Last nite a friend texted me that Robin Williams had passed away. I was sad, but I thought, "such is life". He reminded so many of us to smile. I grew up with so many of his movies; Patch Adams, Dead Poets Society, Alladin, What Dream May Come and so many others. He helped so many and yet struggled with his own demons so muc that he apparently took his own life. This is not a, "such is life" moment.
Then, today at school we had a student bring a gun on campus and make it through homeroom and a couple classes before administration found out.
However, a student reported it to administration, who took the tip serious; followed protocol, took the student and gun into custody and the day continued like normal without anyone knowing until around 2:10 when 7th period teachers began giving out letters to take home and our phone call system sent a message to our school community.
According to the news media; such is life.
But not at my school. My school has an incredible pride; Spartan Pride. It starts with small kids in kindergarten and it goes all the way up into the high schoolers and for many continues years after graduation. Such IS our life.
Spartan pride means taking pride in all things Spartan. Our nerds, jocks, pretty girls and guys, band members, Pom squad, cheerleaders, robotics programmers, soccer etc are all valued in their own way and the really awesome part is that many of our students are more than one of these things and soo many more.
My daughter is in middle school and is just learning what it means to be a Spartan.
And a Tiger.
Her swim team is the Tigers. Last nite I talked about our team to new and prospective members. I was supposed to (nicely and politely) tell our families that on top of spending tons of time at the pool for practice, paying meet fees and monthly dues, volunteering at meets and paying for "extra" goggles and caps that they were also supposed to help fundraise for the team too! (Truly, such is life!) I did tell them, but I told them why it was so important.
That sweet girl who hugged her mama at a swim meet a few weeks ago is now in the same group as my sweet girl. And tonite she was EXCITEDLY welcomed by the "big girls". Call it Spartan pride, call it Tiger pride, call it good sportsmanship.
These girls make me remember what I'm doing. I'm teaching my kids. I'm teaching your kids. I'm hoping to teach and remind them why it is so important to be kind and considerate ambassadors. I help them know and share that there are people to reach out to. My daughter is becoming one of those people. I am one of those people. Such is my life.
Some of you may know I'm a swim mom. And some of you may now.
This weekend I was reminded why I do all the things I do.
Swim meets are notorious. They are notorious for being hot, long, somewhat boring, exhausting, exhilarating, quick, isolating, friendly and so many other things.
When my daughter asked if she could bring her boyfriend to this particular meet, I was slightly hesitant. Not because I don't like the kid, he's great.
I wasn't quite ready for that, but I'll be ok. I was hesitant because this meet has some pressure on it. It's called a "last chance" meet for our kiddos because it's their last chance to make the cuts they need before our regional championship meet. (It's a really big deal.)
But this weekend, my kid was surrounded by swimmers she has been training, loving and racing with for nearly 6 years.
My children all played together and supported their sister, even the little girls yelled for their Annie. And I got to chat with some of the new members of our team and their delightful parents. Our team has some really interesting and delightful people.
But the best part, and I do mean the best part; was one that didn't have anything to do with my family. It was this, my friend's daughter met and exceeded a goal.
And I got to witness her special moment with her mom. These two women are delightful. But it's the moment right after this brief millisecond that is so wonderful and has stuck with me. That mom said the 4 most important words that parents can say to their child... "I'm proud of you." These words are so profound. It was a wonderful moment to bear witness to. (And I was thrilled to be able to capture it on camera for them.)
After this picture, I got to watch my daughter swim and unfortunately not meet the goal she had set for herself, though she did meet a goal today for herself; and I repeated those words; "I'm proud of you".
Let me tell you, that moment was profound. As it should have been. Her face lit up. As did my friend's daughter. It was wonderful. My heart lifted. I don't doubt her spirit soared.
Share a moment with your own child today. And tell them how proud of them you are. Enjoy them.
Last week Annie's boyfriend came to my dad's River house with us. Yeah, let that sink in.
Annie my first born.
Annie my sweet, wonderful, delightful child who can not possibly be turning 13 in just over a month and a half.
That's the one.
She looks like a grown up, right?
Anyway, this sweet kid got brought to my dad's house on the Tennessee River only 1 day after being picked up from summer camp. (Clearly his parents are pretty fab.) So, this sweet boy is sitting with us at dinner and we're all making happy conversation. And low and behold, this amazing kid antis up that his mom writes one of my favorite blogs!!! Have you been over to http://www.jennyslark.com yet?
Here it is. The menu of the first time I discovered Jenny's Lark. The first time I found her blog, I thought, "I love how she writes, but how the hell does she cool so much and plan everything out so sell?!?"
And then I remembered that she only has 2 kids. I decided it was at least worth reading.
Back then, I was pregnant with number 4 and still, licking my wounds from my mom dying. (Well, who are we kidding, I'm still licking those wounds.) I didn't have a good hold on reality. Maybe I still don't. Lol, who does?!?!
It's so funny to me that the world is so small that one of my favorite blogs is written by the mom of my daughter's favorite boy person (I refuse to say boyfriend). I guess that's part of the brilliance of how life works.
I am participating in the St. Jude Country Music Marathon, Half Marathon and Mini Marathon to support the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As a St. Jude Hero, I have a personal goal to raise $1,000 for the kids of St. Jude.
Will you help me support St. Jude by donating today? http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=2229961&pg=personal&fr_id=8700
How your donation helps:
Thanks to donors like you, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, including lodging, food and travel.
St. Jude will continue to improve treatment of childhood cancer and other deadly diseases through its groundbreaking research.
For every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries.
Please visit my St. Jude Heroes fundraising page to make a donation.
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It's the first Sunday of 2014. I'm hoping to recommit to me and my family this year.
I haven't blogged in 2 weeks. Which has been basically the whole time we have been on break. It's been a roller coaster, but I have really been thankful to spend so much time with my kiddos and doing things I love; cooking, sewing and running!
Our break did not start off well. Geoff's father passed away on December 20. It was the day before his 77th birthday. This was a tough event to have happen so close to my mother's yartzeit and the holiday season.
On my mother's yartzeit, I made a big breakfast for the kids, had my sister over for a bit and went on a run with my friend Carrye. It was actually a nice day.
My mother-in-law came to spend Christmas with us. It was a great few days of getting to have her here, spend time together and watch the babies delight at seeing presents under the Christmas tree.
We took the kids to see Frozen and went to see Starry Nights on Christmas Day. Starry Nights is a local event where our local park decorates a 2 mile strip with Christmas lights. Lissy is finally old enough to get excited so that made it more fun!
Then my family got together for a belated Hanukkah gift exchange. We all had a great time exchange gifts and having dinner together. My parents bought my kids a trampoline and they have truly spent as much time as possible on it!
I tried CardioBarre for the first time and loved it! I've also joined in on a quilt along on Instagram. If you'd like to see what in up to my username is @alwaysthinkbigger_rbk
Tomorrow I go back to work and the babies start their new school at Temple Israel. And if I don't forget, I'll post my recipes from the last two dinners that were both made from Pinterest!