Jan 31, 2010

Four down

Before anything I want to thank all of you for the support given the past couple of weeks. My grandpa's death has changed me and it's been an emotional journey. But the services did give closure and I was able to say the things that I needed to express. That being said...one of the things that I have walked away with from this experience is the need to have a better spiritual connection.

I was raised without any religion in my life. My parents openly would discuss their spiritual beliefs and also share their personal opinions, but my brother and I were expected to find our own spiritual and/or religious path. I love my parents for that freedom and allowing me to be free of judgement, but...it's hard to believe in something larger in life when you never really have to think about. I have a basic level of beliefs...higher power, forgiveness and spirits but this week I have also realized that I have a lot of unanswered questions. I guess maybe that is more about having faith.

During the services I was moved by the words and passion of the minster. He was solid in his own beliefs and had a clear faith in life and death. It inspired me to explore more and find my own journey to faith. I'm not looking for organized religion because I don't need somebody to define "ideas" and "beliefs" for me to follow. I am looking for my spiritual connection for myself to have unwavering faith in MY LIFE AND IN MY DEATH.

So...this morning I got up and went to a service at the Denver Center for Spiritual Learning. That's number four! It wasn't the right connection for me but was a new experience for sure. So now I'll continue on my list of options...Taoist, Buddhist, Religious Science, meditation and whatever else I can explore.

Jan 26, 2010


I have been writing the eulogy for my grandfather's funeral tomorrow for the last couple of days. I have tried to write in different settings in the hopes that eventually it would all just come flowing out of my mind and express what's in my heart. I was picked (or better yet TOLD) that I was the person selected to speak for the family. I have a history of impromptu toasts to my family and friends and so I guess those were the qualifications in being chosen. I didn't have the heart to say no although every nerve in my body is screaming that tonight.

Focus...I write a few words and then drift off to my "to do"list, back to the eulogy and then lists of blog ideas. You get the point! Expressing myself should be easier than this but I am so worried that my words may not adequately express the love and respect my family has for my grandpa. Sorting through a lifetime of events, actions, beliefs and memories is difficult to succinct into a few words.

But it's done...at least for now it's done. And I hope that more than anything I am able to share that my grandpa did what he thought was best for himself and his family his entire life. He worked hard, played hard and loved unconditionally. He was a rancher, a construction worker, an investor, a husband, a father, a grandpa, a brother and a friend. Expressing his love wasn't always easy but he did the very best he knew how to and continued to try more and more. But the one thing that I learned the most from my grandpa is the one thing that I can't share at his services. My grandpa made some choices out of the need for comfort and not the need to be true to himself. He taught me that this is the only life I'm going to get and I need to make choices to be happy.

Focus...think I just found it!!!!

Jan 25, 2010

Out of the shoot

The past week has been a blur with funeral arrangements, tackling my personal grief along with my father's. And then trying to fit in the normal day to day living has made things seem a bit of a cluster to say the least. But to top it all of my first time out of the shoot didn't work out so well.

I had a date recently. I know that should have made the list of new things but have decided to leave that off for now. The date was fun, exciting and made me feel appealing again (or at least started to) and we actually had a follow-up a few days later. And then smack life happened and my grandfather passed away so I put life on hold.

We exchanged a couple of phone calls, a few texts over the past week and then tonight I got an email telling me that she has also been on a few dates with another person and has decided that her focus is there for now. But...it would be great to be friends. REALLY???? Unflipping believable! I finally get the courage to put myself out there and the dates seem to be good only to find out I am good "friend" potential. Not really what I was looking for...

Dating sucks! I have a history of making a great friend but haven't been able to keep them connected to me for the long term. I know that Dr. Phil would ask what that says about me...I KNOW, I KNOW...and while I haven't figured it all out I am determined to do just that this year. But right now I have to scrape my self esteem off of the floor and try to convince myself to do it all again. Yuck!

Jan 18, 2010

Rest in peace

My grandpa died today. I know that there should be a better way to put it out there but honestly I just keep repeating that sentence in my head over and over. He has had ups and downs with health for several years but always came back strong and never lost the hope for it to get better. My grandpa had a lot of loss in his life, two brothers passing before he was 20, taking over a farm that he had little passion about, losing the love of his life (my grandma) when she was only 48 and spending the last several years with a wife who treated him less than kind. But...he was always optimistic about life and loved his family.

So this afternoon I hung up with my mom doing our weekly chat and five minutes later she called again. I answered ready to hear "just one more thing" and instead I heard tears...no words, and then those words again..."your grandpa just died." And then all at once everything seemed to stop for a second. We divided phone calls, a plan to get my dad home from work and in between I kept repeating that same sentence again and again.

I know that eventually we will be able to look back on the good moments and be grateful that he went so quickly. I know that eventually the raw pain will pass and that twinge of sadness will takes its place. But right now the pain is huge and seems to take up the room. The only words that came to mind when I talked to dad were I'm so sorry. My heart breaks for him because now he has no parents here to lean on and love. I could hear in his voice the sounds of a child sobbing for his daddy.

Knowing that my grandpa is gone seems unreal and at this moment I feel very empty and alone. I honored my dads wishes to give him time alone with my mom to grieve. But I realized this afternoon that I was not prepared to handle grief. My grandma passed when I was a very little girl and there are few memories of that experience. So I had no idea what that loss would really feel like now. And I have learned that grief is hard and even harder alone. I loved my grandpa and will miss so many things about him. And I pray that he is now with my grandma which I know he longed for forever.

Goodbye grandpa...I love you!

Jan 17, 2010

Number 3...

I have so many items to update but it's late and number 3 is the best that I can do right now. I have been trying to get in better shape, fit into a smaller size and overall just feel attractive again for a LONG time. And since you have been on that journey with me I thought it only fitting to make this my number 3.

Today I started a new program that is hard core working out, eating, planning, blah, blah, blah. But that isn't the new experience. My new experience was standing in front of two friends in my bra and underwear while they took "before" pictures, measurements and read my weight and body fat out loud! That is the new part. I put who I am fully out there for others to actually see and have to trust that they aren't home now talking about how I looked.

And while inside my heart was pounding and my mind racing with anxiety, I was able to laugh at myself again. I was able to say...this is who I am good or bad. And that is definitely a new experience.

Jan 11, 2010

Yes I do...

Today I testified in a discipline hearing for one of my students. It was a first...I have never had to testify before EVER! I had a pre-meeting with the our attorney and reviewed all of the facts and details. Then I walked into the room and whispered to the attorney, "I might throw up from nerves." His advice, "don't" so I walked in and took my seat trying to look as confident as possible. Two hours later I was done answering questions from both attorneys. And I just kept wondering why I was the one on trial. I didn't do anything and the student didn't have to be questioned for more than five minutes. Really???? Is this how the system works? I'm not sure of the outcome yet but I do know that I did the best possible.

But....that isn't the big moment. When I was being crossed examined by their attorney he was trying to quote the policies to me and kept asking why I didn't know the details. "I followed the policies so I can't answer your question," that was all I could say. Then he did some big speech about how I needed to follow the details of the policy and I had failed. And then I opened the policy book and told him to turn to page 6 and following along as I read. I read the part he didn't get and when I was he had no other comments or questions. It was a great moment but the secret is that while I knew the policy was in there I had no idea what page it was listed. So when I flipped that book it just randomly opened to the correct page and while my hands were shaking like crazy I read it out loud. Thank goodness for luck!

I so should have been on Law & Order!

Jan 7, 2010


Okay I am ready for the sun! It has been so cold here the last couple of days that the only positive I could come up with was that I'm glad it wasn't like this when I took the plunge. I just got home from work and caught the news that everybody is experiencing cold, cold temps! Cuddle up everybody!

Jan 4, 2010

Yeah for pink!

No...I'm not pregnant. But I have been tracking my cycle for awhile and haven't actually ever received two pink lines to show I'm surging! I have been thinking about having a baby for several years but have been concerned that it was too late. Today I took another test and finally...two pink lines. So I stood in the bathroom at working jumping and screaming for joy! I'm not running out tomorrow to get pregnant but now that I have some hope that might be one of the 101 items this year. I'll keep you posted!

Jan 1, 2010

Number 2...

Hello 2010! There is a tradition here in Boulder that happens every New Years day and up until this point was something that "those" crazy people would consider. But a couple of days ago I decided that what better to be on my list of adventures than the one thing that would really kick it off.

I am usually up for any challenge and almost always excited about supporting a cause. So a couple of days ago I convinced a group of friends (small group because the others said HELL NO!) to participate in the Polar Plunge which supports Alzheimer's Association of Colorado. The name says it all really...a large portion of the ice is cut out to expose freezing waters begging for insane people to dive into if even for a second. I woke up this morning excited and nervous wondering what I was thinking to even consider following through. I used ice cold water to wash my face hoping to prepare for the days event and honestly just though CRAP! But to make sure that I didn't back out on this I arranged to pick up one of my friends and even meet my parents half way to carpool. We pulled into the lot where over 900 people were lining up to take the plunge. There we stood...my three friends, two of their kids posing for pictures that my parents were more than happy to take as long as it meant they didn't have to jump.
After standing in snow for over an hour with temps at 35 degrees our turn was finally up. We put on our sandals, stripped down to our swimsuits (isn't that a pretty site) and we stood inches from the water. 3, 2, 1...JUMP! I ran into the water and it hit me...OMG THIS IS SOOOO COLD! I am the one in the top right corner with the short hair (it was the only picture that came out). So after five steps into the water i dove (because it was only official if your hair was wet) and then turned to run out of the water as quick as possible.

Second really is all that it lasted but the memory will be forever. I loved this experience and loved that my family and friends were there to do it with me. Now the rest of my friends are ready for next year!