job or the birth of a baby or wedding celebration...and being upset is understandable!  You still need to celebrate the tough losses...they are the building blocks to stronger finishes down the road.

So kick butt in all you do...be proud of this commitment.  This is a big deal, this is not for everyone, and not everyone can understand all that is the crazy mind of a runner or other endurance athlete.  Trust in the process, you are ready, you have more than shown up.

0.5%        Percentage of US Population that have run a marathon
570          Total number of US marathons held annually
581, 811   Total number of people that finish a marathon annually

Embrace the suck...choose you...show up...be inspiried by shalane flanagan.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Press On

Well if you have any friends in the running community that love to race you probably heard them talking at length about yesterday's Army Ten Miler.  What was the race that attracted me to the sport and made me fall in love with it got hit with some nasty weather conditions yesterday.  78 degrees when we finally arrived at the start and 100% humidity.  I am the runner that is excited about a 9 degree run well before I would ever be excited about 78 degrees and humid as all get out.

school trip selfie
The days leading into race weekend were busy and chaotic as most days are these days thus the limited number of blog entries as of late.  Thursday was a field trip to the national zoo with my little first grader, running club at school followed by a few hours at work.  Friday was a trip into DC to pick up my packet for Army with a night out with girlfriends and then taking in some live music while chatting for a long time with an amazing new friend, but ended up with a late night to bed.  Saturday was a quick run before we headed to Cambridge MD to cheer on some of hubby's athletes as they did what some will forever view as impossible...completing an Ironman.  This was another late night with an early alarm set to head into the Pentagon for my race day.  Five hours of sleep the  night before the race is sometimes normal with nerves but mine was just pure lack of time.  This is life of a parent...the days are long and the years are short.  We cram as much as we can into these days and just figure out a way to make it all work...not just for us but for everyone involved.  
Army Strong

I would be lying to you if I said I handle all of this with ease an a smile on my face.  I have felt pretty worn down emotionally and physically as of late.  Those four days of marathon adulting were really the icing on the cake.  An old friend passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago, I didn't get into Boston, a very sad man did some very horrible things to innocent people in Las Vegas.  I was feeling very overwhelmed with all that was on my plate and I was not handling it how I wanted to.  I always want to be strong and be the example but for last week I had hit my limit.  

In that moment of realization that I am not in fact superwoman nor do I want to try to be her, I finally had that moment of acceptance and just cried, a big ugly cry but I got it out.  I
Kids being Kids at IMMD
talked with those around me that are the amazing sounding boards that I need them to be.  There was compassion, tough love, and understanding.  I know I do not have it all together and I hope that I don't come off that I do.  I am typically a hot mess just rolling with the punches and hoping I am not too late to the class party or to preschool pick up.  I am just trying to survive these long days showing them ways to be kind and think of others and smile and bring a smile to someone else along the way.  Some days I rock this...other days I fail tremendously...and both are okay.
my hot mess flat momma


So here was race day of the race that I love so much...and I pretty much knew before we even started running that there was not going to be a PR set that day.  I was just going to try my best to get through it with limited walking and complaining and f-bombs.  I started with my girlfriend but we got split up around mile 3.5.  The race that I loved so much was not "there for me" but I still had to go through with it all.  I had to get back to the finish and there was only one way this was going to happen.  I walked at the water stop around mile 6.5 knowing that the bridge was coming.  I was telling myself how I can run three miles on any day and just do it already.  I started up my tired legs and just kept on going.  

There was a man next to me on the bridge walking and on the back of his shirt were the words "PRESS ON."  As I came up next to him I said the words on his shirt aloud....and loud enough so he could hear them.  He heard me and turned his head and said..."Yes..press on."  He then started running again.  The girl behind us said...guess you can't wear that shirt if you don't want to reminded of it.  He laughed and I think was happy to be moving again.  Every day we have that moment to press on...to get past the crap and heavy stuff to be reminded of the good and warm and fuzzy stuff.  It is not to say that the crap and heavy stuff doesn't weigh us down and make the day really hard.  Some days despite so many efforts finding any sight of the good and warm and fuzzy is near impossible...but I will forever remind myself to press on...to know that there is better out there.  I know that I can do better...I know that we as a collective society can do better...I know that we can do better for those of families who have lost loved ones and are hurting.  Everyone everyday is trying to press on but they may need some help getting there.  That is where my hot mess, big silly smiley self  likes to strike up a conversation with a stranger and try to make the connection.  That is where I want to see if I can make someone smile and learn and grown from something I learned from this new person.  


my visor always with me
Sunday's race was not amazing in the sense of my pace that I was able to maintain...it was amazing in that so many people pressed on despite the crap conditions  of the day.  It was amazing to see so many come together to better themselves, to try something new, to scare themselves a bit and live outside of their comfort zone.  Amazing does not have to be a picture perfect scene...amazing is what every moves you...whatever makes you keep going...whatever has you press on.  

Embrace the suck...choose you and press on.
Finish ATM 2017 1:29:08



Friday, September 15, 2017

not special...just determined

I posted some pics from my half iron this past weekend and was overall very happy with my results...5:48:39.  It was not a PR by any stretch but I trained, made sacrifices and showed up for race day.  For many that is in fact harder than the actual race...the day in day out of staying on the plan, holding course, and accepting the changes you have to make over the course of a training session.  I received comments such as I am amazing, what an inspiration, so impressive, and lots of WOWS.

#1 fan pre race
As we drove home from the race trying to catch our oldest's football game we had lots of time to talk.  I couldn't fall asleep as my mind was still racing.  Six hours of hard pushing and no nap in sight.  So we talked, talked and talked some more.  I was sharing the comments with Ben as we drove.  I wasn't as emotional at this race as I was at my first half iron.  I was proud I finished and proud I made it through the swim without an anxiety attack, or wiping out on the bike while trying to refill my water, or that for as many times that I walked on the run I managed to stick with a girl and finish strong together for my last two miles.

I guess I don't view what I did this past Sunday as awesome or impressive.  I don't know what that thing was inside of me a few years ago that made me switch and want to give running and the sport of triathlon a try.  I had watched my brother compete in a triathlon many many moons ago when I was probably in high school.  I played field hockey, softball and sat the bench on the basketball team.  I was an athlete at a young age and then I guess I forgot that.  Races give me the opportunity to focus for the months leading up to it and truly change myself and tackle the challenge ahead.  I am no more awesome or impressive or inspirational than anyone else that decides to try something hard...and that something does not need to be a physical thing.

Yes I have four kids, I have a part time job, I have a house that I am horrible at keeping clean, and a husband that is right beside me every step of the way.  I have a supportive community around me pushing and encouraging all along the way.  I have made many friends through this sport that have met me in less than ideal training conditions for a run, bike or swim.  Every one of those people are equally awesome and impressive.  Every one of them make the choice each day to push themselves, and stay the course.  We have days that are easy, days that are near impossible, but at the end of the day each task is still completed.

The whole idea of endurance sports is still scary to me.  I know that there is A LOT that goes into the training for these races.  The awesome and impressive thing is not the completion of the races but the courage and determination to sign up, to train, and to commit yourself day in and day out for each day leading up to the event.  Endurance sports are not something that you can just show up on race day and hope for the best.  They require all the effort in the weeks leading up to race day to ensure both your mind and body that you can in fact complete this task.


Heading out for the run...all 13.1 miles
These races still impress me but the emotional part for me is the choice that everyone gets to make.  The fellow athletes there no matter the pace, the gear, the support they receive from those around them are committed to themselves.  As a mom it is hard to make that choice, to put yourself on the list, to be okay that things fall to the wayside so that you can be a priority.  To accept that it is okay that you don't have it all together and perfect!  My kids were not there to cheer me on this weekend but seeing the support of other athletes and the smiles on their faces when reunited with their kids, hearing those small voices cheer you in on a long hard hot run...is just amazing.  This training period I met a new friend and her three kiddos were there at the finish and they all wore tshirts that said "strong like mom."  She is training for a full ironman and did the half this past weekend...she is a rockstar!  The idea of a full iron is still so scary to me but I am pretty sure I will be checking that box shortly.

What is my point with all this...you don't need a trainer, a nutritionist, a tricked out bike or the fancy new fastest shoes on the market.  Don't make a change for anyone but yourself but know that you have what it takes to change, you have the strength within you to be determined and focused and tackle any goal you put ahead of yourself.  We are all just people trying to get by with a smile on our faces and fuel to light a passion within ourselves to make a difference.  The first person you need to make a difference for is yourself.

embrace the suck...choose you...make a difference...do hard things


Monday, August 28, 2017

everything is temporary

I didn't always stay home with my kids.  I worked at a few software companies in the area doing training, marketing and traveled a bit with trade shows.  It seems like so many worlds ago that I would rush through that morning routine to get my little ones up, fed and out the door to daycare while Ben and I rushed off to work.  We would often commute together as we were just a few blocks from each other and that was our together time.  As soon as we got home it was quick dinner, bath and bed for the little ones and we were quickly behind.

Routine ten years later is pretty much the same but instead Ben and I don't have the quality time commuting while listening to Raffi in bumper to bumper traffic.  We don't get a report listing out the daily activities that happened to the kids over the course of the day and I am less concerned on how many times they went potty.  I loved those days and I loved my job, the people I worked with, and bizarrely I loved that time with us together each morning and afternoon. Now we get to the school buses, I get to preschool as close to on time as I can, get my workouts in, volunteer as I can, and help with homework and then begin the sports run around with hopefully dinner on the table at some point.

I have been with Ben for 21 going on 22 years.  We were young to be married and young to start a family.  We knew that we were going to be six pack from the beginning and we knew we could tackle lots of challenges thrown our way from the very start.  Yes we bicker, argue, disagree and get genuinely frustrated with one another.  We however are pretty quick to move past that disagreement and instead join forces again to tackle the new day ahead.

Post 50 miler hug of thanks
Two weekends ago when I had a 50 mile ride in the training plan he came with me.  There was this moment when we were out west on the trail and doing an add on loop and the sun was rising and ahead was this huge ball of orange in the sky.  We passed cows and both mooed at them as we would when the kids are with us.  Pretty sure Ben even baaed like a sheep too.  It was a beautiful morning temperature wise and the scenery was at its best.  I for one moment thought to myself...this is what we do...this is us.

It is so strange how life just goes on without you even knowing it.  Things you thought you would never do can become so crucial to your daily existence.  Knowing that I was going to be a mother and a wife was always a sure thing.  Knowing I was going to be an athlete on a team with my husband literally through this journey was one thing I definitely did not know.  Our love of endurance sports is not all we are but it surely is one thing that allows us to connect to each other.  It is something that we both take a huge amount of pride in and can easily get worked up at each other's races when there supporting at a drop of a hat.  It is the moments that my six year old daughter hops off her chair after dinner and flexes her biceps to show her grandma how strong she is, I know our teamwork is creating more than a family.

Our oldest had his first tackle football game this weekend.  He played almost the entire game and I sat there without Ben next to me as he was away for a race weekend.  I wasn't nervous about our son playing and getting hurt.  I was so happy for him.  So happy that he finally is doing the thing he has wanted to try forever and he was loving every minute of it.  It was hard, tiring and bruises were had but he never stopped.  He did his best on that field with kids bigger than him and he held his own, and the line he was on...he played center!  His eyes looked up at me and I am not sure I have been more overcome with emotion at a sports game, well maybe in Kona with Ben last fall, but not at our kids games.  The desire, passion, and effort he showed for that entire game blew me away.  I was so bummed that Ben was not there to see him in this moment but from what I can tell, this is going to be a long season.

still smiling eyes
Ben got home late from his triple crazy as can be Spartan in West Virginia with our friend.  I didn't even get to debrief with him as I was asleep when he finally made it home.  He was exhausted and sore from the three races he completed in just a day and a half.  He showered and shaved and headed off to work this morning with little conversation as the routine was in full swing.  His ability to not ever stop is something that keeps me going.  Yes, I take naps, sometimes lots...but I keep going for this team I am on.  I keep pushing myself for me and for them.  I keep Team Graham moving forward, we keep this team moving forward.  I don't want to stop for myself and I don't want to stop for them.  Yes things are hard at times, they are messy, they are complicated but that moment is only temporary...much like our commute with Raffi being blasted and our oldest wearing his superhero underwear on his head.

When I look at my races and my times over the past few years...I wonder if I will ever be as fast as I once was, if I can manage a PR this time around.  Then I remember...it is all temporary, my speed, my slowness, my on point nutrition, my cookie filled binge...it is all temporary.  So I just keep going forward...forward progress is not temporary...it is the constant...the guarantee.  I keep chugging forward because going backwards is pointless...I have already been there...I want to see what I will get to enjoy in the future.  My six pack has so many highs and lows ahead of them...so many needs and wants...so many goals to strive for.  My job as their mom is to show them that I am right with them each step of the way...that Ben and I are a team in every sense of the word, and we will always be their number one supporter through every temporary desire.

So what is my point of these ramblings....you get to decide if you want to move forward or just stay stationary.  Even though everything is temporary...you are still the one that gets to choose.  You are the one that leads by example.  You will be so surprised who is listening, watching and learning from you.  Even if it is temporary...if you keep doing it...it becomes a part of you and is the constant.  Let the other things around you fall to be the temporary fixes...keep you as strong, as determined, and be the example.

embrace the suck...choose you...do the hard things.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The more things change the more they stay the same

summer crumb bun
This past weekend I went back to the jersey shore, not the one that they made ridiculous on MTV...but the jersey shore that I grew up on every summer for as long as I can remember.  So many things have changed along that coastline.  Buildings are no long there, homes were destroyed and rebuilt on stilts and bigger than ever, favorite places that house so many warm and fuzzy memories just are gone.  Three brothers pizza, colonial bakery, yummy soft bagels, taylor ham, a big jersey sized sub and of course so many members in my extended family still remain.

When you grow up in a family of my size the family lines tend to blend.  Cousins are like siblings and aunts and uncles are there with a smile and hug just like they were when you were six.  So many people that have known me my whole life are a part of that beach and although we only see each other once a year it is like things have never changed.  These soft blurred lines make me so happy and sad at the same time.

I wish I lived closer, I wish I saw these people more often, I wish I could just walk into their homes at any time and talk about the most randomness of things.  Families don't always have to like each other or agree but they do always have to love.  My kiddos felt nothing but love this weekend.  It was a welcome committee from the moment we arrived and continued up until we left yesterday afternoon.  We celebrated a cousin's engagement...the whole cycle gets to begin again as our family welcomes in another member and they begin their journey together.  

cousins
So although our time was short along that blue sea line and sandy shore we still managed to make memories and feel the love.  I still feel like I am sixteen when I walk the stone filled streets of our little shore town.  I see faces age, including mine, but my heart remains the same.  The surf still flips me over and gets sand all in my suit.  But now my aunts and uncles take my kiddos into the surf and teach them how to handle the waves.  I get to watch my kids make connections with a five block walk to their uncles house where ice cream was promised and a night of just talking and playing hide and seek in a new place.  They remember that a certain aunt always has Twizzlers while another has tootsie pops.  They innocently ask anyone and everyone to play Uno with them.  They are constantly out to make connections, share their love and make memories.   

Every time I head back to the shore I get emotional.  Time continues to pass and my kids get
more cousins
bigger and my husband and I still think we are just dating and spending a long weekend together just like we did way back when.  Our pictures of just the two of us in a b&w photo booth now are crammed with six faces together.  We didn't make it out to a quiet dinner for two but instead we had longer days on the beach surrounded by those we don't get to spend too much time with.  I took all those summers for granted and can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate and am beyond grateful for our visit even if it is a short one.  Family is family...can't change it but you gotta love it.  I loved every minute of this week with them and can't wait for another summer to come by in a blink of an eye.


I now know that these are the days to remember and they are limited. I know that I need to love the ones I am with and not be afraid to ask for help, encouragement or a place to lay my head.  I know that this is family.  Our last night at the beach we stayed up and enjoyed our final happy hour.   As we packed up there was this crazy cloud over head but still allowing the sun to shine down on us.  I think that is the perfect analogy to family.  They make sure your sun still shines out despite all the crazy clouds that sneak into our lives.  And this cloud just happened to be in the shape of a heart...coincidence...I think not.

Heart Cloud
Embrace the suck...choose you...enjoy the ones you are with.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Make your list and move on...

Things I don't like about myself
-I am messy
-I am a grazer
-I have a sweet tooth
-I often have dark circles under my eyes
-I seldom say no to things
-I don't have immediate family near by
-I can rarely say no to dessert
-I am a big time procrastinator
-I am stubborn
-I yell at my kids
-I go a day without giving my hubby a kiss
-I am not artistic

Things I like about myself
-I am a mulitasker
-I am a good mom
-I am a supportive wife
-I will always try my best
-I love a good challenge
-I speak my mind
-I am not afraid 
-I have faith
-I lead by example
-I will walk the path alone
-I would do anything for my family
-I think outside the box
-I believe in myself

So great...I made a list of the good and the bad.  What is the point of this??  I need to remind myself that faults are good.  Faults allow you to see the good.  Faults show you where you put attention.  Faults show you that you are human and and that there is always room for growth.  I just had another discussion with my four year old.  For as sweet and lovable as he is...he is still four and is learning to test his boundaries with me and everyone he encounters.  I see him duplicate motions and words and tones that he sees from those around him.  I had to tell him that I am done with the yelling and we will work through this together.  I used small words, talked slow, and in a quiet voice.  I stopped what I was doing and took the time to have him understand my frustration as well as his.  Wouldn't that be nice if all adults would do the same.  If we would just take the time to truly interact and explain our feelings.  Apologies can be said but the feelings are still true.  His current fault brought out some of my current strengths.  Together we are balanced out and we need to realize that we can do this with everyone we are with.

Social media brings so much judging and comparing and putting down.  When I see a friend kick butt on her run or sign up for some big momma race that I would never have the guts to do...I am not jealous of her, well maybe for a hot second, but I am in awe of her.  I am in awe that despite her doubts and dislikes, she is pushing though to release the strength and likes.  There is nothing I should do but lift her up, encourage her, and help her along the journey.  I know that we all have struggles and we all have skeletons in our closets, but together we work through them.  I have had so many great run therapy sessions with friends and even some ladies I may have run with for the first time have been great connections.  The different perspectives from other people I have met brings such a great spin to this journey.  Makes my likes and dislikes blend into one.

oversharer & overcarer
I am not afraid to talk to anyone or share a story or a remember when.  In chick fil a yesterday a lady that I sold some sports bras too came up to me and said that they are working great and she loves them!  I love how some people choose to keep a connection...as silly as it seems over a sports bra...she could have just walked past me and chose to go on with her day.  Social media not only makes people feel less about themselves...but it is removing the human touch.  If you have ever met me...you know that I will probably never lose the human touch. I will be the one that keeps talking when everyone else has stopped listening.  I want to know what you are up to...I am genuinely curious, intrigued, and inspired.  I want to know what your good and bad are...I am an oversharer and an overcarer.  

So make your list and get it out of your head.  Find the people that lift you up, that compliment your faults, that you can help.  Know you are far from perfect and some of the things that you like about yourself may be viewed as faults by others.  But, as I have drilled into my head so many times...other people's thoughts do not matter.  This journey is about you, what you want for yourself and believing in you!  Confidence is an amazing thing...stand tall...be proud...tackle the challenge...do the hard things...accept your faults...embrace your strengths.

Choose you...embrace the suck...be more human.






Thursday, June 22, 2017

A whirlwind

What a crazy few weeks it has been since the summer season has truly started.  I have divided my day into pieces to get the things done that I have wanted to do and have not made the time to sit down and empty out my head.  I am barely treading water on some days and others we are moving in perfect harmony and look like a bunch of synchronized swimmers!  Just yet another reminder that everyone struggles, everyone has bad days, everyone is a little bit crazy and doing their best to get by.

The thing that gets me through those days, other than starting the day off with a great workout, is the company I keep.  Community is such an important part of life and having people that are amazing sounding boards for all the many spaces of life make this journey that much more rewarding.  Having the resource to talk about so many different topics that trigger your frustration or excitement makes tackling that obstacle so much easier.  These are people that genuinely want to help, are here to help, and all you need to do is ask.  Something that is so hard, asking for help but so rewarding to both sides when it happens!


my crazy crew
As wonderful as my external support crew is I can't say enough about my own little family circle.  Things are not always easy and burdens of all levels hit everyone at some point.  Life throws big huge curve balls at you and some days they can just knock you on your butt.  Trying to keep it all together not only for yourself but for that circle is really challenging at times.  What I find has worked best for us is to just stay the course.  We were off course for about six months and we kept the focus, the family and the fun.  We remained as whole as one could be.  We stayed positive and encouraged one another every day that today was going to be a great day and things are looking up.  Trying to convince yourself of this is probably the hardest...keeping it cool for outsiders may be a bit easier.

I am lucky in a way that I had my hubby by my side, literally,  during my training for my April marathon.  His ongoing support of me was one for the record books.  He made mid day runs possible, he joined me for many of them, we talked shop daily, and he keep the positive vibes flowing.  He never doubted me and never let me doubt me either.  He is one amazing cheerleader and husband.  Being dedicated to something or someone when you may have your own set of doubts is not easy.  We both learned a lesson this year.  We learned how to persevere, to push forward, to keep going when you want to stop.  Sure we do this with our workouts but regular life does not always afford the same level of challenge.  This year we were given a new test.

He was home with me and the kids for six months.  Our community supported us in every way possible.  Sometimes things just have a way of working out and the hard work you put forth is finally rewarded.  Now that we are back in our old routine we miss him, especially the little guy that would have picnic lunches mid week while the big kids were at school.  The special things that happened while he was home drew us all closer together, at times maybe it was too much, but now that we are on the other side of this, I am bizarrely grateful.

There are so many days that just don't make sense, things that happen and we just don't understand why.  So many times I would love to just scream my head off and find myself alone for any amount of time to just have silence.  But after going through this year, and being on the other side, I am thankful for the crazy, for the daily tests, for the ongoing challenges.  What we do every day molds us into who we choose to be.  I choose to be positive, loving, happy, determined, driven but  also sad, lonely, and tired.  What I have learned is that I have amazing support to help me get out of those low places and lift me up...and lift up my family as well.  We all have off days but we all have a community around you...just don't forget to reach out to them.  People are wanting to help...it makes them feel good...and it will make you feel good too!

So week two of summer is coming to a close.  I am tying my best to keep some semblance of order in the house but six bodies and 100 pool towels every day is  A LOT!  We are just going to keep on keeping on and roll with the whirlwind.  I thank each of you for being a part of my community on some level and please know that I love to help and always have an open ear!! 
Enjoy this time...it won't last forever!

Embrace the suck...choose you...keep on keeping on ;)