Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ice Skating

View of our snow-covered house.

California band trip.

Basketball tournament winners.

Despite the cold, outdoor ice skating can't be beat!

Look for us as one of the competitive ice skating teams in the winter olympics!

This one adored the ice.

These two learned to love the ice.

On Martin Luther King day, the kids had the day off school.  The bitterly cold temperatures dipped above zero for the first time in days.  I rejoiced at the sliver of hope that winter was on the outs.  With time on our hands, my friend Nicole recommended ice skating at a new outdoor rink.

What I can say with confidence is that we will not be recruited for the US figure skating team.  Half of our group spent the majority of their time clutching a wall; the other half exuded too much confidence that resulted in many backsides colliding with the ice.

For me, I tried to channel my inner Nancy Kerrigan.  Even though I lacked the fancy skater outfit, I pulled off some pretty sweet moves (like skating backwards and turning right)!  I even attempted to add some dance moves (swaying and arm pumping) to my slightly disjointed skating gait.  A lot of other skaters took notice, and I believe the smiles were a nod to my exceptional skills!

In typical Cooper fashion, he took on the ice with gusto.  He treated the ice rink as if something to be conquered.  Cooper would race across the rink at full speed only to have it end with a icy nosedive (or backslide).  And repeat.  And repeat.

Connor and Collin were more timid.  The ice was not something to be trusted.  The put in their time on the rink, but have no short term plans to return.

I was bummed when our skating session was over.  If I have any hopes of becoming the next Nancy Kerrigan, I need a bit more time on the ice!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Post from the Frozen Tundra

I treasure the individual "dates" I get with a son.  Caleb let me join him at the art museum.  I love watching him transition from a child into an interesting adult.

It's 29 degrees right now, and I am giddy; it feels tropical.  I'm tempted to toss on a tank top and lather on some sunscreen.  Last week, temperatures dipped under zero degrees.  The "feels like" temperature was too upsetting to record.  For days, we cocooned ourselves under blankets and layers of clothing.  We prayed that God would teleport us to either Florida or to April...asap.

To make matters worse, water stopped flowing from our faucets, showers, and toilets yesterday morning.  I think it was just too cold to move.  One doesn't truly appreciate running water until it's not running.

The fact that we lack running water has been met with mixed emotions.  The boys feel like their prayers have been answered with the non-working showers and the encouragement to relieve themselves in the great outdoors.  Chris, ever the frugal optimist, believes running water is right around the corner.  He assures us that there was no need to bother a plumber.  Spring will come soon enough.  As for me, the lady of the group, showers and working toilets seem like a necessity, not a bonus amenity.

This morning, the faucets were still silent.  The garage was flooded with water which had spilled out onto our drive way.  We now have a homemade ice rink outside our back door.

I'm no plumber, but things seem off.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  A professional has been called.  With everyone else battling their own busted pipes, he is slated to visit our home tomorrow. 

Until then, we're praying for water, or spring.  Whichever comes first.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Missing Quiet

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Christmas lights did not disappoint.  As an added bonus for the boys, we drove on the track!

Monument Circle....all dressed up for the holiday.

I can't recommend the Winterlights at the Indianapolis Art Museum enough.

Of course if the temperature was a bit over 3 degrees, we would have enjoyed it even more!

The candlelight portion of Christmas Eve service always makes me smile.  So pretty!

My casual Christmas Eve crew.

Christmas morning.

Our annual Christmas morning run continues!

The celebration continued into the day.  Christmas dinner with the cousins.

Adulting on Christmas.

I've stopped asking why.  I heard the melodious sounds of the saxophone coming from outside.  I opened the door to discover Cooper serenading the kids playing in the snow!

Back to snow season.

 This was last year's Christmas present that didn't get used until this week.  This winter, we are not so lucky.

My Christmas Eve date at the Colts game.

Chris spent Christmas Eve working in the ER.  I enjoyed the evening with this crew of party animals!

I've often heard people say they want a "quiet evening at home."  For us, "quiet evenings" and "at home" are oxymorons.  Our home is never quiet.  Clamor and commotion are intertwined in the daily workings of our house.

Young entertainers are banging on the piano.  Budding musicians are belting out notes on brass instruments.  Aspiring athletes are bouncing balls.  Fiery siblings are hollering.  Feisty boys are wrestling.  Clumsy sons are crashing pots and pans.  Defiant offspring are arguing.  Spectating males are cheering for favorite teams.

The cacophony of sounds is enough to push this mama over the edge.

I miss quiet.

I know it exists, buried under the mound of noise.

Someday it will be quiet, I'm reassured.  But by then, I won't know how to live any other way.

Friday, December 22, 2017

New Year's Resolution Update: Running 2017 miles in 2017

The boys celebrated Chris's 21st birthday again!

Showing off his bling!  Collin's basketball team won a weekend tournament that left him all smiles.

Cooper finished off the basketball season and shared a hug with Coach Abernathy.

We did it! 2,017 miles in 2017!

It was near the end of last December when a string of texts circulated around my running group.  One friend tossed out the idea of running 2,017 miles in 2017.  Perhaps because some of us had engaged in a few too many holiday indulgences with disappointing scale results, we were game to run—a lot.

Running a lot and running 2,017 miles is quite a difference; we would learn this fact over the course of 12 months.  We realized that from our Midwest homes to the sandy beaches of California is roughly 2,017 miles.  Geography has never been my strong suit, but that seemed far.

Right away, I struggled with self-doubt.  My track record for keeping New Year’s resolutions certainly didn’t boost my confidence.  I’ve made 25 vows in 25 separate years to “eat healthy.” These resolutions lasted roughly two days and always ended with me clutching a bowl of greasy potato chips with a side of sugary treats.  Why did I expect this New Year’s Resolution to be any different?

Nevertheless, we all pushed fear aside, and focused on the commitment made to our friends.  On January 1, 2017, we laced up our running shoes and stepped outside to complete our first mile.

Over the course of the next 12 months, we logged an endless string of miles.  To reach our goal, we needed to run an average of 39 miles a week.  Some weeks, these proved to be an easy feat, while other weeks we struggled to reach our mileage.  The important thing to note is that we stayed the course.

In mid-December, we completed a six-mile run that pushed our yearly total to exactly 2,017 miles in 2017.  It felt like a monumental moment.  It was the realization that every single run and mile had contributed to something big.  It was the celebration that we had not waivered from a goal.  It was the acknowledgement that maybe we had it in us to actually complete a New Year’s resolution.

As I reflect back upon the year, I think about all the miles, 
but more importantly I remember the friends who accompanied me on the runs.  For over 2,000 miles, I had the privilege of sharing life with the most amazing group of women.  We dove into every topic under the sun, from the meaningless to the meaningful.  Through every step, we grew as friends. I realize that the most important thing was not reaching the mileage, but the journey it took for us to get there together.

With our goal completed, I’m already thinking about my New Year’s resolution for 2018.  Perhaps this is the year I will eat healthy, but running 2,018 miles seems like an easier goal.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Another Teenager in the Wood House

This is my new 15 year old!

His crew of friends came over to celebrate with pizza and cake.

Can't believe my baby is in a tux!

New teenager!

Officially half of our sons are teens!

Connor celebrated his day at a Pacers game!

I've always heard the expression, "The days are long, but the years are short."  I believe this quote primarily applies to motherhood.

For years, I was knee-deep in diapers and baby food.  Then, before I had a chance to protest, I'm knee-deep in hormones and acne.

Time stand still.

It was birthday weekend for the Woods.  Our two older sons have birthdays within a day of each other.  (We really should have thought that through!)  Both birthdays fell on the weekend.

This birthday weekend felt monumental.  Caleb is now 15 years old.  He has reached the age where he can attain a learners permit.  Driving is within his near future.

Connor is 13 years old.  He's a teenager, in every sense of the word.  Toy trucks and legos are no longer part of his world.  Sports, friends, and phones dominate his thinking.

Half of our sons are now teenagers.

I've become a teenage boy mom.

This fact has caused me to rethink my role.  

Gone are the days where I'm cutting up food into little bites.  Now I am purchasing and preparing food....all the time.  I'm no longer putting little ones to bed, but desperately wanted to put myself to bed while teenage boys are still going strong.  I'm monitoring iPhones, and not playdates.

I pray the next amount of days don't move too fast.  The years these boys are remaining in the house are short.  This fact I know from experience.