Monday, August 31, 2015

Swimming As My Exercise of Choice

I want swimming to be my exercise of choice. It's easy on my joints. It can easily be a lifelong exercise option. It feels good. I actually enjoy it. It's total body.

But I can't. Or rather, I haven't figured it out yet. True to my 40x40 list, I jumped in. I bought a one-month pass and I set out to become a svelte, sculpted mermaid. I'm still more like a whale.

I lasted a week. I enjoyed it once I was there. But the effort to get there took work. Change clothes, put on swimsuit, take off swimsuit, put clothes on. That's a lot of dressing/undressing for a girl who dresses in the morning, jammies in the evening, dress again in the morning. That's like two whole steps of dressing/undressing.

Then there was the showering....Shower in the morning, shower before the pool, shower after the pool, shower again in the morning. That's a lot of water wasting during a drought.

Then there was the weight gain. How can one person cut their calories, swim for 45 minutes, and GAIN weight? Waterlogged? Am I like a sponge soaking up the water so that I weigh more?

Anyway, I gave it a shot. And I actually plan to give it more of a shot but I need to figure out the way it works best in my schedule. I know I need to do something and truth be told, no matter what I choose, I'll have excuses. It's about cutting the excuses long enough to let something become an enjoyable habit. Wish me luck (and give me tips if you've incorporated swimming into your routine!).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Transition from Mom to Grandma

I'll be a grandma before I turn 40. I need some cool ideas for a name other than grandma - anything but grandma. I'm way cooler than that! Memaw? Granny? Gma? I guess my granddaughter will decide! Leave your ideas in the comments!!

Marcus and I have always had a strong bond. Sometimes it's felt like me and Marc against the world. For almost 8 years, it was just he and I. Then there was my ex and then there wasn't again. So he's my sidekick. My favorite oldest son. I've done my best and questioned my best and wondered if my best was best enough. I'm still second guessing!

So this next step is filled with mixed emotions. Happiness and a little sadness. Excitement and a little anxiousness. Pride and worry.

He's grown up so much in the last 6 months. Working full time at a decent job with decent pay and full benefits. Making tough decisions - like missing a family vacation to work, buying a reliable car instead of the truck he wants, paying his bills instead of going out. All the things we all have to do as we grow up. As a parent, sometimes we get frustrated with our kids and wonder if they'll ever grow up and be responsible and then one day, they do. I know there will be lots more growing up to do but he's off to a great start and I'm proud of the man he's becoming.

And now today, he begins to move away from home to his first little apartment. It's exciting. I remember my mom helping me. Buying me little things for the kitchen, my first set of towels, giving me her decorations she didn't want anymore - everything to make it feel like home. And now I get to do the same thing. I'm so happy for them.

But I'm on the verge of tears too. He's my baby and he's leaving. Wow, that went really fast. Wasn't I just changing diapers? Waiting for him to say "momma" for the first time?

So now I get to be excited about Sunday dinner at my house. My dad did that when I first moved out and I miss it so much. Now I get to make that tradition. I'll make their favorites and spoil that baby. Now baby can come visit grandma instead of living with grandma.

But now I worry...what if they need me? It's their first child. Do they know what to do? Can I protect them? What if the baby cries and they need an extra set of arms....? what if what if what if. . . by now you should be getting a good idea of the mixed emotions.

The truth is even with my fears, I realize they're unfounded. I'm just a few short blocks away and they're responsible young adults. They'll have growing pains, I'll get the calls asking what to do about this or that, I'll miss them. But this is what's supposed to happen. He should be moving out. They should want their own place. It's all part of the process and I'm so thankful I raised him like I did. My role is changing a bit and I'm pretty excited about this step. I have a feeling they won't be the only ones with a few growing pains. (Is it acceptable to still ask him to check in? Can I still text him a few times a day telling him I love him? How often is too often to tell him I miss him? How do I make sure I'm not "that" mother-in-law?)

Oh, and about that bucket list - I threw Jyni a wonderful baby shower. I took pics but deleted them (dummy!!). It turned out wonderful and she was spoiled with cute pink frilly outfits, lots of diapers, and plenty of blankets. If there's one thing this granny can do - it's throw a party!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

40x40 - Sun, Sand, and Shelton

Mark two off my annual bucket list - Visit a Beach - DONE! and See Blake Shelton in concert - DONE!

Bullard's Beach Lighthouse
I thankfully got tickets to the Cape Blanco Music Festival. A large country music festival held each year at Cape Blanco (duh) which is a gorgeous spot on the Oregon Coast. Located near Bandon and Port Orford, the quaint sea towns offer your usual mix of artsy craftsy stores, plenty of wind and sea air, and lighthouses. It's sort of nostalgic. Maybe a little sad the way our coastal towns seem to be in a bit of disrepair but at the same time beautiful.

I absolutely love the Oregon coast. I can't say that I absolutely LOVE country music. I'm a bit of a rocker myself - Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains are more my speed. But I like all music and can appreciate a good country song.

What makes a good country song, you ask? Well if you ask ME, I'll tell you it's a bit twangy and sounds country. None of this "crossover pop" bs - I like my country to sound like country. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Senior - those guys knew country!

That's Blake right there
What else? Blake Shelton. I do love me some Blake so this year's festival was perfect for me. He's good looking. He's tall. He can sing.

We arrived at Bandon late on Friday and headed to the concert. The traffic was insane. It didn't help that some panhandlers parked by the side of the road playing a fiddle asking for handouts. Smart move for them - about 300 cars stopped to give them money. Bad news for us - it took us 2.5 HOURS to go 17 miles and finally arrive. Grrrrr!!

The bar
After the concert, we headed to Bandon to get some grub. Only bad side to a small coastal town. Every single restaurant, grocery store, and convenience store was closed. No fast food. No late night Denny's. Nothing. Then we spotted a bar connected to a closed Chinese restaurant. They happened to serve food (and whiskey - score one for me!). It was one of those "record-screeches-to-a-stop-and-all-the-locals-
stare" kind of dive bars. It was remarkably clean and I'll say the food was fresh and yummy (I was starving!). The bartender was fun and awesome. It ended up being a great time.

the whiskey

I didn't take pictures but I can assure you there are some great places to eat in Bandon. The Minute Cafe for breakfast was nice and tasty and the Chowder House by the water in downtown had delicious crab/shrimp sandwiches and of course, chowder. Over the weekend, we enjoyed more music, fun with friends, plenty of beer,shopping in some quaint little shops and just some downtime. So glad I can mark this off my list.

Fair Food!

Our view of the stage

Tala, Brian, and Rob at the Beer Garden
My selfie stick came in handy