Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What Raises Your Blood Pressure?

Didja hear the one about the time I bit the dust trying to ride my bike to work last week? I don't think I have to look much beyond that to make a list of things that raise my blood pressure! I almost put "bike accident" for numbers one through ten on this week's Tuesday Ten list, but that felt like cheating...And we all know I'd never cheat here!

10 Things that Raise my Blood Pressure


  1. Bike accidents
  2. Cleaning my leg with alcohol wipes after said accident!
  3. Pulling into a parking space just as someone next to you is pulling out. You are in park, but you think you are still moving: PANIC!
  4. Not being able to find my keys/phone/purse/shoes
  5. Finding out you just missed your daughter's ballet rehearsal
  6. Someone who calls and says, "Can we talk?"
  7. Hearing a crash from the room your kids are playing in.
  8. Hearing absolute silence from the room your kids are playing in
  9. Accidentally deleting everything you just wrote in a blog post!!
  10. Having the check engine light come on while you're on a road trip...with the kids...at night
How about you? What gets your blood boiling?!






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Monday, May 18, 2015

Henry's Second Communion

Ken and I got a lot of advice before we got married. It seems people always want to pass along little tidbits to people about to embark of life changes: weddings, births, funerals, job changes. One thing that really stuck with me, though, was the advice about spending some time planning your marriage while you are planning your wedding. A wedding is just one day, but a marriage {hopefully} lasts forever.

This same advice came back to me this weekend while Henry was preparing to receive his First Communion. He's gone through two years of Sacramental preparation for this event. He knows what he needs to know about Jesus and the Eucharist and how those things fit together. He was very excited for his First Communion.

He sat in his section with about 100 other boys and girls all decked out in their finery. They sang the songs, they prayed the prayers, they tugged on the veils of the girls in front of them (that might have just been Henry).  They practiced bowing, sticking out their tongues or holding out their hands, making the sign of the cross. They knew not to chew, or make faces, or drop anything. And one by one they went up to receive Jesus' Body and Blood.

And then it was all over except for the thank yous and announcements after Mass. We celebrated by going out to eat with the family and friends who had come to see Henry. We shared appetizers and stories and child corralling duties. We had a wonderful time visiting and talking together. And then we went home.

One of the songs they sang at Mass on Saturday had the line, "so we become what we eat." Henry asked about it after Mass. I didn't answer him outright, but led him to answer it himself. He was proud of himself to figuring out that each time we receive Communion, we become more and more like Jesus. He knows that in order to do that he needs to be nicer to his brother and sister, among other things!

Sunday morning we got up and got ourselves ready for Mass. Henry wore his suit again (because the congregation likes to see the kids all dressed up) so he was ready first. Part of that was the excitement too. See, I had told him that his First Communion was special, but every one after that would be just as special too. I think he feels like he has been inducted into a special club, which in a way, he has. Now he doesn't have to cross his arms over his chest a receive a blessing. He can go up and receive Jesus.

When he went up for his Second Communion, the priest started to give him a blessing out of habit. Henry bravely bowed and held his hands out a little more, while I nodded above him. He received and turned around to give me one of the biggest, proudest grins I've ever seen. I gave him back one of my biggest, proudest grins, and I teared up. He walked confidently over to the cup minister and then back to his seat to pray.

I'll be honest, Henry still gets fidgety during Mass. He still glares at me when I remind him to follow along with the readings or kneel at appropriate times. He's still the same boy he was last week, with maybe just a little extra holiness growing inside him. And who knows what will happen after his Third Communion, or his Twelfth, or his Thousandth?

Welcome to the club, Henry!!


Friday, May 15, 2015

My job Appreciates Me. My Bike? Not so Much!

My friend Tia says there's an epic story here that I have to tell. Well if you can be patient enough for me to type it one-handed, then I guess you'll have to judge for yourself.

Just cut me some slack on the typos!!
Yesterday was Employee Appreciation Day at JMU. We have different activities we can sign up for to participate in. I chose a Pilates class before lunch and BINGO and the a challenge course afterwards. I also decided that since I didn't have to be there until 10 I would ride my bike. I drove to my office briefly after dropping Frances and Benjamin off at school. Then I went home to get my bike.

I actually rode a block up the street before I realized I had forgotten my helmet, so I turned around to get it {foreshadowing alert!!}Then I was on my way. Traffic wasn't too bad at 9:30 AM, especially with the students gone. All I had to do was make it to campus and it would be smooth sailing. I was getting closer to the traffic light where I would have to make a left turn across 4 lanes of traffic. For some stupid reason I decided to cross early and go up on the sidewalk. My bike was having none of that!!

I didn't make it up the curb and I slid straight across the sidewalk. It hurt!! I scraped up my entire leg and jarred my wrist pretty bad. I scratched my chin a bit, but the helmet took most of that part of the fall. Good thing I wore it!  Always wear your helmet, folks!!
This leg is not up to it's usual sexiness standards!

I picked up my bike and tried to decide what to do. The chain had come off and the handlebars were crooked. I straightened them out and put the chain back on. Then I decided I may as well keep going. I was not bleeding, just scratched up. I even made it to Pilates class on time!

Pilates wasn't too bad. I planked on my elbows instead of my wrist, but that was really the only adjustment I had to make. I used the first aid kit at the Rec Center and that was the first time I almost cried. Alcohol wipes hurt, y'all!!

We walked up to the dining area for lunch. I had planned all along to walk this path because I was with a friend. Plus, it was pretty much straight up hill.

Lunch was amazing, as usual and then we went to play full contact BINGO. It's not actually full-contact, but we take it pretty seriously. This year, despite my injured nature, I did not win anything. In fact, twice after losing a game by one number, the caller started the next game with the number I needed. Not cool, BINGO caller!!

Then I headed over to the Challenge Course. I will admit to being a little nervous about that with my injured wrist, but I thought I'd give it a try and just take it easy. Our session got started about an hour and a half late, but we had a great time. I managed to do all the challenges with minimal impact on my wrist and then I called Ken to come get me. No way was I riding home!!
video

We wrapped my wrist to stabilize it and I went to bed early from an exhausting day.

Today is Bike to Work Day and the kids all wanted to bike to school as well. I wanted to give them the chance, so we set out. Ben mostly walked his bike because he was afraid of the hills. Luckily, his day care is only about 3 blocks away and on the other side of the cemetery, so that worked out OK.

Frances and I took the long way to her school to avoid some major roads and hills. I was worried about getting her there late, but there will kids still getting dropped off when we got there. She was proud of herself for making it the whole way. I hope she didn't have jelly legs walking to her first class!!

I rode to my office after dropping her off. I only work a half day and then my parents are picking me up. I'll have to make a run to all the schools to pick up bikes, because it's Bike TO School Day, NOT Bike HOME Day!! Plus, the kids can't ride by themselves and I can't pick them all up on my bike in a timely manner. And to be completely honest, I'm just gonna take a good long break from my bike.

And probably from typing, too.

Have a great weekend!! And don't forget to wear your helmet!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I am...

I wasn't going to post today since I posted so late yesterday. Then I saw that Elaine is doing some Old School Blogging again and I though I might as well write something. These are always fun!

This month is a bit different.  Copy the bold words and then the rest is up to you.  Fill in the words or sentences however you wish. Link up over at Elaine's.


I am hiding at work. We're technically closed today, but I took Frances and Benjamin to school and thought I'd pop in here for some writing time before I have to be somewhere at 10.

I wonder how much longer this knot in my shoulder is going to be around. I had a nice massage yesterday and she really worked on it, but it's still there. I want my full range of movement back, y'all!

I hear absolutely nothing! That's why I snuck into my office!

I see my computer screens and desk. I see the reflection of sunlight in the windows around me. I see work that should get done that going to have to wait until tomorrow!

I want to have a good time today. It's employee appreciation day! I have a Pilates class at 10, buffet lunch at 11:30, super fun BINGO after lunch and then I'm going to try out the challenge course on campus. I hope my shoulder will allow for all of that! And I want to ride my bike today.

I am glad for a relaxing week, but ready to have students and classes back next week. We have a new full time employee starting and I'm excited to meet him and get him acclimated.

I pretend that I'm not annoyed to do 95% of the housework. Some days I pretend better than others.

I feel excited for today. (Except for the shoulder thing. Did I mention that already?!)

I touch lives everyday. Hopefully in a positive way. I love the interactions I get to have with my own kids, with future educators, and with people in general.

I worry about my kids. Will they grow up to be responsible adults? Some mornings when I'm reminding them to brush their teeth for the 647th day in a row, I wonder about that a lot.

I cry when other people cry. I cry at movies, commercials, books, YouTube videos. I cry a lot, I think, but they're mostly happy tears. Or little pieces of big emotions leaking out of my eyes. Or maybe onions...

I am just realizing that I've already completed this prompt twice. I guess that's because I am a lot of different things. There are so many ways to interpret those two words.

I understand that there are always reasons for behavior even when we can't see them or figure them out.

I say a lot of things over and over again. Hello? Is this thing on!?!

I dream about a bigger house in a better neighborhood where we have more than one toilet and a place for the kids to play and ride bikes.

I try to be a good person. I know I fall short of that on some days, but I truly hope that I am making the world a better place one tiny moment at a time.

I hope that my kids and my husband and my parents and my brothers and my friends all know how much I love them.

I am feeling awfully reflective at this point! I wasn't completely expecting that, but it's not a bad way to start the day!

What are you...?
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