Monday, November 26, 2012

Come ... as a child

Some things you just know. You don't know when you learned them or how you learned them. They've just been in your head since childhood. It can be years before you need to pull these things out, but when you do, voila they are there.

But, when you become a parent, no one tells you that you are now responsible for instilling and teaching those things into your child. They don't come out knowing this stuff you've always known. They don't know that if you let go of a cup, it will drop to the floor. They don't know that if you touch a hot iron, it will burn your fingers. They don't come out of the womb knowing the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

And, it's not until you need them to know something that you've always known, that you realize you are the one who is supposed to teach them that.

So it happened a little over a week ago to me. I got a call from someone at my church. Our church has been making really cool videos since we got a new pastor. They were making a new one for the Advent season, and needed a little girl to sing "Jesus Loves Me."

"Would Molly be able to do this?" they asked. "Sure," I replied. "She'd love to."

First mistake: Assuming Molly would be thrilled. When I picked her up from school that afternoon, I told her about going up to church to sing on the video. "No, I don't want to do that!" she said rather emphatically. "I'm a horrible singer."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting my kicks ...

A few months ago, I saw something come across my news feed on Facebook. It was advertising for the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I ran the marathon of this in 2010, but, I was not up to running a marathon this year. What I was up for was the special edition Half Fanatic medal the race was offering.

Look at that!
That's right, bling specifically designated for Half Fanatics. Now, if you remember, I earned my spot in the Half Fanatics back in April. But, other than knowing that I was a Half Fanatic, nothing really changed in terms of my running.

Until now. I was so excited about this. Back when I ran the race in 2010, it was a really well-run, well-organized race. I know, you're probably thinking, Tulsa? Really? But, I had a good time (despite dealing with sick children all weekend) when I did it. So, I put the word out to see if anyone would want to come to Tulsa with the goal of getting the Half Fanatic medal. I knew I could count on Anne and Kelli to agree to a girls' trip with the sole goal of this medal.

We had one small problem, though. Kelli had already signed up to run a 50K on Saturday (Route 66 was on Sunday). 50K, in case you're wondering, is 31 miles. Yes, I did not miss a decimal point. It is thirty-one miles. But, she still wanted to run for the Half Fanatic medal.

The logistics got a little tricky because of this. We had to get to the expo by 6pm on Saturday night to pick up our packets, but there was no way Kelli could finish her run and meet us to drive down to Tulsa and make it by 6pm.

So, Anne and I left in the morning with plans to pick up Kelli's packet for her while Kelli hopped a flight after she finished running her 50K. I know, I was also surprised that you could fly from KC to Tulsa. Although, you do apparently have to go through Dallas/Ft. Worth to do it.

To get the weekend off on the right foot (the caffeinated one), we started the road trip with a trip to Starbucks. The drive to Tulsa is not exactly exciting, if you can imagine, so we needed all the help we could get to make it.

Thanks to our delicious drinks, Anne and I did make it to Tulsa by noon. Turned out to be perfect timing for a lunch trip to my favorite place: McAlister's Deli. Yum.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A very special Veterans Day

It's kind of appropriate that Veterans Day lands in November. A lot of people use the whole month leading up to Thanksgiving as a way of taking stock of the things for which they are thankful. Growing up as an Army brat, I don't think I've ever taken for granted the people who've served in our military, but it is nice to have a day set aside especially to say thanks.

Well, last week, Molly's school sent home a flyer announcing the upcoming Veterans Day assembly. The school was putting together a slideshow for the assembly and needed people to send in pictures of any relatives who are veterans or who currently serve in the military. Then, it said that they would love for Veterans to come to the assembly to speak.

My dad is retired from the Army now, but still works full time, so he couldn't come. But, my grandpa is retired from the Marines, and I thought maybe he would like to come.

So, I went out to visit him last week to ask him about coming. When Charlotte and I got there, I asked him if he thought he might be able to do it.

"Well, I'm going to a Veteran's luncheon at JCCC, but that's not until noon, so I should be able to come," he replied. Apparently, you gotta book early to fit in the plethora of Veterans Day activities.

Then, I asked him if he had a picture for the slideshow the school was making. "I don't know. It's been 40 years, you know," he told me with a grin. Then, he disappeared for about 20 minutes. Next thing I knew, he was coming downstairs with a big album of pictures. It was this whole treasure trove of history. We looked through it together, and he told me stories about every different picture.

I took a couple pictures of the pictures, but I want to get back out there to get them all copied (with his memories about them). I know, at my age, it's pretty rare to have a grandpa still around, so I felt incredibly  lucky to have the chance to sit next to him on the couch as he shared his memories of receiving a Bronze Star for serving in the forward infantry in Korea, or of being sent to Nagasaki three weeks after the atomic bomb went off in WWII, or the fact that he was smoking cigarettes in some of the pictures because, "they were free. They sent them to us, so we smoked them."

Picture from an article about my Grandpa after he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Basketball: up close and ageless

I'm  not a huge football fan. I'm just not.

It may stem from never having a great team to cheer for. KU football has never been awesome, and then you have the Kansas City Chiefs. Please. The Chiefs are literally the worst team in the NFL. Without good teams to cheer for, I just have never been transformed into a football fan. Cory has his K-State football team, and I don't begrudge them any wins, I just have very little interest in watching it.

I don't even watch the Superbowl unless we happen to be at a party with delicious snacks to eat. (FYI, delicious snacks include, but are not limited to chips, dips, cookies and cupcakes. Yum.) And, even then, I'm probably paying more attention to the commercials.

Buuuuuuut, if you want to talk about basketball, and specifically, KU Basketball. I'm your gal. I love it. I know it may sound cliche to say that I love KU basketball but not football, but, it's the truth. I find basketball more exciting to watch and much easier to follow. I'm not going to apologize for that.

So, when my dad called me up a couple weeks ago to tell me that he had tickets to the KU basketball game that he couldn't use, I jumped at the chance to go. Even if it was a to a pre-season exhibition game. I still love going up to Allen Fieldhouse and getting the experience of college basketball in person.

I had four tickets to the Monday night game, so Cory and I made it a date night with my friend Terah and her husband Nathan. Terah and I met at KU and always went to games together as students, so it was a fun time to reminisce.

Well, it turns out the tickets that my dad had but couldn't use were INCREDIBLE. Fourth row back, right across from the home bench. We could actually hear the words Bill Self used when he was yelling at the team. (A lot of "Wake up!") Even as a student, I was never that close to the floor.

Dang! Look how close we are!
One thing we noticed being so close: everyone else seems so young. The cheerleaders, the dancers, the players. They all look like babies up close. I sure don't really feel like I've aged all that much in the 14 years since I was a freshman living in the dorms camping out for basketball games, so I'm not sure why the students look so much younger now.

It's like the reverse of the Fast Times of Ridgemont High effect. I feel the same age, but everyone else keeps getting younger.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A wicked night

This was our family on Halloween:

Now, let me explain how I (a non-dresser-upper) ended up wearing a full face of green paint.

It all started a little over a month ago. My friend Tara threw a Wizard of Oz-themed 1st birthday party for her daughter, Priya. My girls had never seen The Wizard of Oz and to be honest, I couldn't remember the last time I had watched it, either. So, Tara invited us over for a screening of the movie in advance of the birthday party.

Charlotte, Molly, Kevi and Kiran watching intently.

I wasn't sure how the girls were going to like it. I remember being terrified of the flying monkeys when I was little. But, other than hiding for the "scary" parts, the girls actually really liked it. Molly even started dancing around like she was on the yellow brick road. And, from that, came the idea of the Halloween costume.

Molly wanted to be Glinda, the Good Witch. Because, although she is not the main character of the movie, she does have the poofiest dress and wears a crown. As a 5-year-old, it is hard to top that. Then, because the girls like to coordinate, Molly decided Charlotte should be Dorothy. And, Charlotte jumped on that bandwagon like it was made out of chocolate. She was decided.

After coming up with the idea, we needed costumes. Do you realize how frightening it is to Google "Girl Wizard of Oz Halloween Costume?" Everything that is sweet and innocent about the characters can also be made "Sexy." Personally, I didn't know that it was possible to be both the Tin Man AND sexy, but, apparently, you can. Yikes. Luckily, my sister can sew, so she was able to make the dresses for the girls' costumes. No sexy needed, thankyouverymuch.

So, how did Cory and I get involved in this, you may ask. Well, it turns out that the girls are still young enough to want to do things with their parents. Molly and Charlotte thought I needed to dress up, and they decided I should be the Bad Witch. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this decision. I'm choosing to believe it is solely because she's the only other girl in the movie. And, Cory, they decided, should be the scarecrow.

Now, this isn't to say that we were totally on board with this idea. We smiled and joked and said, "Oh, wouldn't that be funny." But, I never actually thought I would be dressing up. I don't dress up. I've never been one to do it as an adult. But, then they kept talking about it. On Halloween morning, Charlotte said, "Mommy, where is your costume?" I realized, at that point, that this was something they REALLY wanted to happen.