A Big Move

Oh, you guys, things are coming up Stimey.

I have big news. You may know (or you may not) that Team Stimey has been rapidly outgrowing our house for a while now. For example, Jack and Quinn share a room, which is lovely when they get along and a NIGHTMARE when they are fighting. Sam’s room is too small for all of his books and Alex and I made the bathroom-less upstairs floor of the house our master bedroom before we realized how dumb that was. Also, when someone visits us, I have to bribe Sam by buying him more books to get him to give up his bed and let our guest sleep in it while he sleeps on the couch.

I understand that I have made my house sound terrible, but it is really not. It is a lovely house with a fantastic backyard in a quiet, friendly neighborhood, but my children just keep growing bigger and bigger and it is not working for us anymore.

We’d been hoping to move in the next year or so but weren’t looking yet. Except it turns out that Alex secretly was looking. He’d been watching one house in particular for a long time and after its price was reduced for the second time, he was all, “Hey, wanna go to an open house, just for fun?”

Long story short, we’re buying that house and we’ll be moving in May.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo of the top of a real estate sign. Chester the stuffed mouse is sitting on the top, right next to the sign that says, "Under Contract."

Chester is pretty excited about this move too.

You guys, I almost cannot contain my excitement. For reals. This house is amazing. So amazing. Each of my kids is going to have their own room. We will have a guest room. THERE IS A BATHROOM IN THE MASTER BEDROOM.

I could go on. I probably will in future posts. You are going to get so tired of me yabbering on about this new dream house we are going to live in.

*big happy sigh and just a little bit of hand flapping*

So, what do our kids think of the whole thing? They’ve been to the house once and they loved it. The night that we told them that our offer had been accepted and we were going to move in to the house, they started yelling, “Hugs for everyone!” and jumping around in joy.

As long as they get to bring their stuff, their friends still get to come over to hang out, and the cats come with us, the kiddos are ON BOARD.

Photo of Ruby the black cat sitting in a cardboard box.

We’ll be packing Ruby in this box.

We are all so excited we almost can’t stand it.

Step one of living our new charmed lives in the new house, of course, is that we have to pack up our old one. Because we have a nearly 60-day close, we fortunately have a lot of time to get our shit together.

Trust me, we’re going to need it.

We’re working hard on packing, with an emphasis on getting rid of stuff we don’t want or need anymore. Honestly, the more we can trash or donate, the better. How to get rid of that stuff is the question though. Alex and I are trying to decide if we want to have a yard sale to get rid of a lot of our stuff (cash money! but a lot of work) or if we just want to donate it all and take the tax deduction (I throw some crap in the driveway, make a call to a charity, and I’m done).

Do you have opinions on this? I’m torn. I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

I would also very much like your emphatic finger crossings and knock on woods that nothing goes wrong between now and closing. Everything looks good and the forecast is for smooth sailing, but I will be on edge until I hold those keys in my hand.

(Keys! I finally get to throw away all the keys sitting around my house that belong to god knows what!)

If you need me over the next month and a half, I’ll have a cardboard box in one hand and a marker and packing tape in the other.

*more jumping up and down followed by an awkward jump-dance*

Hungry Cats

Lest you ever look at sweet little Quinn with his flowing golden hair and blue eyes and delicate limbs and question if he is my child…wonder no more.

He wrote the following story for school, which, let’s be honest here, I could have written just for this blog. Evidently, the story is supposed to be “realistic fiction,” so you can either ignore the fact that the cats talk or, as Quinn explained to me, understand that when they are talking to each other, what we hear are meows and mews.

Quinn’s story is reproduced here not just with his permission but with his unadulterated glee. Quinn’s illustrations appear before the text (in quotation marks) that goes with them.

Paper on which is written "Hungry Cats by Quinn" Underneath is a drawing of three cats standing to the left of two food bowls and a tank with three gerbils inside.Colorful drawing of a neighborhood.“The story is about 3 cats trying to get to 3 gerbils. The gerbils are: gerbil #1, gerbil #2, and gerbil #3. The cats are Oreo, Ruby, and Starfire. Oreo and the others want cat food—gerbils if possible.”

[Editor's note: I would like to point out two things: 1) Even though the gerbils do actually have names, I guess Quinn made the choice to genericize them to make their imminent doom more palatable. 2) Quinn seems to be a fan of the Oxford comma. More proof that he is my kid.]

Drawing of three cats. The middle one (Oreo) has a thought bubble above her head in which is a drawing of a chainsaw and a drawing of the gerbil tank.“Oreo said, ‘If we want the gerbils, we need a chainsaw.’ ‘Let’s just have cat food,’ Ruby said. ‘Let’s worry about the gerbils later.’ ‘Okay,’ said Starfire.”

[Editor's note: Anyone else worried about Quinn's path STRAIGHT TO CHAINSAW?!]

Drawing of Starfire next to the gerbil tank. Above her head is a thought bubble that features a drawing of Oreo holding a chainsaw in her mouth. Dude, I KNOW this doesn't make sense. I am sorry. The drawings are pretty out there.“After Oreo and the others woke up, they went to the gerbil cage. Oreo said, ‘Let’s get the chainsaw.’ Ruby said, ‘Yeah, not gonna work.’”

[Editor's note: Not gonna work for so many reasons including the fact that in that picture, Oreo seems to be holding the chainsaw in her mouth, but let's hang in there and see where he goes with this.]

Drawing of Oreo standing. Starfire is on her back in front of Oreo with all four legs straight up in the air.“Starfire said, ‘Guys, I have a…whoa!’ Then Oreo says, ‘Let’s save it.’ Meanwhile Starfire was grumbling on the floor because she got pushed by Oreo. Ruby said, ‘That was weird.’”

[Editor's note: BUT WHAT DID STARFIRE HAVE?????!!!!!]

Drawing of all three cats. Starfire has a thought bubble in which is a drawing of Oreo rushing at the gerbil tank.“‘The idea…’ said Starfire, ‘is Oreo rams the cage with full power.’ Ruby said, ‘It’s night. The prey is awake.’ Ruby was right.”

[Editor's note: Ahhhh...Starfire had an IDEA.]

A two-panel drawing this time. The first panel shows Oreo rushing the gerbil tank. The second  shows her with a line coming out of her mouth. Quinn has written (and adorably misspelled) the words "gerbile tail" with an arrow pointing to the dangling line.“Oreo then smashed and completely destroyed the cage. And soon they were munching and crushing on meat. Gerbil meat. Then they went to bed.”

[Editor's note: I think we have the answer to the question, "Which pets does Quinn like better, the cats or the gerbils?" Also, I think I might go reinforce those gerbil tanks.]

The End.

*****

Jack’s special hockey team, the Montgomery Cheetahs, is still soliciting donations for their big fundraiser coming up in May. You can make your own donation online.

Old Schooling

Both Anna and Kendra did this and they are old school bloggers. So I decided to be an old school blogger too and join in. Link up at Miss Elaine’s place.

Image of a chalkboard on which is written "old school blogging"

Continuity note: I answered some of these Friday afternoon and some Sunday evening. In addition to being an old-school blogger, I am also an extremely lazy and procrastinating blogger.

What is the last thing you watched on TV? Vikings. Some of us aren’t allowed to watch girly shows like Grey’s Anatomy on Thursdays anymore. We have to watch dudes with funny haircuts hack each other up with axes. I do really love when someone yells, “Shield wall!” and they all make, well, a shield wall to protect themselves from an arrow onslaught. I feel as if I should have some similarly useful phrase I could yell to protect me from the onslaught of my children. Like, they would all start harassing me for screen time or ice cream sandwiches and I could be all, “Blanket wall!” and be impervious.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing? I left my house at 9:45 this morning to meet my friend for a walk. We try to meet every week to walk around a local nature center. Often I will run there and we’ll walk three miles and she’ll drive me home. It’s a 3-5 mile run there depending on what route I take. Today I took the 3-mile route, but walked for part of it because I was tired. Also, it was really cold out there.

What is on the walls of the room you are in? Everything. We have several vintage music posters. I have a Bob Dylan Think Different poster—my first ebay purchase ever back in the early aughts. We have a vintage movie poster from The Godfather, a self-portrait of Sam playing his flute, a Harvey Birdman graphic, and original Jerry Garcia art.

A colored drawing by Jerry Garci of him and David Grisman playing in front of kids.

The Jerry art.

I also have handprints from all three of my kids that Alex had made for me a few years ago.

Photo of three framed tiles, each with a handprint on it and the names of my kids.

I love this so much.

One of my other favorite things on the wall is my race bib holder.

Photo of my wall. On it hangs an orange board with the word "Races" painted on the top. All of my race bibs are hanging on hooks at the top and my three race medals are hanging on hooks at the bottom.

This makes me happy every time I look at it.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?  A new house, immediately. Maybe 16 or 17 new cats. Possibly a bread maker—like a person, not a machine.

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know. I think you guys know everything by now. Hmmmmm. Okay, here’s something: Once a food becomes a “kid food” in my house, I can’t eat it anymore. I used to eat peas, but after my kids were little and I fed them a lot of peas, I can’t eat them anymore. I love goldfish crackers, but I rarely eat them because they are kid food. My kids eat about a million chocolate chip Fiber One granola bars a week, but I would have to be close to starving to eat one. If my weird little brain decides something is solely a kid food, I won’t be eating it again. I don’t know why.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone?  On my cell phone, my mom. On my home phone, three spam calls and then my mom. I try to discourage phone calls from pretty much everyone but my mom, my sister, and Alex, so it seems that my plan is working.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do? Burn it to the ground.

Photo of me holding a lit lighter.

I’m ready.

Oh, wait, did that question say “without worry about expense, mess, or criminal prosecution”? No? Never mind then.

What was the last thing you bought? I am organizing Quinn’s school’s movie night, which is tonight. I have three giant bags of donated popcorn in my car. This morning I went to the grocery store to buy paper sacks to serve it in. Related, my car smells like popcorn.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? Hells yeah.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? I don’t think I would want to do this. I think it would stress me out. I don’t like eating lunch with one person, period. Too much pressure. (Unless I know you well.)

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? All of them.

Is the glass half empty or half full?  My glass is currently completely empty and it makes me sad because I’m going to have to walk all the way to the kitchen to fill it up again.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been? Norway. My mom lived there for several years when I was in college and I visited her a couple times. It’s a really beautiful country.

What’s under your bed? Probably a cat.

What is your favorite time of the day?  Not morning, that is for sure. I don’t think I have a favorite time of day, but I know that I really enjoy my late nights when everyone else in my house is asleep. They are my calming hours.

What Inspires you? Adult autistic advocates. I wish I were as brave as many of them are. I get stressed and tired and overwhelmed and instead of staying in the game, I withdraw to safety. I am in awe of how consistently these men and women put themselves out there even though it can be so hard. I don’t always agree with what they say (although often I do), but even when I don’t, I admire their tenacity.

I’d love to hear your answers to some of these questions in the comments. You be old school too!

Tournament of Smiles

Special hockey tournaments are great. I’ve never been to a bad one and I’ve been to quite a few. Some, however, stand out as exceptional. The tournament in Jamestown, NY, that Jack and I went to last weekend was exceptional.

Talk about the magic of special hockey. Watching Jack’s team skate, I felt that “my heart is growing in size and capacity for love right now” feeling that I love so much and feel at those most exceptional of tournaments.

I love the intensity of travel tournaments where it is me and Jack pinging from the hotel to the rink and back. The immersion of the experience makes it that much more amazing. Add in the group of players and parents that came along and all was good.

This particular tournament was also fantastic because of the way the coaches divided up our players. The Cheetahs took three teams: an advanced team, an intermediate team, and Jack’s team. Jack’s team—the C Team—featured a lot of newer and younger players, while many of the more advanced kids who had been on the C Team before moved up to the intermediate team.

I missed watching those kids play and missed hanging out with their parents in the stands, but that change made a huge difference for everyone. It let those kids move up and stretch and it gave the kids still on the C Team way more of an opportunity to get their sticks on the puck and really be involved in the games. It was so fun to watch these kids really open up and get into the game. Not to mention that the parents of the C Team are, without exception, phenomenal, fun, supportive, awesome people.

The stands during the C Team games were a heart expanding place to be. It was all about your baby is my baby and the magic of special hockey. Like you wouldn’t believe.

Our trip started out auspiciously enough. One reason Jack loves going on these trips is because he gets to skip school. This trip he even got to skip a standardized testing day. Even better, he got to skip school and go on a trip with his best friend, who was sitting on the bus in the seat right behind him. All was well.

Jack sitting on a bus with a smile on his face.

See? All. Well.

Hey, here’s something. Remember way back when Jack went on his very first tournament and I was worried about what the bus was going to be like? I was concerned that he might barf and then we’d be trapped on a bus with his puke for an extended amount of time? Remember that?

I briefly remembered that fear a couple of hours before we boarded the bus for this tournament. Then I discarded it because we have taken the bus to and from, what, five tournaments over the past four years and he hasn’t horked on the bus even once.

Do you wonder why I bring this up?

You don’t. I need say no more.

All I’m going to add is that the road through the Allegheny National Forest is not one that should be taken on a bus. That’s all I’m going to say.

Also that Jack recovered very quickly and happily bopped along to his iPod for the rest of the ride while I babysat his vomit. Good times.

Jack is sitting in the dark in front of a window with lights blurring by in the background. His face is lit from the light of his iPod.

Music soothes everything about Jack.

I did a lot of thinking at this tournament about how far Jack has come since that first tournament, and not just in terms of carsickness.

That first tournament I was stuck to Jack like glue. I didn’t dare let him out of my sight because he was young and prone to wandering. I worried if he was out of my sight for more than a few seconds. He was overwhelmed and overstimulated and even though I think he appreciated the trip, he didn’t manage to make it all the way through any of the games he was supposed to play at that tournament. He ended his last game midway through by throwing his gloves at the dad by the bench. I’m not sure he spoke to anyone but me for the entire four days. That tournament was magical for a lot of reasons, but it was also super hard.

This year Jack was relaxed and happy. I stayed with him all weekend, but we are at the point where I am comfortable letting him roam away from me. (“You can trust me, Mom,” he even told me at one point. “I know I can,” I responded.) He has friends on the team now and will even talk and play with kids he doesn’t know. (He spent part of an afternoon playing a cannonball-into-the-pool game with a kid on his team he’d never interacted with before. I got splashed.) He not only played all four of his games, but he put energy into them and looked like he really wanted to be there playing.  We were able to collaborate on our schedule instead of one of us being in charge. He was calm and happy. I was calm and happy.

Progress happens, people. It really does. Joy does too.

Jack’s team played four games again this trip. Their first game was versus the Steel City Icebergs. The Icebergs only had three players at the tournament at game time.

Not a problem. This is special hockey.

Several Cheetahs put on their dark jerseys and jumped on the Steel City team. Jack was one of those. He was so into it. Maybe a little TOO into it. He played harder and with more engagement than I have ever seen on him. Instead of his usual lackadaisical skating pace, he chased the puck. He got in the mix with his stick. He paid a huge amount of attention to the game. He worked so hard.

It’s almost like he had been waiting to play against his own team. I wonder if he has some sort of grudge against the Cheetahs. (Kidding.)

Jack in a black Cheetah jersey facing off against a player in a white Cheetah jersey.

I’m pretty sure he probably did some trash talking down there on the ice.

The rest of the tournament was similarly awesome. Everywhere I looked were smiles. The Cheetahs’ head coach was on the ice for every single Cheetahs game of the tournament. That is 12 games in two days. I didn’t see him without a smile even once. I watched players create and deepen friendships and they wore beautiful smiles as they did it. I watched parents cheer on their kids—and everyone else’s kids—and soaked in their smiles. There was so much good energy.

Naturally, there were some hard times. Like itchy toes—Jack’s itchy toes. For some reason last weekend was the weekend of itchy toes, but they were only itchy once he’d put them in his skates and I had laced them up. One memorable game, I had to relace his skates FOUR TIMES.

Also, he made me scratch between his toes because, “Mom, I don’t have long fingernails.”

I forgot to take my camera to the tournament so I only have bad cell phone photos from the weekend, but even so, I managed to capture some of Jack and my idiosyncratic joy.

For example, we both laughed really hard when we saw that someone had drawn faces on all of the little pegs that decorated the top of the hotel elevator walls.

brown wall with a close up of a metal peg on which someone has drawn two eyes and a mouth with a marker.

I like that Jack and I find the same things hilarious.

Then there is Jack’s love of hotel breakfasts.

Photo of Jack at a table. On the plate in front of him is a waffle topped with three small chocolate doughnuts. He also has a cup of apple juice.

The waffle is really more because it is fun to make waffles at hotel breakfast buffets. Still, Jack would peel off about an eighth of the thing to eat.

Pool time is always an important part of hockey tournaments. Sometimes you’ll find most of the Cheetah team packed into one square of water. Sometimes you will find only one player.

A hotel swimming pool. All you see is the still surface of the water with Jack's head poking out in the top right corner. He is wearing reflective goggles.

He’s like the cutest little bug ever in this photo.

We also spent some time cheering on the non-C Team Cheetahs. This is one of the reasons I like the travel tournaments. We always try to catch some games that Jack isn’t playing in.

Photo of Jack eating popcorn and watching a hockey game.

Sometimes it’s good to just be a fan.

Almost as fun as watching hockey is watching the Zamboni.

Photo of Jack's back in uniform as he watches an ice machine clean the ice.

That never gets old.

There was also evidently some time spent rolling around in charcoal.

The front of Jack's white jersey on which is a Montgomery Cheetahs logo and a fair amount of black smudging.

How, when this is only worn on ice, is it possible for a jersey to get this filthy?

Jack also always manages to find whatever mascot is available for hugging, in this case, the Baltimore Saints’ Saint Bernard. (I just figured out why their mascot is a Saint Bernard. The “saints” refers to the dog breed. Duh. It only took me four years.)

Jack with his arm around a mascot in a dog costume with a hockey jersey on.

After I took this photo, Jack turned to the dog and said, “You’re awesome!”

Jack also added to his medal collection. That boy has more hardware than the rest of Team Stimey combined.

Jack in his jersey holding up a medal with a stick and puck on it.

To be fair, he totally earns them.

I look at these photos and I think about Jack’s games and his friends this past weekend and at his first tournament four years ago.

Everything has changed, but still, not that much has. I still find myself stopped short by the realization of how much I love that boy. I am still brought to awe by how amazing my wonderful kid is. I still get so much joy out of the privilege of being able to spend four nonstop days with this terrific kiddo.

And still, four years later, I am so grateful to the people behind this wonderful team that creates these safe places for athletes like my son to be exactly who they are and experience a sport they might not otherwise be able to play. As always, thank you to those people—thank you to the coaches and the team leadership and the people who plan these tournaments. Thank you. I thank you and Jack thanks you.

Jack in full game gear on his way from the locker room to the ice.The Cheetahs are kicking off their fundraising season. Our annual Cheetah-thon will be May 3rd this year. We would love to invite any locals to skate with us and our team that evening. We would also be honored if you would consider donating to the team. This fundraiser makes it possible for the team to practice every week for a nine-month season. It lets this all volunteer-run organization provide a wonderful team experience and the opportunity to attend tournaments like the one in this post at very small costs to special needs families.

You can find information about the Cheetah-thon at this link. You can also donate there. If you do so, please let me know that you have donated in Jack’s name so I can be sure to thank you.

Race Report: The Reston 10-Miler

Remember all my PANIC TRAINING? Per usual, it turns out that Past Stimey is awesome and totally knew what she was doing. I ran all ten miles of the Reston 10-miler (minus 0.1-0.2 mile stretches at each of three water stations that I walked) and I did it in (just barely) under two hours and ten minutes, which is exactly what I’d hoped to do.

Photo of me running in my race, looking full of energy.Don’t I look all energetic and perky in that photo to the left? I should, because that was taken probably less than a quarter mile into the race.

Side note: It’s funny that I call them “races,” considering that they are much more like “running events,” considering I ain’t racing nobody.

Except for myself, of course. I race that bitch hard.

So anywho, I was sidelined in the last week before the race by a particularly virulent cold. It arrived on Tuesday and I spent the next five days trying to sit perfectly still and willing myself to get better.

I was really worried, because under the best of situations, I was concerned that I wasn’t going to finish under the two-hour, fifteen-minute course limit. Inability to breathe or sneezing fits weren’t going to help me finish with the slim cushion I had.

Fortunately, I felt a LOT better by race day and even though I wasn’t at 100%, I probably ran at the same pace I would have if I hadn’t been sick. See, I wasn’t aiming for fast. I was aiming to finish.

(And I did. Woo!)

You know how some people run marathons and ultras and go for 15-mile runs like it ain’t no thang? Those people be hard core. I have a secret to tell you: Ten miles is really far to run. When I caught myself thinking, “Well, no matter what, worst case scenario, in another hour and a half, this will all be over,” it came home to me that ten miles is long.

I broke my run into little milestones, with the goal being to not think past the next one.

Said milestones:

3 miles: I made it to the first water station! Break time!

3.1 miles: I ran a 5k!

3.33 miles: I’m a third of the way done!

4 miles: Almost halfway there!

5 miles: Really halfway there!

5.5 miles: Only a half mile until the next water station. A half mile is nothing.

6 miles: Water station!

6.2 miles: I just ran a 10k!

6.9 miles: Only a 5k to run. I can run a 5k any day.

7.2 miles: I want to walk. I really want to walk. I am not going to walk.

7.5 miles: This (aka, Desperation Sets In):

Photo of me running up a hill. My head is down and my face is BRIGHT red.

1. The washcloth at my waist was for nose blowing. I used it a lot.
2. For anyone who thinks they can’t run, look at this photo and know that if *I* can run 10-miles, you can run too.
3. Even though both of my feet are touching the ground here, I assure you that I was actually running. Veeeeery slowly, but I was. 4. My face looks like it is actually going to explode.

8 miles: This is now officially the longest race I have ever run.

8.2 miles: Oh, thank God, the water stop that was supposed to be at mile 8.5 is early! THANK THE GOOD LORD! I will now take my short, sanctioned water-stop walk.

8.5 miles: According to the course elevation map, I just crested the last hill. Only one and a half miles to go—and they’re all downhill! Piece of motherfucking cake!

9 miles: Not a piece of cake. But only one mile. On a good day, I could hop one mile if I wanted to. (It’s no longer a good day.)

9.5 miles: This race is never going to end.

9.7ish miles: I can almost see the finish line, but the course takes a windy route down and around a turnaround and then back up a veeeery slight uphill that will almost kill me.

10 miles: I DID IT! Except that unless you run the very edge of a course, you are always going to run longer than the official distance. Only .2 miles to go. Not only can you do this, Stimey, but you should be able to speed up juuuust a smidge.

10.2 miles: FINISH LINE! I REALLY DID IT! VICTORY IS MINE! I AM AWESOME! Oh, shit. How far away is my car?

10.7 miles: I am at my car. It finally feels safe to stop moving.

Screenshot of my post-race Facebook post. It is a selfie of me holding up my race medal with the caption, "Good new: I fucking did it. Bad news: I am pretty sure I am going to die any second."Yeah, that was hard. I was just barely trained enough to run that. Also, why—when I did a lot of long runs with absolutely no foot pain—did I develop blisters at mile four during this race? I don’t understand that.

All said, I’m proud of me. I pushed myself and I met my goal. Now I know I can do it—and knowing that is worth every tenth of a mile I ran.

Faceplant

I’m pretty sure I’m just about the best runner in the world.

Do you want to be the best runner in the world too? Well, I am here to help.

Step 1: Run

Bad drawing of me running.

It helps if you run while having a disproportionately tiny head.

Step 2: Run along an extremely busy road.

Sam bad drawing as before, but with cars added on the road.

Please to extrapolate to imagine many more cars on the road.

Step 3: Don’t notice the tripping hazard in front of you.

Drawing of a sidewalk from the POV of a runner looking down. There is a tiny dot a little ways ahead with a label that says, "miniature dust mote." Drawing with same POV as above, but the dot is closer to the shoes now and has the label "still tiny"Step four: Fall spectacularly flat on your face after tripping over essentially nothing.

Two drawings next to each other (1) Me, mid-fall saying "nooooo...." (2) me flat on my face on the sidewalk saying "oof."

It may feel way more slow motion than depicted here though.

Step five: Regardless of how badly you may or may not be hurt, jump up as if nothing at all happened.

Drawing of me standing up with a surprised look on my face.

Bonus points if you can make it look like you did an intentional burpee.

Step six: Recommence running, while mentally assessing injuries.

This is the same drawing as the first showing me running.

Don’t limp. Even if you broke something.

Step seven: Strategically plaster on a self-deprecating grin while shaking your head in amusement at yourself until all the cars that saw you fall drive away.

Drawing of a closeup of my face with a huge grin.

Die a little inside.

Step eight: Run the rest of the way home before you inspect your bloody knees and scraped up palms.

Aaaaaand done! Congratulations! You are also the best runner in the world!

#6

Oy, you guys. I just looked at my blog and realized that I’ve only written five posts in February. I feel a wee bit sub-par about that. This month has gotten away from me. Especially considering in January I told myself, “Self, this year you should try to write at least every other day.”

(Bad Self. Bad, bad Self.)

In an effort to up my number of posts to six this month with the hope that March will bring a whole new renaissance of insightful, funny, and heartwarming writing, I will close up February with a bullet point list of shallow, boring, and not particularly sentimental snippets.

• I am sitting at my desk and there is a cat sleeping next to me. I kind of feel like work cats should come with jobs. Like, at the interview, you’d be all, “So what is the salary and with how many work cats will I be provided?”

Photo of a black cat curled up and asleep on my desk in front of the gerbil tank

There should also be work gerbils.

• Right on time for my 10-mile race this Sunday, my cold arrived yesterday. I am congested, have a sore throat, and am tired. Why? Why every time?

• One of the reasons I haven’t been writing here very much is because I have been co-chairing a big event at Sam’s school, which consisted of a teachers vs. students basketball game (that part I had almost nothing to do with) and a used book sale (this part I had a tremendous amount to do with). I sorted so many books into categories and carted so many boxes of books around that I’m almost ready to never see another book again in my life.

Photo of a school cafeteria filled with about 11 tables crammed full of boxes of books.

So many books.

On the upside, I donated a bunch of books that I didn’t need anymore. On the downside, I brought home two full boxes of new-to-me books. Although I guess the real positive here is raising money for the school and helping provide a fun activity for the school’s families. I suppose.

• Sam got to help me at the book sale by also carting a bazillion boxes of books around and by selling pizza for three hours. It might be harder to get him to volunteer next time.

Sam sitting behind a table with drinks for sale and a stack of cups. He has a neutral expression on his face.

Believe it or not, this was before he started his marathon selling session and was actually still excited to be there.

• When I was looking through my phone for the book sale photos, I had to scroll through approximately eleventy-million photos of the cats that Quinn took yesterday. I also found this one of Magician Ruby that he made me take.

Quinn has Ruby propped in a sitting position with a small black hat in front of her. There is a mouse toy on the rim of the hat. Ruby looks...not entirely happy.

Magician Ruby was pulling mice out of the hat.

Ruby was…not entirely happy about said photo shoot.

• I am hungry, but I can’t decide what I want to eat. That, along with the probability that something I want to eat is not in my refrigerator is leaving me completely immobilized. My life is terribly sad.

• This:

Pile of three gerbils. Two are drinking from the water bottle simultaneously. The white one is on his back and the brown one is coming in from the top.

Must. Drink. At. Exactly. The. Same. Time.

• The fact that it is still snowing today makes me want to cry. WHY CAN’T WE HAVE SPRING?

Photo of a snow-covered hammock.

Ugh. Just fucking ugh.