Friday, August 28, 2015

The Best Things

- The weather finally cooling off enough to turn off the AC and open the windows. I bought a small fan on clearance several weeks ago when I was hip-deep in electrical troubles, and it worked only well enough to convince me I needed a better one, so I sent it to college with Anna and bought the one oI really needed - bigger, with a stand and an oscillating head. I've been putting it to good use.

- Sleeping with the windows open. Magic.

- Getting up at 12:30AM and going outside to see Mars with your family, only to realize quickly that you're one day late.

- The full moon that is SO BEAUTIFUL!

- Writing a new roster because swim is FINALLY about to start again!!!

- That burst of energy you get when you realize summer is almost over and Fall is about to begin, and how you almost effortlessly start to clean, organize, and accomplish.

- The fact that autocorrect tried to make "accomplish" into "acorn polish" just now...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Small Things

"There's nothing wrong with living small, with having little dreams and being happy in tiny spaces (both metaphoric and literal). There's nothing shameful in finding the greatest happiness in the minuscule moments that make up most of life.

Don't get me wrong - some are born for earth-changing things, for rocking the boat, for shattering perceptions. And if you are one of those people, don't let anything stop you - don't let anyone talk you down from great heights.

But if you find that your heart is happy in the beautiful everyday, fulfilled and nourished and made whole, don't let anyone talk you out of your joy. Some of us are born to be the steady ones, the ones who restore order and comb the hair after naps and sing the lullabies. Earthquakes change the landscape of the world, but so do quiet streams, given enough time. Sometimes the boat needs a good rocking, but sometimes it needs a gentle hand on the tiller to keep the crew sailing safely. Sometimes people's perceptions need to be shattered, but sometimes what we need the most is for someone to mold those perceptions in the first place, to teach that the world can be kind and just, and that we make it so."

- Entry from my journal last year

Thursday, August 20, 2015


 I didn't realize I was craving downtime.
I didn't realize I was tired.
(Well, okay, I did.
I knew that I was physically tired -
 that my idea of an absolutely perfect day was one where I could crawl into bed and catch up on all the sleep that I'd missed -
but  I didn't realize I was mentally tired.)
I didn't realize I was craving inspiration;
new surroundings,
new sounds,
new colors, even.

The good news is
sometimes we get exactly what we need
even when we're not self-aware enough
to know that we need it.

Turned out, our hotel
that was advertised as being in the heart of Ocean City
was really tucked away almost directly across 
from the hotel we'd wanted to stay at
in a quiet corner of Fenwick Island
close enough that we walked almost everywhere we needed to go.
(It was also nicer than we'd expected - a pleasant surprise!)

( Also - I am so tan right now. I've never been this tan in my life.)

But of course.

There was quite a bit of sleeping on the beach, curled up on my big beach blanket under an umbrella, or catching some sun (while slathered in sunscreen, mind), or listening to coaching lectures (this worried Cris and Maggie until they realized that this wasn't me "working" - this was actually me "relaxing").

(I did start working on a training plan for my new coaches one day
but that did feel like work
 so I abandoned it. ;))

Watching the light change at sunset.
Reading on the beach - finished a novel while we were there, the lone novel of the summer.

There was also a lot of napping in actual beds. We ended up being happiest spending the morning/afternoon on the beach, sleeping for a few hours, relishing a last few hours of daylight on the beach, then staying up way too late finding dinner, playing putt putt golf. This particular day, I caught a John Wayne marathon while the girls napped. ;)
The first day out on the beach, we saw some kids playing with boards that weren't skimboards or surfboards or boogie boards but sort of similar to all three. We got vague answers from them about what exactly they were, but we ducked into a Sunsations later that evening and found them, so we bought one for Mags. ;)
She figured it out pretty quickly. ;) Cris and I even got into the act and caught a few waves!
Watching the other surfers

I conquered my childhood fears of the ocean and spent quite a bit of time in the water. So. Much. Fun.

We managed to squeeze in six games of miniature golf in between all the beach time, mostly after dark.
Maggie, resident clown.
On the last day, while Cris and I were plotting to beat Maggie (who was reigning putt-putt champion), the girl minding the counter overheard us and brought us a "lucky ball" to use. ;) It worked! Cris won the game!
  All in all - it was a fantastic getaway, and one we're already looking forward to repeating next year!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Randomizer

- This time tomorrow I will be at the beach! I'm counting down the hours (especially since I'm currently seven hours into a ten hour workday) and I can just barely wait. I cleaned the house yesterday (why do I always go on a mad housecleaning frenzy right before I leave?!) so tonight all I have to do is put away this last load of laundry, make a quick zip through the fridge to throw out any perishables, and pack.

- A note for next year, though: make it a week of staycation. As much as I'm looking forward to putting my feet in the ocean, the rest of my soul loves the idea of getting a chance to catch up on all the stuff that needs attention around here. Next year, I think I'll plan on taking a few days off to "recharge" at home.

- Speaking of which... I'm looking forward to fall, and I'm not going to apologize for it. I always feel guilty anticipating fall when I enjoy summer so much, but it's my favorite season and anticipation is half the fun. (Also, I miss my kids. Yeah, I know you're tired of hearing it. Sorry.)

- I've been thinking a lot about fear, lately, especially that verse that says "Perfect love casts out all fear" (and the verse that says "God is love"). I've been thinking about how so often our knee-jerk response is one of fear and insecurity. How all these excuses we make - what will people think, what if we're misunderstood, what if someone takes advantage of us - disappear if and when we finally take God at His word. I want to react from a place of His love. I fail at this. A lot.

- Also, about grace: I saw the dad of one of my swim kids yesterday, and he made a point of telling me about how well his kids were doing and thanking me for it. When he walked up, I was a bit flustered (due to something  completely unrelated), he gave me a hug, and I was reminded that one night last year, during an extremely stressful night at swim, he suddenly rose from where he was sitting in the bleachers watching his kid's lessons, came down on deck to where I was standing, and told me very simply and sincerely how appreciative he and his wife were of our program, how much their kids enjoyed it, and how he knew that many people took the time to let us know where we were failing, but almost never bothered to let us know when we'd gotten it right. He patted my shoulder, told me he knew I was busy, and went back to his seat, and I still remember the almost physical relief that flooded through my body. I can only imagine that I looked as frazzled as I felt (I don't have a poker face to speak of lol). I need to more grace-full, too.

- The triplets have been doing lots of painting lately and I love it! They already have such distinct styles - Lucy uses lots of arching horizontal sweeps, Addie fills up the paper with short strokes, and Miles draws long wavy vertical lines. I love their individuality, and the fact that there using the same tools and pain but their art turns out so differently!

Friday, August 14, 2015

More Lately...

- I have electricity again thank you God/Dad! It feels great to re-enter the 21st century. ;)

- All the reservations, plans, etc, for next week's trip are done. We'll be staying in a beachside hotel suite (kitchenette, balcony, etc) for the first two days, then we'll move to one of my favorite hotels in a quieter part of town for the last night. If this seems a little odd, know that we wanted to stay in the quieter section for the whole trip, but due to a reservations mixup, we could only get the one night. I'm looking forward to unwinding - sleeping in, spending days stretched out on the beach with a novel and an MP3 player loaded with swimming stuff, spending the afternoons exploring, spending the evenings bonding with Mags and Cris over seafood, cool nights walking along the beach, all of it bookended by a couple hours of driving with the music up and the windows down. ;)

- I'm missing my kids terribly. This whole "taking a month off" concept is a terrible idea! (I keep telling myself that my poor boss works hard and deserves a break, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to survive this.) How much maintenance can the pool possible need?

- I read this post on one of my favorite blogs today and it's been on my heart ever since. I remember reading her words a year ago and thinking then (as I do now) how her words were so infinitely perfect, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Praying for Disney.

- I'm ready for fall. It's not just missing my kids, but also looking forward to warm jackets, cozy scarves, hot drinks, tall boots, and dropping back into my fall routine. It's my favorite time of year. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


- I'm tired, but feeling better than I have in at least a few days. Between an allergic reaction to something (still no idea what!), an incredibly stressful week (more on that later), and missing my kids (so, so, SO badly), I'm ready for smoother sailing again. Here's to hoping.

- I'm looking forward to: having electricity again (long story/don't ask/it's been a week/but hopefully tonight!); a beach getaway next week with Cris and Mags (I'm determined to make this a simple trip focused on rest and feeding my soul, instead of trying to cram in a to-do list); the fall (I'm sorry, I love summer but autumn is my fav and it's thisclose); having a piece of brown-butter peach upside down cake when I get home (so, so good!); going to bed tonight (I'm so, so tired).

- I'm so thankful for: my dad spending countless hours over the last week rewiring the electrical circuit so I can have power again; the emergency generator that's been keeping the a/c and fan running enough to keep the place habitable and my fridge/freezer from melting down; coffee (I started drinking it black this week, after saying I'd never be able to give up cream. Turns out the secret is to just be 1. so tired that it's physically painful to be conscious, and 2. run out of cream. By the time you're caffeinated enough to care, you're over it).

- I'm thinking about: a new microhouse company ( I like them more than most tiny homes, I respond to the style very strongly); my fall schedule (this is either going to be smooth sailing or a complete disaster); swim (always).

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Goings-On

With all the craziness, I've pretty much been AWOL for the last two weeks. Let's see if I can catch up.

- We wrapped for the season at swim. I wasn't ready for it to be over, but we had a good last week and I'm incredibly excited about starting up again next month. (And also incredibly sad because it's been two weeks since I've seen my kids, and I miss them terribly. I've said this before but it still feels true - I feel unmoored when I'm not teaching. This weekend especially, I was very aware of the fact that I wouldn't get to see them on Monday, and as soon as I got in the car after work I had a good cry. :( I'm still not sure how something that's so relatively new in my life has ingrained itself so deeply in my soul, but it's there and apparently it's not going away.) It was also the end of my first year as site supervisor, something I didn't really realize until that moment, but which kicked off a panic of "write down everything you need to remember for next year." ;) I've been pretty much mentally "unpacking" since then - reviewing the past year, what I want to do differently, continually being amazed that I managed to get anything done at all when I knew so little to begin with. It's been such a great, stressful, incredibly fulfilling, incredibly frustrating experience. :) I'm not sure I've ever been so frustrated with myself as I have been in the last year, nor felt as stupid - but in all fairness, I can't remember when I've been happier, or felt more of a sense of "this is exactly where I'm supposed to be." (Nor can I remember a time in recent history when I've so often sat on my floor and bawled because everyone is smarter than me and it feels like I'll never catch up, but that's another story lol.)

- Then Tuesday night, my parents had a small fire on the side of the house that knocked out the electrical circuits that I was hooked into, meaning that I've been without dependable electricity for a week now. :( I've been running my dad's generator to keep the A/C going enough to keep the place liveable for the pets and to keep the fridge and freezer operating. (So, so much gasoline is required to do this - around 10 gallons every day and a half or so. My bank account has practically hemorrhaged to the point of death lol.) I spent half the weekend digging a 24" deep trench, running from the house to the hookup point, and promptly blistered my hands from using the pickaxe and trowel. It feels like this project will never be done.