Wednesday, May 16, 2018

It's been awhile

My life hasn't been any different than it has for the last 6 years.  Sometime in February I passed a "runiversary" and in March I passed a "blogiversary."  I think that I am still blogging the same old boring stuff.  I run, I eat (sometimes well, sometimes bad), I drink, I work, I sleep and repeat.

Losing a loved one has a sobering affect on you.  It definitely makes you care less about some things.  There are things that just aren't very important to me right now, and for the month of April that was running.  Although, I did intentionally take the month off, I didn't have that urge to go for a run.  Not really at all.  When my sister and I walked Bloomsday a few weeks ago, I felt that urge a couple times, but it's still not the pressing need it once was.

I started running after Bloomsday and my foot is doing great.  I am rolling and icing it regularly, almost daily, and the miles I've done so far (13) has not been hard on it.  I do need to start running more if I am going to do a marathon in October.  My training needs to start in June for that.

My schedule has been pretty hectic. I have school now, so I'm working on that, and Maddox is in Little League, and of course his games are on Tuesday and Thursday, the two days of the work week that I run. 

At the end of April I decided to switch gyms.  I switched from the LA Fitness near my work to one in Mount Vernon because it was easier to go to after work.  I went several times in April and haven't been back since I started running again.  I'm afraid I'm going to have started paying for a gym that I'm never going to use, and this particular gym is a year contract or I have to pay a fee to cancel.  (LA Fitness didn't have a year contract.) I was doing online spin classes when I was going, and I really enjoyed it, but trying to figure out what days their group room was open when I was home was rather annoying.

My dad came over last weekend to watch Maddox play baseball, and for Mother's Day.  It was a really nice visit with him and it really helped me keep my mind off my Mom.  I am still in denial that she's gone.  It really just doesn't seem real.  The other day I had a moment of pure anger, not at her, but at the world.  Why her?  She was so full of life.  Why now? 

And I get angry when I hear other people's stories of their parents death.  I always feel that it isn't the same.  A security guard at the courthouse was telling me his mom passed away "sometime in February or March."  He was telling me this less than a month after my mom passed away (also about a month for him too) and he couldn't even remember when it was.  And then he was saying she was in her 90's, she was struggling for a long time, and I couldn't help but think . . . it's not the same.  You expected your mom to die.  90 is a great age to die . . .my mom was 70, and a very young 70, and she died very suddenly.


Back to life. 

On top of my dad being her this last weekend, I bought a car.  I'm super excited about it.  We've needed a second car for years, and this year I was going to make it happen no matter what.  At first I was planning on getting an older car that I could just buy outright, but the more I looked, the more I realized that the price I could pay outright would not get me what I wanted.  I found many cars that would have worked, but I really wanted a newer car with few miles that I won't be afraid is going to die on me. 

I ended up getting a 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT, and I love it.  It's much newer than I was thinking I would get, but I'm super happy with it. 

Here are pictures from Bloomsday and the last few weeks.

The first day I decided to go for a run, I was excited, it had been sunny and warm all day.  As soon as I got home and got dressed, it started to rain.  =/
 My new car!  =)
 Damian umpired a game on Saturday.  My dad and I decided to go watch him.  He did very well.
 Finally a sunny run!!
 Maddox running to first at his baseball game last night

Thursday, April 19, 2018


I haven't felt like blogging much lately, I don't know if you can tell.  I don't feel like I have anything to talk about. 

I don't know if you read my last post, the letter to my Mom, but in it I posted that I started school.  I started a Master's in Professional Counseling program online through Grand Canyon University.  I don't know how fabulous the program is, but I'm doing it.  I'm also freaking out a little about it.  I haven't been in school for 20 years, which means I haven't written a paper in that long either.  I'm a bit worried about it.

Anyway, this program has school weeks that go from Thursday to Wednesday, so each new week (and assignments) start on Thursday.  Today is the first day of my third week.  I have done all the assignments and so far I have an A. =)  This particular class is a intro to graduate studies class, so it's not really about my profession, but it has been pretty helpful in reteaching me things I haven't done for 20 years.

Two weeks ago I ran the Tulip Run.  It wasn't anything special.  In fact it was a pretty rainy, dreary day.  It rained heavily while we were lined up at the start line and then stopped just before the race started.  It was my slowest Tulip Run ever, well, other than the first one that I walked.  Somehow I managed to get 2nd in my age group . . . out of 3.  =)  I did get a medal though. 

The Tulip Run was the last time I ran.  I have been struggling with my foot, I'm pretty sure it's plantar faciitis again, and it seemed to be getting worse, not better, so I decided to take April off of running.  However, I thought that I would regret not doing the Tulip Run because I've done it so often. 

I started going to the gym again.  I was trying to go during the week during my lunch break, but it hasn't been working out very well.  I made it twice last week, but not at all this week.  But I also like working out on the weekends, and I can't drive to Everett just to go to the gym both Saturday and Sunday, so last weekend I went to a local gym and paid the drop in fee. 

I started thinking about it, and it makes much more sense for me to join a gym that is close to home rather than close to work.  I joined LA Fitness because I was going with my sister to spin classes, but it's been almost a year since we went.  Also, Chris is working fulltime in Everett now, so he usually has the car and I can't get to the gym during work hours anymore.  If I had a gym membership close to home I could just go after work when I need to. . . so last night I joined the gym in Mt. Vernon.  I plan to cancel my membership at LA Fitness tomorrow.  I'm kinda sad, because I really do like LA Fitness, but I haven't been going, and I really can't go right now.  Plus, their spin bikes are sooooo much nicer than Urban Fitness (the local gym I joined). UF is $10 cheaper though, so I suppose we'll see how it goes.

I've been going to do a spin "class."  Really, it's me, by myself, watching a YouTube video.  But I have found a couple "classes" on YouTube that are really good.  I will probably get tired of them, so I'll have to look for more, they're not as prevalent as I thought they would be. 

The first Sunday in May is Bloomsday, and I'm walking with my sister, we'll see if spin "class" keeps me in shape enough to walk 7.45 miles . . .

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mom blog

My mom used to send emails to us (my sisters and I) titled "Mom blog." 

If this was a piece of paper, I'm sure it would be covered in wet spots and smears . . .

Hi Mom,

I miss you.  I love you.  I wake up every morning thinking about you.  I had a dream a week ago about you that was so vivid I can still see it.  In it you knew you were going to die so you were going through things in the bedroom in the basement (why you were there, I don't know, I don't think you can even walk into that room now).  I came in and just sat with you, and you put your arms around me and gave me one of your hugs.  We didn't say anything, but I remember thinking this just isn't fair.  And it isn't, it isn't fair, and it isn't right.

Maddox started baseball right after you died.  The first practice was so hard because I kept thinking about how you wouldn't get to see one of his games this year.  I can hear your voice, you know, the one you used when I played sports cheering me on, yeah that one.  I can hear you yelling at Maddox when he hits a ball.  I hated that you were so loud, especially when I was young, now I'd give anything to have you yelling in my ear cheering for Maddox.   I'm so worried he won't remember you.  I was looking at pictures of you with him a week ago.  It was too soon. Neither one of us walked away from that glad we did it.

Damian started spring quarter.  I know we were worried he'd drop out, but I convinced him to at least do this spring and he can reevaluate in the fall.  He's become pretty directionless, and I don't know how to help him.  I think that maybe going to a community college and staying where he's comfortable was a bad idea afterall.  Maybe he should have gone to a 4-year college right away.

He doesn't talk much about you.  I know he's hurting.  He told me he had a dream about you where he heard your voice.  I think the vivid dreams that we inherited from you has been a curse this last month. 

It's been a month.  Yesterday was exactly one month since you died.  I keep trying to convince myself it wasn't real.  But it is.  You are gone and I have no idea why.

You would be so happy that we (Barbara, Nancy, Tami and I) are talking a lot lately, and getting along.  Yes, even Barbara and Nancy.  We went to Ocean Shores a couple weeks ago, well, Tami couldn't, but Barbara, Nancy, Daddy and I went (we had to take Maddox, but he was great).  Everyone keeps asking how it was, and I don't know how to answer that question.  We didn't go to "have fun."  We went because Daddy needed to get out of your house.  I did run a race on the beach though.  =)  Again, I heard your voice "Way to go Cathy! Wooo!" yelling at me. 

The week after you died, Chris was told by his work that he had to either take the admin job that pays $15 an hour (but is full time) or turn in his 2 week notice.  He decided to take the job, but it's a significant pay cut.  I think he's been pretty depressed, and I don't have anything in me to help him.  His heart isn't any better, and his eyesight is permanent. 

Chris went to the ER 2 days after you died because he had swelling in his legs.  He called the on-call dr (we were home to grab funeral clothes) and the dr told him to go to the ER, I think mostly because we were leaving the next day to go back to your house.  That was a waste of time, and I couldn't stop crying while I was there.  The poor nurses heard all about you.  Anyway, it turns out he has just been retaining fluid, he's on some pills and he lost 21 lbs in 3 days in water weight (I need some of those pills!!). 

Also during the week after you died, I signed up for college.  Yes, I decided to get my Master's degree.  Tara, yes, my roommate from college, drove all the way from Idaho to come to your funeral.  It was so nice to see her.  I haven't seen her in 17 years.  We sat and talked for a long time after the "festivities" were done.  She was the final straw that pushed me to look seriously into school.  I had been talking to a friend at work about it and she just made me decide it was worth it.  Plus, with Chris's job, it will be good to look ahead for me, to better my opportunities.

So I started yesterday on the one month anniversary of your death.  It's a 4 year program, and I'm terrified, and feel like it will take forever.  But really, 4 years isn't that long.  It's a master in professional counseling, which is kinda weird that it's not a MSW program, but all the MSW programs I found were already full, and I decided if I didn't start now, I never would.  A coworker told me about this course that she is doing, and said it's easy (well, her words were "it's not fierce") and they take new students every single Thursday of the year (their week starts on Thursday).  So I called the number she gave me and I got the ball rolling. 

I think a lot of it was because I was looking for something else to occupy my headspace.  So here I am, a college student after 18 years of not being in school.

I'm worried about Daddy.  We all are.  We all are trying to keep in contact with him as much as possible.  And I think he's trying to get out of your house as much as possible.  He interviewed a housekeeper yesterday, I don't know how that went, but hopefully the house won't get too bad. 

I dread going back to your house.  Your house has a very distinctive smell, you even smell like it when you come to my house.  It is a good smell, but it is definitely you.  I dread smelling it, but then I think I dread even more NOT smelling it. 

Oh!  I found this cool running series the other day.  I was going to sign up for it because if I ran 3 races as part of their group, then I would get this really pretty, really cool whale medal.  So I was looking for races I could do, and I finally found 3 I thought I could do without a ton of traveling.  I started looking at the fine print.  I guess you have to sign up to be a part of this group, and pay a fee of $21 a month, and you get all the races for "only" $63 but you can cancel your membership anytime.  So I thought, okay, I'll sign up, sign up for all 3 races, and then cancel my membership and do them and get the medal.  Well, then I saw that if you cancel your membership before a race you've registered for, than you also cancel your registration for the race.  The last race I could do is in October, which means 7 months of paying the $21 fee.  All in all, after 7 months and 3 races, the total came out to $336.  If I paid full price for all the races it would only be $208, so I decided I can't do that.  I won't get that cool medal for you.  One of the races was called the "Orca Run" so I think I will try to do that one for you.  I don't know what that medal is going to look like though.

I miss you.  You were (are?) such a big part of my life, it is pretty amazing the hole that you've left.  My kids miss you.  I love you.

Love always,

Monday, April 2, 2018

April goals

I haven't put any thought into April goals.  I don't even know if it's worth making goals at this point.  These are going to be the most simple goals there are, just saying. . .

Goal 1: getting outside (hiking) . . . In April I will save $20 towards hiking gear.  That's it, that's all I can do at this moment.  Which is a shame because $20 won't do much towards helping me get gear and it's going to get warmer out, but that's all I can handle now.

Goal 2: yoga . . . In April I will do some sort of stretching 4 days a week for at least 10 min.
I can totally handle this and since I have not been stretching much at all, I have noticed the ache that I had in my left thigh coming back, so I definitely need to get back into it.

Goal 3: PR half and full marathons . . . I will go to the gym at least 2 times a week and do some cycle work on a bike.
I am currently trying to prevent plantar faciitis from getting worse. My foot is pretty painful right now after I run, so I think I need to stop running for a little bit.  Especially if I want to train for another marathon, and PR it.  I am only driving to work 2 times a week, so the gym is not doable more than that and I don't have a bike at home.  If I can manage more than 2 times a week I will try. I do need to start rolling and icing my foot religiously (right now I'm average once a week on really bad days).  So . . . ice and roll 4 times a week.

Goal 4: healthy eating . . . I will eat a salad 2 times a week, afternoon coffee 2 times a week. Count calories and stay within my limit, cut back on the stupid candy from Easter. And I will go back to trying to keep wine on weekends and one day in the middle of the week, but honestly, that might not happen.
I haven't really been weighing in much.  I've been afraid to step on the scale, to be honest.  I even skipped my monthly weigh in yesterday, I can pretty much say that my weight is at least 155, and I don't want to know if it's more.  It will make my life worse.  So I'm going to work on my diet instead.

Bonus goal: Tattoo
Many years ago I had a friend that got a tattoo of her Dad's handwriting that says "I love you, Dad."  At that time I thought that would be amazing to get, so I had both my Mom and my Dad write that on a piece of paper.  My Dad instead wrote "Me too" under my Mom's "I love you, Mom."  I hadn't had any burning desire to get the tattoo before now, but now I do.  So that is my bonus goal, to get that tattoo, or at least schedule it.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March goal recap

Well, March was a bust.  The first week was the week my Mom died, and everything after that has been shit.  But I will go over my results anyway. My Mom died on the 5th, the first Monday, it's the week before that is gone from my memory.  I can remember the week of clearly, but things are pretty fuzzy before that.  I actually met 2 new clients at the end of February and have no memory of meeting them at all.  I met with them again last week and this week and they both remember me, but I have no memory of them.  One of them even asked me how my son's girlfriend was, I don't remember talking to him about it. 
Goal 1: getting outside (hiking) . . . In March I will save $20 towards hiking gear.  Nope, didn't happen.  Didn't even remember I had written this. 

Goal 2: yoga . . . In March I will do some sort of stretching 3 days a week for at least 10 min. and one week of 4 days.I am also going to schedule a massage somewhere.  I did not do this.  I think I accomplished stretching 2 times most weeks.  But there was no massage scheduled anywhere.

Goal 3: PR half and full marathons . . . I will run at least 3 times a week and with a day of speed work. I did not run 3 times a week with speed work.  I think I ran 3 times a week, but no speed work at all. Ice and roll 3 times a week.  I also did not ice and roll at all.

Goal 4: healthy eating . . . I will eat a salad 2 times a week, cut back my afternoon coffee to 2 times a week.  Wine on weekends and one day in the middle of the week. Um, no.  Just no.  I don't know what I ate, it was a lot of fast food the first week of March.  Coffee, well, probably 3 or 4 times a week.  And don't even get me started on the wine.  I've had a lot of wine.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Ocean Shores

My sister, Tami, lives in N. Carolina, she was at my parent's house until last Sunday when she went home. This last week was the first week my dad was alone at his house since my mom died ( I have a hard time saying the polite word, passed, I feel like saying she died is more blunt, and I need to hear that in my own head to completely wrap my head around the fact that she's gone).

Anyway, we thought at least one of us should be there for my dad this last weekend, and I was going to go. However, on Thursday my dad decided he needed to get away and invite my other 2 sisters and me to go to Ocean Shores with him. So off we went.

I had to take Maddox because I had no one to watch him on Saturday, so it was the 5 of us.

This trip was the first step in healing ( if that's possible) and moving forward without one of the most important people in our family unit.  I don't have a lot to say about the trip, so I guess I'll just put up the pictures. 

 The first morning we were there I walked out to the beach to watch the sunrise (well, the sun rose behind me, but the sky was beautiful over the ocean in front of me).  While I was standing there, 2 eagles flew right over my head. 

 My Mom loved to geocache.  If you don't know what it is, it's like an adult version of a treasure hunt.  People put out tokens (or coin) in caches, and then you go find them. If you find one, you can register that you found it.  You can also take them out and put them in a different cache.  They also have traveling tokens (I know I'm not using the right words), that's where someone puts on in a cache with the intent on it getting to a specific destination.  My dad sent one to my sister in N. Carolina once.  In fact, my dad put one in my Mom's coffin, he had the coin number on the memorial "brochure" for the people from their local geocaching group that came to the funeral. 

Anyway, my dad made 3 tokens out of some bath toys that were whales, my Mom loved whales.  My sister in N. Carolina took one and put it in a cache there, my dad put one in a cache in eastern WA and then we went looking for a cache in Ocean Shores to put the third one in.
 While we were eating lunch we noticed some tshirts around the pizza place for a fun run.  We asked when it was and we were told it was the next day . . . and we were there during packet pickup.  So I registered for the 10K.  =) 
 We spend some time on the beach.  Maddox bought this moose hat a month or so ago for the school's Dr. Seuss week.  Maddox loves it.  He also spent a lot of time digging in the sand.  It started out as a treasure hunt, then he was a dog, then he started putting "treasure" in the holes he was digging (rocks or shells).  He did it so much I was surprised his fingers weren't raw the next day. 
 We went to Sharkey's (a store) to see what it was about.  The store wasn't really cool, but the door outside was pretty cool.

My Dad

 We spent quite a long time at the beach at sunset on Saturday evening.  There were a lot of tears.  And a lot of silent moments. 
 After the sunset we came back to the hotel and there were some deer behind the hotel.  The baby deer got pretty close to Maddox, but when it realized Maddox didn't have any food it ran away. 

 My family was nice enough to wait to check out of the hotel until after I ran my race.  My dad went to the start of the race with me while my sisters packed the hotel up.  The first half of the race was on a street paralleling the beach and the second half was along the beach.  I was a little worried about the sand, but in Washington you're allowed to drive on the beach (which I'm not a fan of), so with that and the off and on rain all weekend the sand was pretty packed and it was super easy to run on.  In fact I ran the second half faster than the first half. 

Overall, the weekend was good. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Honestly, I don't have any words to write.
I don't know if I've talked about my extended family much (parents and sisters), but we have always been a very close family.  My brother-in-law thinks it's very weird but that is how we are.  And I have been especially close to my Mom since I became a "responsible" adult (not just adult, but responsible).  Her death was so unexpected and quick that it has caught us all off guard. 

and I find myself crying at random times.  This week has been harder than last week.  The week of her death was the worst, by the way.  She died on a Monday.  March 5th.

We made big collages for her funeral of her and other people.  And while going through my pictures, I realized I have no pictures of just her and I.  The most recent picture I have of her and I, my sister is in it as well.

From March 6, 2015