Muscling Through Some Life Changes

We had to say good-bye to our dog Cypress last week.

Heart-breaking…had to put her to sleep due to a fast growing, aggressive cancer.  She was pretty sick – lost 4 pounds in the last week. She spent her last nights sleeping with us in our bed.  We are all pretty sad.  Everywhere we look, we see reminders of her.  She came into our lives when Alex was 8 years old.  We just keep telling ourselves that she’s at peace now with no pain.

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Another big change coming next Saturday…

Alex leaves for his first year of college.   He’s pretty excited.  Talking to friends, gathering stuff for his room – lots of big plans.

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He’s all grown up…18 and going off to school.  No longer my little boy…Fall Concert 02

In his graduating class list of “most likely to’s,”  Alex was voted the one most likely…”To Write a Great American Novel.”  He probably will.

We’ve had all of our talks (too many according to Alex), checked all the lists (several times) and  have a room full of stuff collected through out summer for the big move.  He’s ready and we know he’ll do great and bottom line…He’ll be fine (even without me forecasting potential problems ahead and working out strategies and solutions for him).

It’s time to let go.

For this General of the Helicopter Mom’s of America’s army, that is very hard.  I’m breaking rank and doing it though.  This is what the past 18 years was to prepare him for so he’s going out and grabbing hold of his opportunity with both hands and we are cheering him on.  Still here if he needs us though.

For Jim and I, we are moving ahead and into our next phase of life together.

download (1)Probably healthier eating (before Alex could say “Happy Meal,” we rarely visited a fast food drive-through or knew what “Pizzapendence Day” was – that’s Friday for those not in the know).  We ate healthier and regularly went to the gym too.

For now though, after the loss of Cypress and Alex’s big move ahead, I spent Sunday, fixing some favorite foods to keep things on track.

Grief can cause eating to go awry which brings on illness.  So, heading that off with good stuff.

frigAlso, made some bread which isn’t the best for dieting, but Jim really likes it and this week…that’s all that matters.

roast and bread

We celebrated Carrie’s birthday this weekend and it really helped having them here.  Instead of it being filled with sadness it was a much more memorable and happier time.

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So what does all of this have to do with running????

5c03224c63d53ff009eeba1eb604e730Muscling through the loss of Cypress and letting Alex soar to new heights while looking forward to all the great life-moments ahead for our family.

What did you do following similar life changes to get past feelings of loss?   Any advice for new empty-nester’s?

Christmas In The House!

Carrie hosted Christmas this year.  Always a great time and she always does everything up especially nice.

Love her Christmas tree!

…but first, we went to Greg’s Retirement Party.  He is Captain at the Springfield Federal Bureau of Prisons Medical Center.  So much fun…we love getting together and so proud of Greg too.  He was given several plaques to honor him and commemorate the occasion.  He first started with the Bureau in 1989.  He has been in his current position at the Springfield facility for 7 years.  Last year he received a national award for his performance there.  He and Carrie flew to DC where it was presented to him.  It was obvious too, that all the folks that work for him really respect and will miss him a lot after he’s gone.

While we were visiting, Carrie took Jim and I on a tour of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Medical Center that she has worked at for more than 15 years.  It was very sobering when a portions of the tour took us into the inmate population.  Also, when every door we passed through had to be unlocked and then relocked behind us.  They were all very pleasant and respectful though.  It is a massive city within walls and all of the staff were really nice.  I couldn’t take any pictures, in fact the only thing I carried in was my ID – no purse, phone, camera, etc.

There are many notable individuals over the years, that have been housed there including “The Bird Man of Alcatraz.”  Due to such Burt Lancaster visited the facility as he prepared for his role in the movie in which he played Robert Stoud – the bird man of Alcatraz.  Others that have been in residence there – John Gotti, Vito Genovese, Vincent Gigante, Manuel Noriega and many more.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia .

After the tour we went back to Carrie’s for Christmas with everyone.  It was a great time.

Alex loves getting together with Carrie, Rich, and all.  He talks about them all the time.

Jim’s son Rich and his wife Paula were there along with their daughter Bailey who is very outgoing and really bright.


Carrie and Greg are always fun to be with and Carrie puts on quite a spread – Martha Stewart doesn’t have anything on her.

Kelsey just finished her first semester at Drury and is holding down a job that is helping her with school expenses.  She was top of her class in high school and received many honors including scholarships.

Hunter keeps us on schedule if the gift opening starts to drag.  He has a very dry sense of humor that leaves us in stitches.

I always love to get pictures as a gift!  Love these!  We gave the Lemonade Stand (center pic in frame) to Hunter for Christmas last year…It was Alex’s when he was little.  We cleaned it up and had a sign made with his name to hang on it.

Now, I’m not going to list or show all of the wonderful gifts that were given and received, but because this is a blog about running (or supposed to be), I have to show off this one.

Love it!   Thanks Carrie, Kelsey and Hunter.

We had such an outstanding time with everyone.  My first Christmas with Carrie and Rich was 28 years ago.  Each one is priceless and mark the different phases of their lives and ours.  We love looking back on them.

Our time together  never lasts long enough though.  Here’s to another great year and there will hopefully be many, many more.