Thursday, February 9, 2012

Athletes, Atrophy, A Good Cleanse, Việt Bài Học, and Pinterest

Well, well, well...


It's been awhile, no?  I took some time off blogging over the holidays and found that, much like any other muscle or organs in our bodies, the corpus callosum and prefrontal lobes of the brain can shrink and atrophy with disuse, which is exactly what I think happened to mine when the red and green decorations started demanding to be put up around our house. With that said, much like any other muscle, with constant hard work and attention, I also believe those creative areas in my brain can be restored, much like I seem to be under the crazy notion that with enough pilates and carbohydrate restriction, the derriere of my 20's might also be restored in this body of a 40-year-old as well. 

That's probably a blog post for another day.

Anyway, how's it going?  Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving?  Christmas?  New Year?  Gotcha Day?  MLK Day?  National Oatmeal Day?  Festival of Sleep Day?  And two of my personal faves:  National Thesaurus Day and National Blonde Brownie Day?

Yes, I've been gone awhile.  Yes, I spent some most excellent quality time with my family.  And yes, I kinda missed blogging. 

So yes, I'm back.

Here's a quick rundown on the family.

The kids are fabulous.  FAB.  U.  LOUS.  They are loud and sassy and smart and messy and happy and funny, and they flat wear me out.  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Which might be another reason my corpus callosum shrunk.  But still, they make me happy.  So, so happy.  In fact, I looked at Chris after dinner last night and said, "My heart is so full.  Just so full." 

Christmas was a magical week sandwiched in between two fourteen-hour drives across the southeast and back with two young children, two pythons zip-tied in a duffle bag (don't ask) and a dog.  Santa was good to us all, but God was GOODER.  The time we spent with my family was beyond spectacular, and we all are more blessed because of it.  The girls spent a lot of time playing dress-up/Barbies/puzzles/rock band with their cousins, and I spent a lot of time working out with my newly-minted fitness fanatic of a father and even managing to schedule in a nap or five (swoon).

We no sooner got back to Texas and back into the groove of work/school/January, that an opportunity arose of which we were incapable of refusing:  a family ski trip to New Mexico.  Quick trip to Academy Sports for deeply discounted kids' skiwear, luggage back out of the attic, Thule back up on top of the car, dog in the back, kids strapped in, and off we went - snake-free, thank you, Jesus - for another cross-country road trip, this time to the snow-capped  Sangre de Cristo peaks to Angel Fire, New Mexico. 

Did we have fun?  Oh, did we ever have fun.

Sidebar:  I don't know if I've ever publicly complained on this blog about my oldest not being quite the athlete, but I know I've grumbled every-so-often in my heart and in my head and sometimes to my friends. 

Most of the time, the conversation went as follows.

Friend:  She's FOUR. 
Me:  I know, but the other kids on the soccer field aren't playing ring-around-the-rosy. 
Friend:  She's FOUR. 
Me:  She falls down all the time.
Friend:  She's FOUR.
Me:  The other girls got most of the steps right in the ballet recital.
Friend:  She's FOUR.
Me:  She essentially walked the whole mile of our (un)Fun Run.
Friend:  She's FOUR.
Me:  Look at that one.  She's can do a somersault like Mary Lou Retton.  The only kind of roll mine is interested in is a tootsie roll.
Friend:  What is wrong with you?  Don't you have a life?  Why don't you start blogging again?

(Okay, maybe that last part didn't happen, but you get the gist).

Well, can I just say, for the record, all that stuff I may or may not have thought/said about Aria not really being my athlete... I TAKE IT ALL BACK!

Know why?  See for yourself.

Look at her go!  My girl can ski.  My FOUR-year-old baby can SKI!  She can ski, she can ski, she can ski!  We are so proud.  She did ski school every day, and was a little rock star.  By the end of the trip, she was riding the lift by herself (gulp), and ultimately beginning her training for the 2026 Olympic women's downhill.  One cold, winter day fifteen years from now, Bob Costas will be sitting in his big velvet club chair by the fireplace, interviewing my daughter, this picture will flash up on the screen, and y'all can say you saw it here first:

I have some ski video which I will hope to upload here one of these days.  Otherwise, you can just wait for the human interest story at the Opening Ceremonies.  Either way.

Hmmm.  What else have we been doing? 

Work, Pinterest, yoga, Pinterest, lake, Pinterest, shopping, Pinterest.

Did I mention I like Pinterest?

I'm not a big believer in New Year's resolutions, so I won't go so far as to say I've made resolutions for myself, but I've definitely set some goals for 2012, which from hereafter in our house, is referred to as The Year of the Cleanse.  That's right.  I'm determined to purge our home of clutter and uncleanliness and needlessness, of anything unnecessary or unused.  Over the holidays, my brother told us about the 100-item challenge, which is essentially an experiment to see if one can pare one's life down to only 100 things.  ONE HUNDRED THINGS.  Can you imagine?  Obviously, the person who developed this plan does not have small children, because we all know one Polly Pocket Disney Princess Playset would wipe out every single one of those 100 items.  And I think I'd be out of the contest on the basis of my shoe closet alone, but I have to admit, I'm intrigued by the concept, and it provided a lot of dialogue between my husband and me on our long, looooong drives in the last few months.  Ultimately, it would not be possible to pare my belongings down to 100 items, but I really like the idea of simplifying, decluttering, and cleansing our life.

This cleanse also translates to our diet as well.  I'm trying very hard to limit my family's exposure to processed food, and specifically, artificial colors and dyes.  As you can imagine, this has made me very popular among the other three members of the family.  But really?  Have you SEEN the stuff out there on Yellow 5?  It's terrifying!  And it's ubiquitous too, even in deodorant, shampoos and soaps.  I had to search high and low the other day to find Chris a tube of toothpaste that didn't have stinkin' Yellow No. 5 in it!  I mean, who has time for that?  Not me, I have a blog to write.

Lastly, a goal I've had for three years now is to begin Vietnamese lessons with Aria.  As of this week, we have lined up our tutor, a wonderfully patient woman named Lily, and have started learning the basics via DVD.  It's extremely overwhelming to be learning a new language at forty, but I'm determined to keep her culture alive for her, and I hope that she, we both, will appreciate this one day.  My goal is minimum 30 minutes of practice a day.  How hard can that be, right?  Answer:  Kho Khan!  (Hard). 

Don't you just love that face she makes at the end?  She's precious.

And you'll probably need to keep reminding me of something:  she's FOUR.

Glad to be back!  And chúc mừng năm mới!