Monday, May 7, 2012

Leader of the Pack...

Life lessons occur on a daily basis. Sometimes they sneak up and surprise us. Last Friday, Bella's swim coach handed her a plaque. It had been awarded at the season end swim banquet that we had been unable to attend. It was the leadership award for her last swim level. Her current coach said, "Coach Brenda's exact words were, "She's the best listener, even though she can't hear half the time in the water!"

Receiving the leadership award was such a great lesson to Bella. Does she have the fastest times? Can she swim the most lengths? No, but as he coaches have said in the past, she is always willing to work really hard and give it her all. Life isn't always about doing the best. As I have often told Bella, a strong work ethic often trumps final results. At some point everyone encounters a time/event where success is not easily achieved. For those without a strong work ethic, it is more difficult to power through the tough times. Having things always come easily is not always a blessing.

Bella was so proud of her plaque. She wanted Erick to hang it up right away with the rest of her swim ribbons.

I hope it is the first of many hard earned successes for her!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Too Close For Comfort...

A few weeks ago, I attended my first Twin's game at the new Target field. Well, I say "new", but this is the third season it's been open. New to me, anyway, right? The experience, and several other things that have been going on lately, got me thinking about how things don't always turn out the way you expect.

Some of you may know that almost 2 1/2 years ago, I set out on a New Year's resolution to lose some weight. With a combination of self control and hard work, I was able to lose 30lbs. Last summer, my gym was giving out $50 that could be used on club services if you wrote a story about any weight loss success. I submitted my story and received the money, which I used for some swim lessons for Bella. At the end of March, I received a call from Lifetime asking if I wanted to be "member of the game" for an upcoming Twin's game. They explained that Lifetime is a sponsor of the Twin's and that each game they have a member come onto the field, show them on the jumbotron, then tell a brief summary of their Lifetime success story. My first thought was, "Oh, I better put down the jellybeans!" Not to say I haven't stayed in shape, for the most part. It's just that like everyone, I have certain downfalls. I am a sucker for jellybeans and any other kind of gummy candy. I have maintained a regular workout schedule, but in recent weeks, I may have missed some strength workouts. Everything I hadn't done or had done wrong popped into my mind. Being on the jumbotron and being heralded for being in "great shape" is a bit intimidating. And if the camera adds 10 lbs, I can only imagine how much a jumbotron adds. Still, it seemed like an exciting opportunity, so I agreed.

So here's my picture of how the Twin's game was supposed to go. The sky would be bright and sunny, there would be a warm breeze blowing, my family would be smiling and happy to support me, and everyone would be excited about the game. Not exactly. First of all, I only had 4 tickets so one of the kids was not going to come. Instead of fighting over who GOT to come, they fought over who HAD to come. Bella was out of the equation since she couldn't stay home by herself, so the battle came between Becca and Harry. Harry lost out to Becca, so let's just say he wasn't thrilled. When we got to the game, the kids were starving so we bought food right away. Then my big event happened in the pregame. I must say it was pretty cool going under the bowels of Target Field and then getting to go onto the actual field. I was amazed at how much went on before the game. There were two guys who went out with me who were going to try and catch pop flys for a charity event. Everything is timed to the minute. So here is me on the big screen.

I must say it was pretty unnerving. They have a big TV camera facing you, while they read a summary of your story. The whole thing took about  1 1/2 minutes, but it felt more like an hour. Staring into the camera made me feel very self conscious. At one point in my life I had wanted to be a news anchor, now I know I made the right choice not to pursue that field. Personally I would have been less nervous to give a speech at Target Field than stand there for the 1 minute. The weather for the game was rainy and cold. Thank goodness for the heaters at Target Field. My sister and her family happened to get tickets to the game too! My nephew also made it onto the jumbotron that night!

 A few innings into the game, Harry started to complain about frostbite (he's a little dramatic) and I was a little worried that Bella was going to get sick for her nature camp week long trip on Monday, so we left after the 4th inning. Wimps, yes, I know. My sister and her family (the children are quite a bit younger) stuck it out for almost the whole game. What can I say?

Harry is also discovering things don't always turn out the way you hope or expect. A few weeks ago, he bought a new pair of sneakers. You might have read about how he had four pairs, but none of them seemed to be quite right. He used money he had earned from yard work to buy a new pair of Nikes. He got them from Nordstrom Rack and was happy for about a week. Then a little piece of netting broke on them. He now blames me for telling him to try and save money by getting them at Nordstrom Rack and says he has learned his lesson to never try and get a bargain in the future. Yes, because they were discounted is why the netting broke. Not because he is a very active boy who is very hard on his clothing. He is now asking for a new pair of shoes. Talk about not having things turn out the way you expect, that is almost the definition of parenthood.