It's cross country season in high schools around the nation. That was one of the BEST things I did in high school. And I was good. I can brag about it now because I'm no good anymore.
I was the first freshman in my graduating class to earn a varsity letter in any sport. I was also the first freshman to win 'Athlete of the Week' at a pep rally. I can't tell you what a big deal that was to me. I wrote a journal entry that day about how not only did I receive this unexpected award, but I got to go up in front of the school wearing my favorite outfit (which consisted of a corduroy jumper).
I took second place in this freshman race of around 300 freshman. I won some big all-county freshman award for it. I was REALLY proud of this race.The picture isn't that great, but I was a good distance a head of the pack.
It actually took several races before my coach started letting me run varsity. He kept me on the freshman team at first. In dual meets, everyone just ran together. I was beating out the majority of the varsity girls and I'd come in anywhere from 3rd to 7th place overall. He FINALLY recognized that it was not just some fluke...that I was good enough for the team. I actually was third on the team. I'm pretty sure I never came out ahead of Myka or Pennie but I did make second on the team one time. One of them must have been out sick or something.
I'm practically a model.
And on to MORE bragging... I must not have kept all the records of my times, but I know I did come in under 20 minutes once or twice. I broke some kind of school record for a freshman girl.
I can hardly believe this was me. Man I miss running like this. I had some kind of reaction to my own adrenaline. I started blacking out during races and had to quit after my sophomore year. I can still imagine what the adrenaline feels like right before a race is about to start. It's so exciting. I love it.
And aside from being good, I had so much fun with the cross country team. Summer practices were a blast. We'd run at like 7:00am all summer long. It made for easy summer plans. The team would all hit the beach after practice (or sometimes for practice). Or head over to someones pool. OR just make plans to meet back up at the bowling alley, the movies, the mall or the park. It was such a goofy, care-free group of kids. I have memories of waiting for a race bus at 5:00am and dancing in the headlights of friends cars. And hitting Miguel's Jr. after EVERY race. And pasta parties the night before races. And endless amounts of ultimate frisbee. These were GREAT friends.
Sophomore year...again with the modeling...the wind in the hair is a nice touch.
Oh to be 14 again. Not really, but I would love to run like that again. I'm no where close.
We saw these at Home Depot last week (though the one pictured is from Target...I couldn't find the one we saw online):
I'm not in the midst of potty training or anything, but when I head down that road again, I may be back to pick up one of these. There is an extra seat built right in...just perfect for a child-sized bottom. I guess they've been around for a few years, but I've never seen one.
So the emergency room visit... I'm not sure that it really makes a great blog story, but it does make me laugh....or roll my eyes. And it really ought to be documented.
A whole series of events led our move to be way off schedule, but we were hungry and thought we could use the break. We stopped at Chipotle for dinner where both of the older two crazies found a penny on the ground. Lucky day? Not so much.
We were in the parking lot when Reid started gagging, followed by bloody drool. In a barely audible voice, he lets me know he swallowed his penny. He is in pain. But the Heimlich is not really recommended when he's still breathing. So annoyed, I loaded him and Gray in the car. Spencer took Parker with him in the moving van so I didn't have to take all the kids and Spencer could get some more moving done. Reid, Grayden and I hustled to the emergency room.
The whole time I was driving I heard moans of pains and strange breathing patterns from the crazy in the back seat who swallowed his penny. But that was always better than silence. Whenever he got quiet, I'd yell at him to tell me he was still breathing. "Are you breathing Reid? Say yes!" We got to the ER. Reid was in too much pain to function. The stroller was not in the back because I had had boxes in there. I carried Reid and dragged Gray by the arm.
Though I wasn't frantic, I was in a hurry. I felt like we caused quite a scene as I rushed in with a wailing, slobbering three year old. A lady who worked there was getting all our info.
Her: Has he ever had surgery before?
Me: Yes, twice.
Her: What for?
Me: Uh, well, once for swallowing something...
Yeah...that's embarrassing. He swallowed a straight pin once and had to get it surgically removed. Reid is my kid who has a problem with this kind of thing. (See here and here.) He's the only one who's required strange ER visits.
So she finished getting all our info and Reid was making really strange noises...I knew what was coming but couldn't act fast enough. Reid barfed. Everywhere. On me, on himself, on Grayden, on the floor, on the wall, on the chair, on the desk. The lady who worked there was quick. She said she'd seen it before. I'm pretty sure he missed her. Vomit shot out of his mouth like nothing I'd ever seen.
The penny landed in my shoe.
Somebody brought us a couple towels and told us to leave the mess....they'd call maintenance.
Spencer and Parker walked in. I had all the keys...to both the house and the apartment.
After the major scene we had caused, all five of us calmly walked out of the emergency room like nothing had ever happened. Only the horrid smell of throw-up remained. The lovely lady at the desk just deleted all the info she entered. Two minutes later, that would have been $100 vomit. Nice timing on that one Reid.
Only...it was really bad timing. This put us another hour behind schedule.
Sorry for the up-roar. We moved back into our old house...but because it was a move, it felt new again. Plus, we've been referring to it as the "new house" to the crazies who have very little recollection of it anyway. I was quite surprised that Parker didn't remember the house at all, but little by little his memories of this place are coming to mind... "Remember we used to keep a jar of skittles right here?"
Moving in to an old house is such a strange thing. It's weird to be unpacking boxes in familiar surroundings...to already know where everything goes. It's good to be back. I have so many memories of this little house. It was our first house; Spencer and I bought this when we were a family of two. All my kids were born here. (Not here as in inside the house, but this is where they came home to.) Spencer and I have put a lot of our own blood, sweat and tears into this place. I sat alone putting beds together the other day and was overwhelmed with joy. This house is a happy place for me. I will always love it.
Our neighbors have happily welcomed us back with cards and bags of freshly picked apples and sun ripened tomatoes. And a very dear friend and neighbor, despite insisting I didn't need help, showed up with pruning shears to take care of massive over growth and cleaning supplies and cleaned the shower. (And watched my kids, and cleaned up their messes and made us dinner as we were moving in).
It's a shame I had no internet through it all (though I got much more done because of that). Moving yielded so many blog-worthy stories including a trip to the emergency room, but because the recency has worn off, I probably won't get to them.
So lucky for us, we are moving into our new house sooner than we originally thought. I've been busy cleaning and moving the past two days, and well be completely moved in by tomorrow. Can I get a Whoop! Whoop!?
And to make a good situation better? We found someone to sublet our apartment so we don't have to eat the cost of backing out before our contract was up. They move in Sunday.
The down side? We have no internet until Thursday. YIKES!
Abbey can pull of a fro better than any white girl I know. And Autumn rocked that side ponytail. I thought I had great 80's make-up, but apparently it all wore off before I even got to the dance.
Remember when I posted a hideous picture of me in costume with the caption "There'll be plenty more where that came from"? Yeah, I lied. Abbey and Autumn sent me their pictures.
The pictures are REALLY funny, but Spencer and I were sweaty fools. Spencer threatened me upon my life if I posted any of him. He was ashamed of his costume...It didn't quite match mine in awesome-ness. But he did sport a blue members-only jacket.
We went to a stake dance. It was like a 'dancing through the decades' theme and costumes were encouraged. When I first heard the dance announced, I blew it off, as I always do with stake dances. But then I thought about it. This is the kind of thing I LIVED for in high school and college. Apart from Halloween, I haven't had a good excuse for a costume in years. So I talked to my friends, and to my surprise, two other couples bought into the idea. (Jake was the DJ...him and Autumn were going anyway.)
All three couples showed up in costume. It was like the time in college I told Adam Sagers we were having a toga party and he was the only one who showed up in a toga. That was us...the only fools in costume.
I think we all made the most of it. I went expecting a really lame night and it turned out to be a blast. Spencer and I laughed our heads off all night as we made up new dance moves. We planned to stay an hour max and stayed for two. I had a great time...it was nice to go out and do something apart from the typical date night. It was reminiscent of our dating and early married years.
A big thanks to Spencer, Abbey & Ross, and Jake & Autumn for humoring me.
I have memories of attending coed birthday parties as a preschool aged child. Kip's, for instance. It was probably his 3rd or 4th birthday and we played some balloon popping game in his back yard. And my neighbor, Jason Pattison. We went to Bullwinkles. I wet my pants because I was too embarrassed to ask his mom to take me to the bathroom. Poor logic...wetting my pants was like a thousand times more embarrassing than asking for help to the bathroom.
But around the time I was six, I learned of the horrible, contagious disease that all boys have; known to most of us as the common cootie bug. It can be easily spread by such things as attending a boys birthday party. Birthday parties became strictly girls-only for the next few years. Anyone remember Nicole Robertson's slumber party/ all night dance contest?
Then all of a sudden, boy-girl parties didn't sound so bad any more....they became some sort of a rite-of-passage. Though you never forgot that boys had cooties, you just didn't think catching cooties sounded all that bad. All the cool girls were catching them.
Kyle Lane invited me to his birthday party in sixth grade. I was nowhere close to the top of the list of cool girls in sixth grade. Quite the opposite. I was feelin' pretty on top of the world when the coolest boy in school invited me to his party. We went to....wait for it....the SKATING RINK. (Where else?) Jessica and Kyle totally couple skated and Kyle tried to show off by skating backwards and biffed it. Then back to Kyles house for cake and presents. We spent some time hanging out at Kyle's for a while and the separation of boys and girls appeared. The boys played basketball and Kyle's super cool older sister taught the girls the Electric Slide. I had never felt more cool at any point in my young life than I did at that moment.
Every time I've danced the Electric Slide since then (which is not all that often...I promise I don't dance the Electric Slide every afternoon alone in my living room), I can totally recall this memory and feeling on top of the world. And it makes me happy.