Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another first...

Well, I'm officially a soccer mom. Yup. Tonight Max began his first extracurricular sport - indoor spring soccer. He's on a Pre-K/K team with 13 other kiddos. They have practice one night a week and a game on Saturdays. It's going to be a fun ride, I'm sure.

To be honest, neither Max or I were sure of how tonight's practice was going to go. He was nervous about not knowing anybody - but warmed right up to his coach and was friendly to his little teammates. I had a host of other concerns:
1. Would he listen and follow directions?
2. Would he keep up with the other kiddos?
3. Would he know what he needs to know to not feel behind?
4. Would he be a good sport when things go well AND when things go poorly?
5. Would he have fun?

The answers to the first three were a resounding yes. He was on the same level as his teammates, understood the object of the game, and listened well to Coach Kristy. On being a good sport? He didn't have any issues when things didn't go his way, picked himself up when he fell down, and kept running the entire time. But we have to do a little something about the victory dance after every good kick into the goal...

And did he have fun?

He wants to know why he has to wait a whole week to go again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A "God Moment"

So, I'm not a publicly religious person, but I also try to be one of those people who's pretty straight-forward about my life. Yesterday I had one of those "God moments".

I have a student who's in the hospital. She's been suffering from a chronic illness that led to the removal of her colon last week. I've wanted to go and visit, but between daycare pick-ups and living 4o minutes from the hospital, I knew it would have to happen on Saturday. And Saturdays? They're precious. As much as I wanted to show her that I care and am here to support her, my lazy body did not want to leave the house.

But, I did. With Max in tow, we drove across town. We parked in the parking garage and began to walk inside, when a lady shouted to us.

"Um, ma'am? I think you have a flat tire."

Sure enough. And not just a little. Totally. I decided that I would go in, have my visit, and then figure it out. We had a nice visit, and I was glad I went. My student is this model of strength - totally inspirational. But as we walked out, I remembered the tire.

And yes, I wimped out. I called Dan. He offered to come and rescue us - and I accepted. I know how to change a tire - technically. But in REAL LIFE? Ugh. Les Schwab (our local amazing tire chain) could have sent someone, but they were going to take 3 hours, and our AAA membership expired about 3 weeks ago and we haven't renewed yet. So Dan was packing Luke up and they were on their way.

I was feeling lucky. Yeah, I had a flat tire - but I was parked in a dry parking garage, with the flat tire facing an empty handicapped parking spot. A totally safe place for an easy tire change. Dan was there in 30 minutes, and showed me just how glad I was that he came - I'm not sure I possess the strength he had to use to remove the lug nuts. But it wasn't until he got the flat all the way off that I realized just how blessed I was.

{Side note: We knew we needed new tires. We knew that we needed them soon. It just hadn't yet made a weekend to-do list}

The inside of the flat tire was almost entirely separated. How I didn't have a major blow-out at 65 mph on the freeway is still beyond me. A total "God moment" - one of those where you know you were being watched over, protected from tragedy. Why? I'm not sure. But beyond thankful, all the same. All the terrifying-possibilities-that-could-have-been ran through my head. But there we were - safe, sound, and only very slightly inconvenienced. What if we hadn't come to visit my student? Where/when would this have happened? What if it had happened on the freeway? What if it had been a weekday? What if I had both boys with me and Dan couldn't come? The what-ifs were overwhelming, and all leading to the most obvious thing - this couldn't have worked out ANY better. I've never been so lucky to have a flat tire.

From there Dan headed straight to the tire store for four new tires, and I headed home with the boys. And today, my car is much safer.

And I am reminded of just how blessed we are.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One word update...

Well, two months ago I chose a little word to help me focus my energy for the year. You can read more about it here. But yeah. My word is MINDFUL.

As the weeks have gone on, I have found it transitioning in my head a little. Most of the time it sounds a whole lot more like PAY ATTENTION. Because that's sometimes what I fail to do. I can get so caught up in this thing or that task or multitasking everything that I stop noticing what is right in front of me. And there are a couple of key things that keep popping up on this new radar of mine.

1. Food. It seems that everywhere I go and everyone I talk to is talking about healthful eating. I have immersed myself in reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and In Defense of Food. I have friends trying all sorts of changes in their diets. And I find it all so intriguing. There are definite changes I want to make, but I am not sure what I am willing to commit to at this point. It has alos been nice to get some affirmation that there are some things we are already doing right. And hey - the Portland Farmer's Market opens this weekend! So, it all boils down to wanting to make very conscious and deliberate choices about the way our family eats. Being mindful of how we fuel our bodies.

2. Slowing down. Currently I am reading a couple great books - In Praise of Slowness and Mitten Strings for God. Both focus on really slowing our pace. I find myself so caught up in doing all that I am "supposed" to do, that I don't enjoy or even remember any of it. Both of these reads are giving me the chance to reflect on the choices I make for my time and the freedom to let the unnecessary go. Heck - I may not even continue watching American Idol this season! It's that whole "life goes too quick to spend it doing things that don't matter to you" thing.

Being mindful is showing up in other ways in my life, too. Early last week I showed up to pick Max up from school. He was just coming in to work on an art project for the school auction, and burst into tears when he was sure he was leaving. Now, normally, I would have let him know that I was sorry he was disappointed, but it was time to go pick up Luke. But it just happened to be a day when I didn't have to rush off. And there was no reason he couldn't stay and work. So I sat down next to him at the table, and after instructions, he was off and cutting. I watched for a little while, and then went to talk with his teacher about a couple of resources I was interested in. When I announced (30 minutes later) that it was time to go, he readily agreed and gave me a huge hug. He even thanked me for letting him stay.

When I came to pick him up the next day, the art piece was finished - a large painted paper garden collage. And the petals that he cut for an orange flower were front and center. He was so proud, and I was reminded that slowing down and listening to him can make all the difference. At the auction the following night I had to bid on it - and we were lucky enough to win it! When Max sees it he sees the hard work of he and his friends. Luke sees a pretty picture.

But I see the great things that come from slowing down and being mindful.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A typical Sunday morning in our house.....

Here's a shot of the boys this Sunday morning. I apologize for the loudness of my voice - but it's worth it for a little cuteness. Hope you enjoy it - it's the first time I've posted a video.