Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Never Not Sore.

This week marks my three year anniversary with Crossfit.

I know people hate hearing about other peoples workouts, especially their Crossfit workouts, but bear with me.

During the past three years I've had several workout related injuries. I had "tennis elbow" for nearly a year, I had an issue with my left hip flexor causing pain during runs and lunges, and most recently the tendon that goes from my left shoulder blade to the base my left ear was strained causing awful headaches.  Adding to this, I was really sore for two years. Yes. Two years. Crossfit has a T-shirt that reads, "Never Not Sore" for a reason.

I've been tempted to give up on several occasions thinking I was ruining my body and imagining my knees blowing out and needing a hip replacement, but I enjoy my workouts so much that I've instead found a great physical therapist. I believe now that Crossfit hasn't caused these injuries, but has revealed my physical weaknesses.

I was thinking the other day that Royal has been his own sort of Crossfit in my life. These Royal Crossfit injuries are not physical but relational and emotional. I was emotionally sore for nearly 5 years. I've wanted to quit, thinking he was the cause of the pain. I've feared what may happen in the future. Fortunately, I've found a great therapist to help wade through the dark waters, and can now honestly say that he has revealed my weaknesses, not caused of them.

Physically, I feel stronger and have begun to push myself to improve in my workouts. Emotionally and mentally I also feel stronger. I wish it were possible to cry uncle and say, "Okay! Lesson learned!" but life doesn't work that way. The book of Isaiah (48:10) says, "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction."

Yes, affliction. Growth takes pain whether we like it not. Maybe one day I will love this affliction in the same way that I love my Crossfit workouts. Initially I hated getting up at 5am to do ridiculous and painful exercises like 100 burpees, 50 pull ups, and 50 wall balls, but I've grown to love it and I've always loved the feeling that comes after a great workout.  I don't love the day to day conflict and chaos in my relationship with Royal. It's painful. It's relentless. But I do appreciate the spiritual and emotional growth it's allowed me.

Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to be gracious and joyful at ALL times, not just when the sun is shining.

I LOVE looking at muscle selfies- mostly because it cracks me up that this is now acceptable in our culture...
(I may write a follow up about this, but I want to quickly add that I do NOT believe Royal and Ena were put in my life so that I could become a stronger person or have personal growth. No. Yuck. Don't get me started. They were dealt a bad blow and are paying the consequences for things they had no control over and it sucks.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Most Important of All Days is Tomorrow!!!!

Tomorrow is Royal's birthday. He'll be ten- his last year of childhood. (Dear God, have mercy on us). Most kids look forward to their birthday. My kid has a six week anxiety attack leading up to his.

Here's a sampling of the questions (multiply by one thousand).
Week one- Hey, my birthday is in six weeks isn't that exciting? I wonder what will happen.
Week two- You know my birthday is coming right? Mom? Mom? Mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom???
Week three- When are you going to start buying presents for me? When? When?
Week four- Do you think anyone will remember my birthday? I don't think anyone is thinking about my birthday. No one cares about my birthday!!!
Week five- WHY HAVEN'T YOU BOUGHT ME ANYTHING??? You haven't right? I'm right. I know it.
Week six- I hate you. I hate this family. This family hates me. I'm not going to have a birthday instead I'm going to talk back and tease Ena.

It makes no difference that we respond with, "Yes, I know! It's on the calendar... We've never forgotten before and we won't this year either... You get presents every year and you will this year too!... STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!... WE KNOW!!!" 

By the end of yesterday, the day before the day before his birthday, Kyle and I were twitching, wondering if there's a way to get rid of birthdays all together so we never have to live through this again, and considering boarding school.

Today- the DAY BEFORE HIS BIRTHDAY, I'm home alone with Royal and Ena while the other four are at various camps.  We needed some serious distraction...

First- Climbing. The Seattle Bouldering Project is Awesome. My kids are natural climbers.

Second- Free Slurpees cause it's July 11. 7-11!!

Guess what flavor they chose? EVERY FLAVOR!!!! Mixed together til overflowing!!!! AAAHHHHHH!!!!!
Next- Sushi!

But first, a little free style dance attack while waiting for Auntie.

The food comes by on a moving track. VERY exciting and REALLY hard not to touch. Ena doesn't look it, but she was thrilled.
Finally- Movie time.

They chose a movie about a bully. They love bullies.

We still need to buy a cake. "Mom, mom, mom, we need need need a cake. A chocolate one. With ice cream! And candles! And and and and...." Good thing I have him here to tell me these things cause I've never planned a birthday before.

P.S. We bought him presents AND he's having a party tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Breath of Fresh Air

My mom called me after my last post and asked, "Are you okay?" The truthful answer was, "Yes, and no." Her concern (and that of a couple others) made me think maybe I needed to force myself to do something productive; a good old fashioned kick in the pants. So...

Task one: Paint the front porch. I asked my older kids to help. They asked me how much I would pay them. I told them to get off their thrones and paint the effing porch (except I used the real word cause, good grief, my kids are so spoiled and the lack of gratitude is maddening). This also happened to be the same day Ena was accused of saying the "F" word to the neighbor kid. Turns out she thinks hell is the F word and she "just" gave him the finger. It also turns out that her older brother told her about giving someone the finger and she felt compelled to try it. That evening we all had a talk about how swearing was off limits to kids but sometimes acceptable for grownups (I had to cover my tracks), just like alcohol, cigarettes, and (now in Washington) Marijuana. These things need to be used with caution and self control, two things kids generally lack.

We were done in no time, and actually had fun doing it.

The paint will look this nice for about a week.

Task two: Paint living room. We've lived in this house for six years and the paint felt dated and dirty. I've been leaning towards pale blue for awhile and then I went to my neighbors graduation party. She has pale blue walls that left me breathless. I went to the paint store and saw the color "Breath of Fresh Air." It spoke to me. 

This already shows the new furniture arrangement but with the old paint colors. I was tired of the black.

Notice the art arrangement over the piano. And Happy Fathers Day Kyle! I love that Hermon, Wyatt, and Bentley are all making the same face.

The trial coat felt soothing, I decided to go for it.

New art arrangement

The school cabinet fit perfectly under the window and is out of the dinning room allowing me to turn the table.

Task three: Paint the dinning room. These two rooms are connected by an archway so they need to coordinate. My dinning room ceiling is florescent yellow and I wasn't about to paint over it. I chose to cut "A Breath of Fresh Air" by four making it nearly white. Should this color be called "Gasping for Air?" Maybe.

Original yellowish white walls

Task three: Rearrange all the art and furniture. Since I'm not moving, the only change I can get is by moving stuff.

Day two mess

Viola! I like sparseness, it's good for breathing.

Feels much more open with the table turned

The three days of work was invigoration. I really like my new arrangement. I've tried several times to put my couch facing the fire place but the big coffee table made it cramped. That table is now in the TV room and perfect for putting our feet up. Win, win.

I love this cozy little TV room. And I love Levi's purple hair.
Up next: Front entry, stair way and upstairs hallway. I won't tell you the plan, but it's going to be fun.