Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Nose Plays

Being several inches shorter and 4 shoe sizes smaller than my sisters, I've wondered through the years where did I get my genes? But tonight, part of the puzzle was solved when I met Uncle Dick, my grandmother's brother: I have a Doan nose. It's confirmed. (I'll add pictures asap so you can see for yourself)

While physically, I often don't feel like I resemble my predecessors, I'm grateful for the behaviors and mannerisms that they have passed down to me through genetics and example. I come from a family of educators: I have grandparents who have taught in the school systems for years. Each day when I work with my students at school, I'm grateful for the inherent skills that allow me to help my students become better communicators. I come from a family of musicians. While I won't claim to be a musician myself, I have an appreciation for the way that music can move your soul. I come from a family of smilers. It's not a family gathering without the grins, the laughs, the love. I'm grateful for being taught to look for joy and to smile and laugh.

So thanks for the nose and the joy (maybe that's where I got my nosiness, too)!

Monday, August 18, 2008

They're Married!!!

This weekend was wonderful! Tamara and Jack were married and are so happy together. It was refreshing to rejoice in their love with family and friends. I enjoyed reconnecting with family friends and relatives. I learned that there are more people reading my blog than I had thought. (Please feel free to leave a comment to just say hello.)

I had the privilege of being her maid of honor and presenting a toast. This was an emotional process for me, as when I sat down to gather my thoughts, I was disappointed that my words didn't adequately capture my overwhelming feelings of love and admiration for my sister and my joy for her. A month beforehand I had begun a draft, but I didn’t have the polished piece until the day of the wedding. Fortunately as I sat on the couch the morning of the ceremony, the words came.

David thankfully captured on film (I guess it’s not film in this digital world) proof that people laughed at the appropriate times.

Here's the toast:

When I think about the relationships that are important to me and that have helped mold me into the person I am today, my relationship with Tamara is one of the most noteworthy in my life. I have watched her through the years with critical eyes that only younger sisters understand. Admiring and loving. Dreaming and hoping to become like her someday.

Watching her, I’ve learned not only how to apply make-up and to curl, crimp, and straighten my hair (depending on the fashion of the decade), but how to show love and kindness to those who are in need of compassion. Throughout her life she has taken the time to make sure those around her feel included and cared for. I know because I’ve been watching.

As Tamara’s shadow, her lack of hesitation has taken me on a roller coaster of fun adventures from swinging on cabinet doors to covering Andrea with chocolate to sticking onions up our noses so we’d look like walruses. She knows how to transform the mundane into extraordinary memories. I know because I’ve been watching.

I wanted to have the blue Tupperware cup because she had a blue Tupperware cup. I wanted a pink and purple bike because she wanted a pink and purple bike. I wanted to play the piano because she took lessons first. I joined the cross country team because Tamara joined the cross country team. I wanted to sing in the high school choir because she sang in the high school choir. I’m grateful to have such a remarkable sister to look up to and emulate. She is an amazing woman. I know because I’ve been watching.

And she has chosen an amazing man with whom to build a life together. He is patient and calm. Thoughtful and talented. Witty and well versed. I know because I’ve been watching.

I’m looking forward to watching Jack and Tamara as they create traditions together, build a home of respect and love, and enjoy the everyday adventures of life. Know that I’ll be watching.

Here’s to Tamara and Jack. We’ll all be watching.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's Official: I'm a Triathlete

My first race went well. My goal was to finish under 2 hours, and my final time was 1:59:40. I made it by the skin of my teeth. If you don't believe me you can check out the official results: Camp Pendleton Sprint Results Racing is quite an experience.

I panicked a bit in the water as the waves were bigger than I was used to and the current was stronger than when I had practiced. Once I got past the breakers and realized I was off course (thanks to the current), I was able to calm myself down and get back on the correct side of the buoys. It was such a relief when I was going the right direction (with the current).

Since I had taken about twice as long to do the swim than I had planned, I really pushed on the bike. My bike computer went out so I wasn't able to tell how fast I was going. So, I decided I wouldn't let anyone pass me and that I would catch anyone I could see on the ride. And I did it.

Along the ride, my foot came out of my pedal and I noticed I couldn't really feel my feet. I told myself Oh, well. I obviously don't need to feel them to ride since I'm doing fine and we'll just see what happens when I get off the bike. Somehow I managed to dismount without falling over and just kept running. I guess I don't need to feel my feet to run either. So I just kept going and focused on my form: pumping my arms and keeping me knees high.

Somehow I forgot to put my number on in transition for the run. Halfway up the hill I realized that everyone else was wearing their number, but I wasn't. I started to go back to get it because I didn't want to get dq'd for not having my number, but someone (thankfully) told me not to worry about it as the number is mostly for the pictures. I knew my mom was taking pictures, so I didn't need my number.

I was surprised how quickly the race went by. When I crossed the finish line, it felt like I had just started. In fact, after I turned in my chip I asked the volunteer: "Is that it? Am I done, now." For some reason, it didn't quite feel finished to me. Once I saw my fam and got a big hug from my dad it felt more final. My family and friends were great. I had quite the cheering section.

I can't wait till my next one. It's going to be hard to take a "rest/recoup" week, but I'll be busy with work and getting ready for my sisters wedding..

Here are some pre-race pics. I'll add some more once I get pictures from my mom, Dustin, and Taylor.

Departure time: 4:45
Taylor and my bike are loaded and ready to go! I was so giddy.

Transition opens in 5 minutes: we were trying to hurry so we could get a "good spot"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

When you move out

As the second child of five in a four bedroom house, I knew that my bedroom was spoken for before I even left for college by a younger sibling. I knew that when she left that the purpose of my room would be transformed perhaps to a scrap booking room or a guest bedroom, but I always thought of the space as my room. I never imagined the space where I carefully set up my Fischer-Price farm and spent hours devouring books would be transfigured into a bathroom.

However, it's an incredibly beautiful bathroom, so I guess it's an acceptable change. I just hope that every time my parents brush their teeth, they'll remember that they are standing in the spot where I kept my favorite things, where I tried (and failed) to dye my hair with kool-aide and where I carefully gave Andrea a hair cut with pocket knife scissors. ;)

Destination Triathlon

So, I was chatting with a person online who will be traveling to Spain to do a triathlon. That is the way to travel, if you ask me. What an experience!!!

That got me thinking about my plans for next summer. Instead of sitting around my room procrastinating, I'd like to go on a trip with a triathlon as the grand finale next summer. I'm thinking somewhere in Latin America so I can work on my Spanish language skills. Let me know if you have any tips.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What you say to your mom, not your friends...

Thursday, when I was hanging out with Asia, my dear friend Teryn called to confirm details for our weekend day trip to The Huntington. As we were finishing up, Teryn said good bye, like a normal person, and what did I say? Love you, bye. I wasn't sure how to recover from that. Did a bit of backpedaling while both Asia and Teryn had a good chuckle.

Just be aware that when I talk to you on the phone, I may finish by saying "Love ya, bye:" it's what I do. Don't take it personally (unless you're family, in which case please do take it personally, I really do mean it).
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Friday, August 1, 2008

I wish I had taken a picture

You know how your windshield looks after a road trip? Well, that's how my shins looked after my bike ride this morning: complete with bug splats. I didn't dare look in the mirror before I wiped my face.