Monday, December 13, 2010

Team Sunshine

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Run Baby Run

For as long as I can remember, I have run. I used to hate running, and viewed at as a punishment by my basketball coach who loved to make us run around the high school at 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon in the off season. My senior year, I stopped playing basketball and started running as a way to not blow up to 200 lbs. In college, I did manage to gain the freshman 15, and viewed my running as merely attempts to gain the attention of boys living in the corps dorms. When I moved off-campus, I ran around the College Station neighborhoods with my roommates Kimber, Dana, and Brandi from time to time, again trying to keep myself from gaining another 15 lbs since the first 15 decided they were gonna stick around.

When I moved back to the Valley about 6 years ago, I found a running buddy in someone I would never have imagined. Tracy and I weren't friends in high school, but our mutual desire to run quickly bonded us and we became really great friends. Tracy convinced me to run the Port Isabel Causeway run, which was 6 miles, further than I had ever run before. It wasn't pretty, but I finished it. I soon found myself interested in upping my mileage and running more races.

I've run 2 half-marathons, 2 10k's, 1 7500 meter run, and a handful of 5k's. All of these races help keep me in shape and destress myself after a long day at school. I just finished doing the McAllen Fiesta Marathon relay with some friends, and it was really fun. We drove all over McAllen picking up and dropping off our team, and I ran the anchor leg of 6 miles. It felt great to finish, and even better to have run with such a great group of women.

So, what's next? The Causeway Run in January of 2011 and the Austin Half-Marathon in February. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Storytelling Winner!

Alex Papacek, WISD 3rd Grade Storytelling Winner!

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Endurance. Webster's Dictionary defines endurance as "the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc." Or you could choose definition #2, "the ability or strength to continue or last, esp. despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina." I feel like this one word sums up my life in so many ways. I often ask myself why is that so many hardships and unfortunate events seem to befall on some people and never on others. Although it seems unfair for me to say adverse events never happen to others, perhaps they simply choose not to talk about them.

Wednesday would be my sister's 39th birthday. I miss her more and more everyday. Not only did I lose my sister, I lost my best friend. You can only call and complain to a friend so many times before you start to become a drag, after all who wants to hear about your problems day in and day out? Even when my sister was going through chemo, she would listen as I rehashed what would be the 50 millionth argument between our mom and myself. Who else could understand the anger and frustration I live with daily because my son has autism? So I endure. I endure the pain of losing her, losing my confidante, losing the one person who truly loves me for who I am, faults and all.

Endurance. I work with 80 17-18 year old kids everyday. Some of the laziest, most miserable excuses for children I have ever encountered, and each day I endure their complaints and inability to get their work done because I have to. Afterall, I need a paycheck in order to pay my bills and sometimes mama needs a new pair of shoes. Don't get me wrong. They are not all bad, some are really awesome. Too bad I can't clone the 15 or so students I really like...that would certainly make my job a lot more fun.

Endurance. My son has autism. I hate autism. There is no cure and no explanation to why kids have it or what therapy works best for each case. My son's therapy will cost over $1400.00 a month, and that's money I just don't have, even with decent insurance. Sure, we are lucky because we have help in the form of my parents, but that is such an unfair burden to place on them. The toll he takes on Chris and I is significant. Each weekend day is filled with stress due to the tantrums we both know are coming no matter how hard we try to please him. The weekly meetings, the surveys, the therapists, the school reports...It takes endurance to simply keep plugging away and filling out forms. It seems unending, and my rope is beginning to unravel.

Why is it that it takes so much damn endurance to get from one day to the next? When does it stop? When does life slow down enough to take a deep breathe and relax? I guess I am forced to maintain my endurance, because what options do I have? I love my children, I need my job, and my longing to have my sister back will never go away. I may not ever win the title of World's Greatest Mother or Teacher of the Year, but I have endurance, and that counts for something.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today my sweet angel from doggie heaven passed away. He was almost 12 years old. He was my roommate when I graduated from college and was kicked out of the bed once I met my future husband, which left him and me a little sad. He was the first thing my daughter laughed at when she was 4 months old. My son would follow in her footsteps not 5 years later. Sure, he shed like a crazy dog, ate poopie diapers, and refused to be potty trained until he was 7 months old (my son must be taking after his dog-brother), but I loved him more than words can express. He had the softest, silkiest long ears. He loved to lounge and have his ears scratched. He loved pillows, and would find the nicest one to lay until it had a nice yellow tinge to it that no laundry detergent could ever remove. In his old age, he would wake me at 3 or 4 am to go out and pee, and I didn't really mind that much. I mean, he offered unconditional love in return. Once he came to trust my husband, Riley would go to his side of the bed every morning and whimper that he needed to be let out. If that didn't prove how much he loved me, I don't know what could. So, in between my tears and multiple glasses of wine, I will remember that beautiful, fat, wonderful bassett hound that I got to be the mother of for almost 12 years. Rest in peace my sweet boy. May all the dogs that died before you greet you at the pearly gates and reserve a soft, cushiony leather couch with lots of pillows for you to lounge on for all of eternity.

Momma misses you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

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my iPhone

What I've learned from a busy weekend...

So, here is a little snippet of what I managed to learn over this past weekend:

1. You can run 10 miles even when you are coming down with a sinus infection.
2. It doesn't matter how fast you run, but that you finish. (and I was not last!)
3. A 5 hour energy shot and a peanut butter sandwich works wonders when you don't feel like giving your run your best effort.
4. A hyper competitive mom and a daughter who plays soccer does not always make for a good time.
5. You should not embarrass your husband by making rude comments to 8 year girls who just kicked your daughter in a blatantly inappropriately way.
6. If you can't back up your rude comments to that 8 year old girl's parents, it's best to keep your trap (aka mouth) shut at all times.
7. It's not very fun to hang out with friends who turn everything into a competition whether they live close by or not. Yes, you will always be able to run farther and faster than me, and I'm totally okay with it. I'll bring you cookies when you are laid up after you blow out your ACL.
8. Do not come to work sick. The students know you are easy prey when you don't have the strength to yell at them. Make the assignments as long and as boring as possible on those days.
9. Always make your health care provider your friend. That way you can go in without an appointment and not have to wait 2+ hours like the rest of the world.
10. Don't get sick on Halloween. No one likes a mom who is grouchy, sluggish, and congested. Stay home, turn the lights out, and go to bed.

That's it. Not a very good post, but I did get one in for November.