Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kicking into High Gear

I've gotta be completely honest--my ass hurts.

Sorry if that sounds crass, but it's the toasted toad's truth, as Chris would say. I went over to Sarah's last night to help with some shelves and wallpaper removal, and we ended up doing one of the Biggest Loser's strength training routines. A bajillion squats and lunges later, I find that my backside is rebelling, saying, "Ha HA! You thought you could break me! Not gonna happen, wussy!"

Today ends the first week of half marathon training, and later today I'm heading to the Y for a moderate temperature under which I can manage the 3-4 mile walk required today. The 20th Ave Y has a new gymnasium with an elevated track overlooking it that is, on the whole, rather nice. Eleven laps on the track equals a mile, so I'll be heading there today, ipod in hand, to complete the first leg of this journey.

I have to admit there's something very cool about participating in training, the idea of preparing for something greater than yourself. A half marathon, or 13.1 miles, is quite a distance, and I must admit that I'm lucky the only hills in Oshkosh are the bridges over the Fox River. But still, I feel invigorated by the goal, comforted by the support of friends, and a strong desire to see this through. As walkers, we'll probably be some of the last to cross the finish line, but who cares? Crossing the finish line is what it's all about. I may just have to look ahead to another.

In many ways 2009 felt like the year of tying up loose ends, completing the degrees, getting past wait lists and waivers so that the real changes can begin. With the advent of 2010, it's amazing to think how much has changed already, and how much will continue to change over the next couple of months.And I think I'm ready to face what comes.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jarod's "Fancy Dinner"

In this 21st century style of living, what I used to call a regular everyday family dinner as a child is what my son calls a "fancy dinner". Our family sitting around the table, bowls and platters filled with flavorful, steaming food on the table, place settings gleaming in candle light--that was regular stuff as a child. But for Jarod, that's the fancy dinner he's been waiting for.

Since Thanksgiving at Grandma and Papa's house, Jarod has been asking if we can have a fancy dinner at home. While we usually plate the food in the kitchen and serve the plates at the table in the family/dining room, he wanted a table cloth, a perfectly set table, "food in bowls" as he commanded, and "lots of candles burning". We had hoped to have our fancy dinner at Christmas Eve, but since Jarod was just over his stomach flu, we didn't want to chance it. So last night, Grandma and Papa came over for the fancy dinner and a Wii family game night.

Chris made his sage meatloaf recipe that he loves, I made mashed potatoes and gravy and home made dinner rolls, and mom brought green beans with toasted almonds. Jarod set the tables perfectly--a table for grown ups, and a table for kids--both complete with table cloths, napkins, place settings and glasses, everything in the perfect spot--and we sat down to a lovely meal.

Jarod had a big smile on his face as the family sat down together. He seemed very excited, and absolutely loved being in charge of setting the tables. We were very, very proud of his efforts. Dinner was excellent, and the games were fun. I can think of few better ways to spend a Saturday night!