Wow! I can’t believe we are almost 2 weeks into the New Year. Time sure flies when you’re having fun and getting recognized (more on that in a bit.) Well, for the few of you that followed us this summer, thank you. It was so encouraging to have the feedback. For those of you that have been patiently waiting, I have officially decided to reinstate the blog. I took a break from writing for a while for several reasons. First, after the trip I was not sure the direction of the blog. There was so much material in that concentrated 5 week span it was easy and effortless to write. And of course the more I reminisced about the trip, the more I missed our grand adventure. I can honestly say, I would be okay with selling our house, getting a motorhome and travelling the country. Yes, the broken window caused some angst for a couple of days last summer, but really the unknown, freedom and adventure that was around each bend filled my soul like no other. But without the Tetons, Glacier and Yosemite, what would this blog look like?
Secondly, I had to shift gears. We got back in July and one week later was Age Group State for swimming, then USAT Youth and Junior Nationals in Westchester, OH. We took 8 athletes and had a roaring good time with our small but quickly growing triathlon team, securing 9th place overall in the country as a club with several podium finishes and a National Champion. We may be small, but we are mighty! The next day, it was onto formal training for XC season. We then quickly moved to the start of school; Hy-Vee Nationals in Des Moines, IA; Aquathlon Nationals in Oklahoma City-an amazing story that I will share at some point. It was literally non-stop. Oh, and I forgot to mention watching my moms’ dogs for almost 14 days while she was in London….yes, two weeks! I am not exactly sure what I was thinking to add them into the mix with our two dogs, three cats and Viv’s hedgehog. I can confidently tell you that I turned down the opportunity to watch them again when she travelled to Russia a month later. Her dogs and my cats just never quite became friends but after my dad was so generous in watching our dogs last summer for 5 weeks, I thought I could help my mom out for just two weeks. I was wrong. Maybe it had something to do with our unbeknownst to us, newly pregnant, semi-feral cat Black Mamba, affectionately named for the reminiscent strikes and hisses seen on Animal Planet. Truly I thought she would be gone by the time we returned from the trip last summer, but apparently she decided to call us family and was so overjoyed by our return, decided to create one of her on. Of course, that’s all we needed!
Yes, a week before Halloween we welcomed five beautiful kittens under our California king bed at 6am. So much for all the Youtube videos promising you will know when your cat goes into labor because our furry little friend showed none of the signs. No nesting, no mood or behavior changes, (though that would have been welcomed), and no reduction in appetite. She pigged out the night before just like any other night, so the obvious signs of “reduced eating” were not applicable. Now, in all fairness, I did not go to the extreme of taking her rectal temperature as I guess I just was not that concerned. I love animals, but I’m not a breeder. I was more freaked out by the thought that they all might not make it and to handle them with kid gloves. But if I had, perhaps I would have noticed a decrease in her temperature. So much for the great set up in the master bathroom in preparation for the little squirts. Not exactly how I expected to start that Thursday morning, but after ripping apart the Sleep Number bed, I extracted the brood and placed them in the appropriate box and cleaned the mess. It was actually quite beautiful to witness. Black Mamba, the once moody hissy, pissy kitty, had almost instantaneously become the sweetest little cat, loving on her babies as if she were the warmest, most nurturing and loving cat ever even allowing all of us to lavish attention and love on them. I guess it is true what they say that motherhood changes us all….even the four legged creatures. It has been a joy to watch them grow literally in front of our eyes, but as of a week before Christmas-Rosemary, Licorice aka Toothless, Cilantro, and Basil all went to a new foster family. But you count only 4 names and earlier I said five? That’s right, we decided to keep Sage, a fearless fluff ball, whose personality melted all of our hearts and helped soften the blow after Orvis went missing the first part of December. Our other cat, Buttercup has been with me before marriage and is weeks, maybe days away from the end of her life. The thought of losing two cats so close together left such a huge whole in my heart, that I knew God had put those little babies in my world as a distraction, a comfort, and lesson that life does carry on. He ALWAYS goes before us even when we do not know or see the plans.
Then……. our daughter, our eldest, our “Guinea Pig child” as she often reminds us, was asked to join a group of up and coming draft legal female racers to attend a select only training camp in Colorado Springs in November which was good for so many reasons most importantly to see if I could clip the umbilical cord. You see there are no direct flights to Colorado Springs and in order that she not miss a lot of school, required at least one plane transition through Atlanta. Kenzi is smart bright and most capable but I was struggling with all the “what if” scenarios as she had never flown by herself. For a brief moment I truly was considering flying out with her and staying with an old college friend in Denver and driving her down to the OTC. But the more I prayed and sought wise counsel and prayed, I realized I had an enormous opportunity (for both of us) to grow up. It’s going to happen sooner or later and with impending International competition just around the bend, I had better get use to it.
Needless to say, it all went great other than the thing I worried about the most did come to fruition. When she left Colorado early Tuesday morning at 5am it was snowing and her flight was delayed about 45 minutes which then made the Atlanta transition tricky. As we were watching the flight pattern (via computer) there not only was a gate change but a terminal change in Atlanta and it was departing to Indy on time, leaving less than 10 minutes to get her to her flight. So glad transitions is the 4th element of triathlon because she understood the importance of quick turnover. Still, for a 15year old who is just finding her voice in one of the largest airports in the world, I was just praying she would make it and not have to deal with any additional consequences or should I say her father and I deal with them. And of course she made it. I don’t know why I still wear worry like it’s my favorite sweater but she did later inform me that they closed the door right behind her and the people on the flight did not look too pleased. I reassured her that is just the face of the American traveler and not to take it personally as most likely it will happen again.
Andto continue our busy fall season, a week later, Scott and I drove by ourselves, without kids, for our first time alone in forever to Lexington to have a romantic weekend…..I mean to get our Level 1 USAT Coaching certifications. Well one came dream! First day was twelve hours in one of the coldest conference rooms I have ever been in and yes it was on purpose and yes it kept us awake. I welcomed the opportunity to get up and move during the strength training clinic and the scheduled and unscheduled bathroom breaks to warm up and relieve my bursting bladder from the copious amounts of hot tea I was drinking. But two weeks later after a long and intense final exam, we were both notified that we passed with flying colors so our romance with USAT had begun.
To end our year and further the adventure, we welcomed the news that our club, Elite Multisport, were 1 of 13 recipients of the Gwen Jorgenson scholarship fund which was incredible honor but we had lots of work to still do in order to set the club up for a successful 2015. Then, the first part of the year, about a week ago, we learned that we have been designated as a High Performance Team for 2015 which is a three year financial commitment to help recognized clubs gain some momentum for these young athletes. Again, huge momentum for the club but it comes with some enormous responsibility. And then as we finish one application and start another, we received word that we both were both accepted into an Elite Mentoring Coaching Program which will take both of us out to Colorado Springs for a three day training with some very notable trainers/coaches within USAT.
So as you can see, the blog has definitely had to take a back seat…..on a school bus. Add to that, my first priority and primary responsibility is to God, husband, and kids, trying to keep the later fed often. Add bible study facilitator on Wednesday mornings where went through Max Lucado’s The Story (essentially the entire bible) in 4 months last fall, video trainings, certification for Safe Sport, CPR certification, periodization tables, tests, learning to cook gluten free and the list goes on. I use to say I had no idea where my kids got there limitless energy and insatiable drive and work ethic but as I write the last six months of my life, I see that my genetic lineage is in their somewhere.
So here I am at the beginning of the year will a huge desire to write (in my spare time) but as I really have been listening and praying, I am seeing the direction of the blog unfold at least for the moment. It is a little overwhelming to think about how to honor this time, but God has placed extraordinary opportunities, growth, life lessons, humor, tragedy, tears, joy, connections and a desire to share. Life has definitely not been easy for the Wilson family and though the last six months may look like a very busy dream, the last 15 years has had its share of heartache. My ambitious goal, is to write at least three posts a week. Again I said ambitious but I will claim Ephesians 3:20- “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” I am still balancing numerous responsibilities, so I am going to have to execute some extreme discipline. I hope you al enjoy and can plug in when you can. Again, thank you for your past support and continual encouragement to write. This year is going to be great as we all just trithisout.