Scaling a Wall for My Kids

So, I’ve been spending a lot of time with the munchkins doing munchkin type of stuff. That means swimming every day, eating at Sweet Tomatoes (that place is a kid magnet!), listening to kiddie music, and pushing myself out of my¬†comfort zone.

Image courtesy of worradmu/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of worradmu/freedigitalphotos.net

That’s a picture of my comfort zone, in case you were wondering. ūüėČ And that’s what I willingly gave up when I decided to scale a wall for my munchkins.

Before you start thinking we were trapped in some remote castle and had to climb¬†over a 20-foot wall to get out, it was nothing that fancy. Dramatic, yes, but nowhere as fancy. ūüėõ

In reality, we were at our local trampoline park, which also has a rock climbing wall. The munchkins, particularly C, like watching other kids climb it, but neither one of them has wanted to try it. Even with our words of comfort and encouragement (ie. “It’s fun!”, “You won’t fall; there’s a harness!” and “You get to ring the bell at the top!”), they always shake their heads and opt for the grounded fun¬†of the trampolines.

I knew not to push them; our kids like to play it safe and warm up to new things in their own time. But I thought maybe I could help speed up the process by showing them how fun and easy and safe wall climbing can be!

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Ha ha ha … gulp!

Both E and C were pretty excited and announced to hubby, “Mom’s going to do it!” Hubby looked at me with a split second of disbelief and wonder before he smiled oh-so warily and said, “You go!”

So, go I did. The¬†nice teenager¬†manning the wall asked if I wanted the easiest course (hmm, did my shaking knees give it away?), then strapped me into my harness and set me loose. I stood in front of the wall and wondered why they didn’t make those grip things bigger and closer together?! As I contemplated which ones to grab and which ones to place my feet on, I decided to stop thinking and just start. I placed my hands on two grips,¬†found grips¬†for my feet, and pulled myself up. Whew. I’d made it one foot off the ground. I looked for the next, best places to hold and stand on … and the next … and the next. Before I knew it, I’d made it halfway up the wall!

I'd like to tell you that's me in the pic, but hubby was so in awe of my climbing skills that he forgot to take pictures! :p

I’d like to tell you that’s me, but hubby was so in awe of my climbing skills that he forgot to take pictures! :p

And that’s when things got tricky.

As I held on for dear life, I noticed the angle of the wall was changing. It was becoming more slanted the higher you went up. Which meant needing to use more muscles and guts, both of which I lacked. Ack. Cue the white flag. When my biceps started to shake in protest, along with the contents of my stomach, I decided it was time to return to the safety of my bubble. I retraced my steps, slooowly and carefully planting my feet on the grips, and lowered myself to the ground. Whew! Yay! Hallelujah!

I turned to my family, a little disappointed, but mostly¬†relieved. I admitted, “I think it’ll take me a few more tries to get to the top.” But I was happy. Happy that a middle-aged dog can still learn new tricks. Proud¬†that the munchkins got to witness me doing something outside my comfort zone. And¬†grateful¬†for these life lessons I gained.

#1: You’re never too old to try something new.

#2: Often times you won’t succeed the first time, but you can always try again.

#3: Starting is easy, the middle takes more effort, but the ending stretches you the most.

You know what this means, right? I’m going to have to try scaling a wall again … for my munchkins and for myself. Good thing I learned another lesson through this:

#4: The second (and third and fourth, etc.) time around is always better. ūüôā

Take a listen to a song I’ve been listening to on repeat with the munchkins. It’s from one of their favorite shows (that teaches math!) called “Odd Squad” (from PBS Kids). If you love boy bands, you’ll love Soundcheck. ūüėÄ

What new trick have you learned to do recently?

The Truth Behind Fiction

Post updated to add: The Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy boxed set that includes the novella I talk about below is now available at Amazon for only 99 cents! Buy it HERE.

So … the good news is that I finished my latest story! The bad? Coming this October, it’s going to be out there for all the world to read. Ah, the weird¬†struggles¬†of a writer. ūüėČ

This story, though barely 20k words,¬†has a lot of stuff in it. By stuff I mean the fun, flirty, falling-in-love bit¬†and the happily-ever-after bit, but in addition to that, it has some of the nitty grittiest stuff I’ve ever written. Because I was crazy and overly-ambitious when I decided to write about a married couple going through a separation.

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Not only do these characters not feel the warm fuzzies of love, they are smack right in the middle of the sad and mad¬†parts¬†of love. The parts that no one likes to go through, much less talk about. And although this is a fictional story with fictional characters, there is a lot of truth behind the fiction. Truths that I’ve experienced and learned in my own marriage. Which is why¬†it’s a little scary for me to lay it all out there.

But I did it and I’m very glad I did. Sometimes we need to read (and talk)¬†about real life stuff. Because that’s the only way we’ll know we’re not alone. There’s comfort in knowing that all of us go through hard times (definitely some harder than others) and all of us struggle.¬†That was my motivation in tackling this story head (and heart) on to¬†try and¬†make¬†it the most realistic that I could, while weaving a thread of hope throughout (’cause I love happy endings!).

I can’t say too much more about it yet, but I’m excited to announce that my story will be part of¬†a boxed set of winter-themed romance stories featuring kids. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work with some awesome authors in putting this together for you all!

In the meantime, let me share¬†the playlist I made for my story titled, “Tropical Kiss or Miss” (yes, it’s set in Hawaii!). Enjoy!

What are some fiction books you have read that contain a lot of truth?

Making Time for Relationships

I am such a task-oriented person, it’s not even funny. Especially not to the wonderful people in my life who sometimes have to jump up and down with their hands in the air¬†for me to notice that I’ve been neglecting them (sorry hubby and munchkins!). But I was reminded today (thanks, E, for asking me to breakfast!) of the importance of making time for people.¬†Because there are certain things you can only learn in a relationship, such as …

~ listening to others

~ being vulnerable and open with others

~ bearing with each other when dealing with different personalities/preferences

~ supporting someone through the hard times

~ giving your time, energy and heart to someone else

~ receiving feedback from others

~ and so much more!

If you didn’t notice, there’s a theme to the list above, namely the use of the words “others” and “someone”. Moreover, if you’ve lived for any amount of time on this earth, you’ll agree¬†that we were born into relationships and we cannot survive without them.

Sometimes though the relationships we have in our families or with friends or colleagues are not the most healthy ones. Sometimes they’re just plain hurtful and damaging. But the good thing is that there are other healthy, supportive, and reliable people out there in the world who know how to love you more wholly and healthily. And there’s hope to be found in those relationships.

God didn’t mean for man to be alone‚ÄĒand as much as I’d like to think that only applies to the male species, I know us gals need relationships, too. ūüėČ

So, let’s make time for the people in our lives who need us and whom we need as well. To-do lists and deadlines can wait, but love cannot.

Two of my favorite people in the world. :D (Look how tall they're getting!)

Two of my favorite people who have made me more relationship-oriented. ūüėĬ†(Look how tall they’re getting!)

Here’s a fun song about relationships, Paul McCartney’s “Got to Get You Into My Life”.

Who¬†are your favorite people? ūüôā