May 30, 2011

Camping Quota

This past weekend I met my camping quota for the year. It was the first item on our Summer Fun Activities list. My hubby loves camping but he much prefers the really "roughing it" kind of camping. No sir ree. Not me. Now, The Little Girl loves it too so I have agreed to camp out once per year.

We finally got brave enough last year to try camping with Sky. She was 3 at the time and so excited to go but we had no idea if, in reality, she would love it or hate it. We didn't want to be out in the middle of nowhere with a shrieking girl in the middle of the night if she decided this wasn't the best idea. So, we camped in the neighbor's back yard. We set up the tent, roasted marshmallows, used flashlights, the whole nine yards. We camped. The location wasn't important, right? Right!

This year we got a little more brave and ventured a whopping 0.9 miles from home. As the crow flies, it is literally less than a half a mile. I know, we're a real adventurous bunch. We landed at the local KOA. Now, being new to camping I've never really done the whole campground thing. My first experience with camping was when my dear husband (boyfriend at the time) took me to Percy Priest and we camped on an island in the middle of the lake. No electricity, no facilities, just pitch black and boring. I was less than prepared with supplies and, at one point, swore that I was going to freeze to death. Now do you see why I'm not so fond of camping?

Anyway, back to the KOA. Either I have really low expectations or this place was super nice. Granted, it did get flooded last year so it's possible that all of the pretty, pretty was a result of renovations. Either way, I was thrilled. We were checked in by Myke. Have you ever met someone who was MADE for their job? This guy was made to work at a campground. I'll even bet that he was a camp counselor back in the day. I was already feeling the campground happy-go-lucky feeling before we even unpacked. Our tent site had both water and electricity. I was sold already. The bath/shower facilities were hotel quality. Not even kidding. They were amazingly clean and attractive. We stopped by the common areas and there were tons of activities for kids. They had larger than life checkers, chess, ladder ball, corn hole, connect four, and bowling. Like, HUGE! There was also a swimming pool, a playground, and a dog park. We only stayed for the one night and didn't get a chance to visit everything but I was digging the whole campground thing.

We got our tent set up and had some really great neighbors. They had two kids who hit it off really well with our wee one so she was a happy camper (yeah, pun intended) the entire time. Miss Priss also slept all night, which was another plus. Granted, she was up at 6, but that is her usual.

As for me, this trip wasn't too bad. For one, I didn't freeze. Maybe it was the time of year we went but the weather seemed perfect. It had just stormed a few days before so I was worried about the cooler temps but those storms also quieted down the 13-year cicadas, which was a pleasant surprise. Because we had electricity, I was able to take our trusty fan for white noise. It was enough to keep the campground noises to a minimum but it did nothing for the chirping birds who started around 4 am. You win some, you lose some I guess. I also borrowed an air mattress and that made a huge difference as well. I think it kept me warmer by not being right on the ground plus my hips didn't ache as much,which limited my tossing and turning. I still didn't sleep great but I did sleep some. This is major progress from my last few trips. We also have a gigantic tent. It will sleep 8, but there are only 3 of us. It's nice and roomy with plenty of space for us and our stuff, plus we can move around. That's what happens when you hit up Target for the end of year camping clearance. ;)

On this trip I also got to try out Nutella smores. Oh. My. Word. I didn't think I could love Nutella any more than I already do. I was wrong.

Do I dare say that camping might be growing on me? This trip was extremely tolerable and kinda fun. I suppose the more I go, the better at it I get. Might have to raise my quota to twice next year.

May 27, 2011

Hot Yoga (the serious update)

Really, I do!

Yesterday, I told you some things you may not know about hot yoga. They were intended to be funny. Half of them are probably inside jokes but most of you probably got the jist of it. Today, I want to talk seriously for a few minutes about how the last 30 days have changed me.

In April, I realized that I had one month before school was out and I made a commitment to go to class four times a week. I don't know why I picked that number but it worked out and it gave me a day of rest in between. (I just completed day 15 of 31. Go me!) Hot yoga is hard, people, but I love it! I think I have the folks at The Hot Yoga House convinced that I detest hot yoga and hate every minute of it sans thea last 5 minutes of class. Don't be fooled. In fact, I really enjoy it. A lot. It's a challenge in a good way.

Rewind to the end of April. The first few classes were big time physical trying to get my breath under control. You see, if you aren't breathing a slow and steady in and out through your nose, then you are already loosing the battle. I decided from the start that I wasn't going to just power through until I got the basics right. Numero uno is breathing. It sounds easy in theory. I mean, technically it's an involuntary reflex but when you actually think about it and try to train your body to breathe in a certain (beneficial) way, it's hard. I was distracted by all sorts of stuff - outside of class stuff, life stuff, inside of class stuff, just stuff. It's hard to listen to your breath (or the instructor) when all this junk is going on in your brain. So, it took a week or so to teach myself to turn down my brain. I'm still not great at turning it off but I can at least quieten it for a bit and focus. Sometimes.

By week 2 I was feeling really tired. All that mental and physical work was catching up with me. I was literally dragging my booty to the studio and yawning in class. I had that "why in the world am I doing this" thought a LOT. But, I was there. I was on my mat. Mission accomplished. Even if I did nothing more than lay there, I was sweating and releasing built up toxins. However, I was actually doing more than that. I was getting better control of my breath and I was building muscle memory. It started to become emotional at this point too. I never could understand how yoga could be SO personal until I started taking it (and doing it) seriously. There were days that I had to work through "stuff" that had been tucked away and held back for a while. One of my teachers says that we store things in our hips. I have no doubt about that and I appreciated each and every hip-opening asana that we did. It was time to let some things go. I still have things to let go of but I'm making progress a teensy, tiny bit at a time.

Week 3 came along and my energy suddenly came back, which was a huge relief. I was worried it might never return. This is when life on the mat spilled over into real life, big time. I got a spark of something and that's when I started getting back on track. I was more in tune with my daughter and her needs. I was more calm when discipline situations arose. I didn't just respond out of reaction anymore. I felt like I could think again. The fog was lifting. I could analyze a situation for what it was and then deal with it appropriately. I was getting proactive once more. I started baking and cooking again and organizing and cleaning and enjoying the every day little things.

Once I got to week 4, I started craving time on my mat, even at home. If I had worked for a long stretch of time, I would fall out of my chair and get into downward facing dog and just rest. I remember once thinking that down dog would NEVER actually be restful but it could be. On occasion. I would even do a little yoga with my 4 year old before bed. She's a pretty cute yogi, by the way. I also found myself controlling my breath doing every day tasks like mopping the floor and trying to square my hips when standing in line at the check out. I took notice if my shoulders were up by my ears and pushed them away. If I did something on one side, I would turn and do it to the other side so everything would be symmetric. If I felt myself getting frustrated, I recognized it quicker and would try to breathe through it.

My husband jokingly asked me the other day if I had reached "enlightenment." I laughed and said "no" but I do feel like I have gotten a little glimpse; just a sliver or maybe more like a crumble, but I'm feeling the mental:physical ratio start to even out. Once you commit to the practice, it really does have a lingering affect on every area of your life. In class, I've started to notice that my lines are longer and straighter and I at least remotely resemble the pictures in the books though Warrior 2 (or is it II?) and corresponding asanas still remain my nemesis. I've also noticed that even when I'm doing something the "right" way, if I tweak it just a little, it can feel totally different. Better. There really is a "sweet spot" and if I can just give into it, it actually feels good. So many times, I fight the resistance which makes it 3X as hard rather than just letting go. Or, sometimes I'm afraid to try something new (hello, camel) assuming, "I'll never be able to do that" when I probably can. There is no way to know for sure unless I let myself be a little vulnerable and try. That applies to real life too.

Last week, Misty said something that had a profound affect on me. She said, "sometimes we have to live with the uncomfortable but don't confuse that with a sharp, burning pain. That's your cue to back off." See? That's the reason I love going to class. I can go in and leave a bunch of toxic sweat on the hardwood floor but bring home inspirational messages that apply to life both on and off the mat. I get physical and mental tidbits that I can apply in the real world and, for me, that's what hot yoga really is.

Okay, I'm not gonna lie. I really just love the cold aroma-infused wash cloth at the end. It's totally the icing on the cake.

As much as I'm looking forward to Summer Fun, I'm gonna miss going to yoga every other day. I still plan to go on Fridays & Sundays, because hubby is home to watch the little girl. Those days used to be my favorite classes because I felt like they were a teeny bit easier. Now, my favorite classes are Tuesdays & Thursdays because that is when the real work happens. The room isn't as full and it gets mentally serious in a hurry. Those are the days that I make the most progress.

Of course, I've got a ways to go. Well, a LONG way to go. So, here's to a life-long yoga practice. Cheers!

Aaand.... if I haven't scared you to death, maybe you'd like to go with me. Whadaya say? I promise you might like it.

May 26, 2011

Hot Yoga (the funny update)

I've been back on my mat for about a month now. I thought now would be a good time to tell you some facts about hot yoga that you may not have known. These should all be taken with a grain of salt and a good sense of humor. ;)

  • Don't come to class expecting something because I guarantee you it will NOT be what you expect. Each and every class is different.
  • Hot yoga is the only place I know of that you can sweat log your ear. You know, kinda like swimmer's ear, but with sweat. Sounds delightful, right?!
  • Down dog really does the come your rest. Until you've been holding it for 3+ minutes. Then it's not.
  • Vinyasa only sounds cool in theory.
  • P90X ain't got nothin on hot yoga. Muscle confusion, eat your heart out.
  • They don't call it Trikonasana for nothing. The root word sounds a whole lot like "tricky" to me.
  • When your teacher asks, "wouldn't it be nice to sit down in a chair right now?" you think yes but you should say no. Won't matter. You're gonna have to do it anyway.
  • Did you know there's a little tiny muscle right on top of your elbow? Me either. Yoga introduced us. I can't say that it was a pleasant meeting.
  • Bringing your teachers chocolate chip zucchini bread will not get you out of chairs or chaturangas. Just sayin.
  • Hot yoga is not all stretchy, stretchy. It's major cardio, dude.
  • You know it's hot when you break a sweat after simply setting up your mat.
  • You may find yourself trying to "control your breath" in real life, like, in the heat of the "moment." Not recommended.
  • Teachers are subject to change without notice.
  • Once you learn to stack, you never want to go back.
  • Sometimes you find yourself in a pretty tough class but the playlist totally rocks and all is right with the world again.
  • There comes a point in every class where you wonder "why did I sign up for this again?"
  • The cold aromatherapy at the end (and the final savasana) somehow magically erase the previous thought and you keep coming back.
  • I had to Google how to spell half of these words and there are about five different meanings for Namaste.
  • On week 1, yoga was 10% mental & 90% physical. The longer I go, the more those numbers start to reverse.
  • Going to class is much better than doing a video. Plus, you get the added bonus of the cold wash cloth. :)
  • Hot yoga really is about the only place in the world where it is all about me! Not kidding.
Come back tomorrow and I'll give you the serious update on how the last 30 days have changed me for the better. For real.

May 23, 2011

5 Summer Getaways for Every Kid

Just yesterday I posted our Summer Fun Schedule. I love planning out summer activities. I actually start working on our list right after spring break. Today, I was asked to narrow my list down to 5 getaways that every kid should experience. Mostly, I think kids just love doing new things but there are certain trips that are reserved especially for summer and it gives them something to look forward to. My daughter is just 4 but I think this list could be tailored to a child of any age and they would enjoy it just the same.
  1. Camping. This is actually the first item on our 2011 summer kick off. We will be camping overnight for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional summer starting point. There's just something about a campfire and a tent that kids love. The smores aren't bad either.
  2. The Beach. Okay, I'm kinda partial to the warm, sunny weather but every kid should have a chance to dig their toes in the sand, get chased by the breaking waves, and build castles all day long.
  3. Water Park. Come on. Water is a must have for summer. When it just gets so hot that you can't stand it any more, the only way to cool off is with water. It doesn't get much better than lots of cool water and plenty of slides and wave pools to go with it.
  4. Week with the Grandparents. This could work even if your parents or in-laws live in town, or 200 miles away like mine. What kid doesn't love some uninterrupted one-on-one time with the grandparents? Granted, they may come home spoiled like crazy but they will remember those summer visits for years to come.
  5. Airplane Trip. At some point, I feel like you have to plan a trip that requires air travel. We had our daughter looking at airplanes in the sky as soon as she recognized them as a baby. It was so exciting the first time we put her on one. She was so excited to know that we were actually going to be up in the sky.
I can't wait to do all of these things with The Little Girl this summer. It's all the things I enjoyed as a kid but I get to do it all over again and see the joy and excitement through her eyes. I kinda think it's more fun the second time around, don't you?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

May 22, 2011

Summer Fun Schedule

summer 2010 at the lake

I am counting down until school is out and we are just a mere week and a half away. 2010 was the first summer in a loooong time where it actually felt like summer mainly because I love the age that Skylar is at now. She's old enough that we can go and do things that are fun for both her AND me. Yay! So, here's our line up for summer 2011 from start to finish.
  • Camping - Memorial Day Weekend. School should have been out but snow days have us going an extra week. Oh well. It never hurts to get a head start. :)
  • "School's Out For Summer" trip to Chattanooga - Creative Museum & Rock City Gardens
  • Lake EVERY Friday - parking pass has been purchased!
  • Gymnastics - We're gonna try it out for the summer and see how she likes it.
  • Train ride downtown to get ice cream and meet Daddy after work.
  • Library - Can't wait to see what the prizes are for summer reading.
  • Drive-In Movie - Cars 2
  • Super Summer Bible School at TDF
  • Week in Alabama with the Grandparents - Don't spoil her too much, k?
  • Regal $1 Summer Movies
  • Wave Country - Gonna use our BOGO coupon from the Enjoy the City book.
  • Art Classes - Private classes for Skylar & her buddy Rocco.
  • Nashville Shores - I'm still trying to find a deal on tickets but we hope to do this with Mike one weekend.
  • Point Mallard Waterpark - We did this last year with K-Diddy & MiMi and thought it should be an annual event to mark the weekend before school starts back.
  • Panama City Beach - This is the annual Labor Day trip with Yah Yah & Paw Paw. I ♥ the beach!
  • Tennessee State Fair - I really hope this comes back this year because this is how I mark the end of summer.
Those are just the "out and about" things on our list. Of course we have the sprinkler, slip & slide, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and a plethora of other things we plan to do at home. I'm also going to try to work with her on some sight words and other (hopefully fun) educational activities, plus she has Awana each week to work on scripture memorization. I'd like to do a sewing project together and some other practical life things as well.

I'd say that ought to keep us busy for the next 3 months, don't you? The trick, of course, will be trying to get my work done and still making time for all that fun. We do have her attending ECP 3 days a week so hopefully that will help. I can't wait to make some awesome memories this summer! Let the countdown begin. 10, 9..........

May 19, 2011

Murphy and the Post Office

Murphy. You remember my BFF, right? Today I had a little laugh at his expense. Or maybe I laughed to keep from crying. It's a toss up sometimes.

Let me start from the beginning. I've been helping hubby sell some of his unwanted tools on Ebay. One buyer bought three tools but they needed to be shipped to Australia. This was gonna require a trip to the post office . Let me just state right now that I am not a fan of the post office. There are usually long lines and lots of grumpy people, customers and workers alike.

Anyway, I started my usual Thursday routine by going to hot yoga with plans to stop by the post office on the way home. The problem with that is after yoga I kinda look like I just climbed out of the swimming pool. I'm usually soaked - yes, in sweat - from head to toe. The thought of going in to one of my least favorite establishments looking like this was not sounding very peachy. Now, the road leading to the post office had some construction going on. One lane was closed so they had a flagger at each end to move the cars along. As I drove past the first construction worker I gave a polite smile but my eyes stayed focused on the road ahead. But he gave a little wave. Awkward. I turned my head slightly in his direction and amped up my smile just a bit. Really awkward.

At the post office, I was a little confused about the entrance so I ended up going in the "out" and almost hit a pedestrian on a bicycle. Lovely. This is not looking good. Inside the post office I met Tim. He give me the appropriate customs forms to fill out and suggested I use a sturdier box. I had carried the tools in shoe box that I found at home.

I should back up in explain that this particular shoe box is also the "crib" for The Little Girl's baby doll. She had a near come apart when she thought that her "crib" was getting shipped to Australia. I assured her that I would get a new box at the post office, but in the back of my mind I wasn't positive this would happen since my previous post office experiences have been less than helpful.

So, I was delighted that Tim offered me another box. While he worked through my international transaction we made small talk and actually had a very nice and pleasant conversation. He gave me all the pertinent info I needed and made sure I understood the transit time and tracking info. It was such a pleasant experience that I tweeted about it when I left. With the international shipping out of my hands, and having just had the most positive experience ever at the post office combined with the high that comes after yoga, I was feeling pretty good. Then I realized that I had to drive back through the construction and have another awkward moment with my flagger friend. Oh me.

With the awkward moment completed, I settled in for my ride home down Briley Parkway, which was pretty uneventful until I got to the exit. I suddenly realized I had left the infamous shoe box (I mean, "crib") at the post office in Madison. Augh.... Murphy! So I got off my exit only to get back on Briley Parkway.

I came to terms with the fact that this would put a 30-45 minute delay my already very tight schedule but I would have been in big trouble if I didn't retrieve that shoe box. Oh the things we do for our kids. Just a few days ago a friend told me that sometimes when we have to wait something good happens in the mean time. I prayed that was what was happening to me now even though I was less than thrilled about driving back to Madison. Not 10 seconds later I got an email showing that another item sold on Ebay. At this point, I remember that we're running low on boxes at home and reason that I can use the extra trip back to the post office to get more boxes. Take that Murphy. *shakes fist in air triumphantly*

About half way to the post office I realize that I will have to go back through the construction zone and see my construction friend for the third time. And that's when I begin to laugh. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I'm not sure why this was so funny to me. I was just imagining his face as I drove past again and again and again with me doing my awkward smile and his little wave. Maybe you had to be there.

At this point, I was more annoyed about the construction zone than I was about the entire trip back to the post office. Sure enough, the third time was just as awkward as the first and probably more so. I arrived at the post office, went inside and there sat the lonely little shoe box. I picked up supplies and other boxes while I was there and headed back out to the car. When I passed my construction friend for the fourth time he had quite a confused look on his face. Yeah, it's me - AGAIN. I may or may not have been laughing uncontrollably at this point. Murphy may throw my plans out the window but I wasn't going to let him get my sense of humor. And that's when I picked up my phone and used voice recognition to type this blog post on the way home. Yes, I was multitasking in an effort to get back my lost minutes from Murphy.

Nice try Murphy, but not today! ;)

*pats shoe box sitting safely next to me in the passenger seat*

May 18, 2011

Summer Nesting

Remember when you are miserable pregnant in the 3rd trimester yet you have this unrelenting urge to clean and organize and there is no avoiding it?

If I didn't know better I would say that I'm about to give birth any minute but I'm 100% positive that I'm not. However, I have this uncontrollable urge to clean and organize. It's crazy. I want to clean everything in site. I want things all nice and neat and lined up on the shelf. I want things uncluttered and have been tossing and donating things left and right.

It's been trickling in here and there as I just get overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" we have in this house. Throw in a preschooler who likes to collect "treasures" and we've got trinkets and such everywhere. I've been on a mission to purge the things that we don't need but on Monday, I went into overdrive. I started rotating toys and pulling things for the fall consignment sale that is still 2 months away. I vacummed. I dusted. I took on baseboards. I even mopped the kitchen floor.

In case you don't know, I detest mopping. A close 2nd is the dishwasher but you can't ignore dishes. I can ignore the kitchen floor. Thankfully I have a tile that is very camouflaging. But, after our weekend of art, there were some bright red paint stains that could be ignored no longer. So I mopped the kitchen and I even mopped the entry way. Then I took on cleaning the air return vent and cleaning under the couch cushions.

See? This looks a lot like pregnancy nesting to you too, huh?

I'm not sure if this is an actual "thing" but I'm calling it what it is. This, my friends, is "Summer Nesting." It's looking at the calendar and realizing there are only 2 more weeks of school before summer hits. It's knowing that, in 14 short days, there will be no time for cleaning baseboards. It's seeing that if things are out of place now, just wait until the end of summer and you won't be able to find anything. It's realizing that having my little peep in the summer time means lots of trips to the park and to the lake and to the playground, which is a treasure-hunting dream come true. It's coming to terms with the fact that summer is fun but also messy and I need to make some sense of this chaos before we go into full blown summer break mode.

I'm very much looking forward to summer. I may or may not even have a countdown calendar. In the meantime, I'll be cleaning and organizing away in order to just let it all go in a few weeks as we make some awesome summer memories.

May 17, 2011

Art is Good for the Soul.

The little girl had a rough week. Sometimes, as a mom, you just have to break the cycle of bad with a little good. I knew she was in need of some TLC. She LOVES (huge understatement) art, so we spend Saturday doing her favorite activity.

I made sure the night before to tidy up and have things in as much order as possible because I wanted to be able to focus all my attention on her. Sometimes, that's hard for me to do when I see this or that out of place or remember that X needs to be done. So I did my prep work and then did my very best to ignore the large pile of dishes in the sink the rest.

To get the day started we needed supplies. Lots and lots and lots of supplies! So much for tidying up. :)
First up was collages. I can't tell you why but my little one can't get enough of cutting things into T-Niney pieces and then gluing them. This is her rose bush. From the start of the day, I was in love with this activity. Doing art actually made me feel good too. Imagine that.
Next we moved on to bracelets. Sneaky mom also worked in a little patterning exercise. We made all sorts of patterns before narrowing down our final selections. I loved my bracelet so much that I've been wearing it all week. Just a little reminder of our time together.
We did a little coloring and then I broke out the big guns.... PAINT! First we painted with brushes and then I dripped 4 colors all over the paper and let her paint with her feet. That one definitely earned me a Mother of the Year Day award. Just for kicks, I painted with my feet too. And because we already had paint on our feet, we might as well paint with our hands. So we did!
We also did stickers and stamping and a repeat of all of the above things. Many times she would say "Do you want me to do this?", "Should I use this color?" or "What about this, mom?" I reminded her over and over again to "do what your heart tells you to do." We did that all day long and we made some really creative things.
We did art for a solid 4 hours and then off and on for the rest of the day. It was such a sweet time and I really did feel like I accomplished my mission. However, along the way, I felt better too! In theory, I knew what the day would hold but it was so interesting to start a project and think something would turn out a certain way, but it just takes a turn and looks totally different than you imagined but totally beautiful still. I suppose life is a lot like that most of the time.

May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Fail

For the life of me, I can never figure out why Mother's Day is BEFORE Father's Day. I think this is true of most men (fathers), but they forget stuff like this. If Father's Day was first then we could set a good example of what to do and they could start planning then. In theory, of course. In my case, it's always a last minute scramble (if remembered at all) and yesterday was less than stellar.

I've been a mother for 4 years now and the only Mother's Day that I look back on fondly was my very 1st one; mainly, because I was still full of new baby love and breastfeeding hormones. I was on an emotional, new mother high. I assumed all Mother's Days to follow would be the same or even better. Yeah, okay. *insert sarcasm here*

Fast forward through a billion diaper changes, a child who refuses to sleep (still), temper tantrums, laundry and more laundry, dishes and more dishes, potty training, throw up, runny noses, barking coughs, PASSYS, biting, hitting, running into the street, sassiness, fashion drama, WORRY, meal after meal after meal, SNACKS, carpooling, swimming lessons, general disobedience, no sick days, and vacations that were more work than just staying home. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Mommyhood isn't for the faint of heart and I think all moms deserve a Mother of the Year award (especially those of us with preschoolers).

After all that, I think it is fully appropriate for us to have one day off. One day of rest. One day where everyone is nice to you and does what you say, because you're the mom. One day to actually ENJOY being a mom. Is that SO much to ask for?

I hear about these moms who get breakfast in bed and they go out to eat for dinner and she gets the day off from laundry and cooking and cleaning. I think WOW, that would be great! Like, REALLY great! Dad gets a taste of a day in the life of mom (and hopefully appreciates her more than ever) while she gets to relax. I wonder if those moms really get the day off from laundry and cooking and cleaning or if they just turn a blind eye and it's all piled up waiting for them at the end of the day.

Now, don't get me wrong, there were some highlights to yesterday.
  • One, my kid is becoming so stinking funny. She makes me laugh and her hip-hop, breakdancing demonstration was hilarious. Poor girl needs some rhythm. :) Her re-enactment of Thumper (from Bambi) 8000 times was pretty hilarious too.
  • Two, at church they had all the kids fill out a little questionnaire about mom and Skylar's answers were a riot.
  • Three, hubby did ask me in advance for gift ideas and I was thrilled with my new yoga mat towel and super cute mat bag!
  • Four, I went to hot yoga class. It's the one place in the world where it really is all about me.
But, I got no breakfast in bed, I prepared lunch AND dinner, did the dishes, started 2 loads of laundry, did some work, and gave the kid a bath, so it wasn't really any different from any other Sunday.

I told hubby that next year I will make my Mother's Day requests a bit more specific, starting with breakfast in bed. :)

May 2, 2011

A FLOOD of Memories

See this mosquito? This is my every day flood reminder. Why? Well, she flew into our house on the night that our neighborhood began to flood and never left. It took me a few days to finally understand that she was dead. Every day I enter my office/guest room and see her stuck to the top of the wall near the window and every day I'm reminded of how the Lord protected us. (Note: I started writing this post a week early. This mosquito has since fell off the wall. I was terribly upset when I noticed that it was no longer there. Had my daughter not been in the room with me at the time, I may have broke down and cried. I had truly come to love that silly little mosquito. It was kind of ironic that this reminder is no longer there. While I will never forget the flood, it's time to move forward and that's exactly what Nashville is doing.)

I also have another reminder of the flood. My laptop. My very 1st Mac arrived during the flood. In fact, it almost didn't get delivered because of it. However, it arrived just in time and it kept me in touch with the rest of the world (via Social Media) throughout the duration. I lovingly named it McWater.

I thought it would be interesting to take a trip down memory lane and write down my most vivid memories of the flood.

I remember....
  • that it rained non-stop for 3 days and that even though our church is no where near a body of water, it flooded first.
  • my hubby barely getting him and his truck off of Miami Drive and that it stalled out in the deep water.
  • taking a walk in our PJs to investigate the retention ponds and making a decision to stay.
  • praying that I wouldn't be the person sitting on the roof of a flooded house waving a white flag to helicopters flying overhead.
  • two sets of strangers (neighbors) and their cats seeking refuge at our house because their house one street over was flooding. We made beds on the floors upstairs and hoped that we wouldn't have to swim out the next morning.
  • tip toeing downstairs the next morning and praising the Lord that there was no water in our home. Shortly after that, I noticed that the water was continuing to rise.
  • seeing neighbor Wade come rowing up in a little dingy boat with sandbags and being beyond thrilled to see him.
  • getting a little panicky when the helicopters started flying overhead for real.
  • that my love for social media grew a little bit that day because it kept me better in tune to what was actually going on out there.
  • respectfully declining the officials and their Zodiak boats and choosing to stay over and over and again.
  • checking the water level every 30 minutes and watching it slowly creep higher and higher on the slab of our home and the relief I felt when the water finally stood still and then left a grass stain on the fence as proof that it was receding.
  • confirming that the Cumberland River can crest at 52.1 feet and be in my garage but not in my house.
  • lots of walks around the neighborhood in water up to my thighs as I checked on the homes of my neighbors who couldn't get back home.
  • seeing a horse stranded at Lock Two Park and learning that he had flowed 14 MILES downstream.
  • that my husband worked tirelessly rowing families to their homes. One night we went to sleep with not one but two boats floating in our front yard tied to the tree.
  • that houses on either side of us had water damage but we didn't. Houses just 1 street over had 2 feet of water and houses just 1 neighborhood over from us had water up to the roof.
  • that I questioned my choice to stay on about day 4 of being stuck in the house with a 3 year old.
  • the eerie sound of people returning home after it had been so quiet for 5 days and meeting the owner of the random car that had been stashed in front of our house.
  • being on tight water restriction for two weeks and had umpteen loads of laundry to do when it was completely lifted a month later.
  • seeing the piles and piles and piles of debris lined up along the roads.
  • having to present my ID to get into my own neighborhood for weeks.
  • seeing my church come together like never before to support and work along side the 14 families tragically affected and watching my own daughter work her booty off to help a dear family pack up their remaining things. She never complained but still worries about Ms. Katie's cookie cutters.
  • having emotions that ranged from feeling guilty to praising the Lord to being mad at the world for their seemingly lack of concern.
  • eating sack lunches that were hand-delivered ice cream truck style from the Red Cross and local churches.
  • that it took most families 6 months or even more before they were able to rebuild and return home.
  • that I actually remember SO much more than this.
A lot has changed in a year. This past Saturday night we attended a party to celebrate all that has changed for the better in the last 365 days. It was called Mudstock and I couldn't be more thrilled for these families. Here's a quick video of this amazing event. You can also view the full 1-year anniversary article.

Today, I want it to salute all Nashvillians, those who were directly affected and those who volunteered their time and resources to restore what was lost. I'm extremely proud to be a resident of Tennessee. I won't ever forget the Nashville Flood of 2010 and I will always remember this.... #WeAreNashville