Life as MommyMo

Monday, August 25, 2008


We've had a pretty uneventful few weeks, but today marks the first "real" day of our vacation... Sadly, we couldn't make it happen until the last week of summer, so the time is kind of bittersweet. In some ways, I'm finding staying home for vacation more relaxing than I thought it might be. It's nice to just have a long stretch of days to unwind. Being home, though, also means there are still chores to do and the phone continues to ring. We like it when it rings with friends and family wanting to spend time together, but the yucky and annoying calls still come, too.

We did lots of errands today and somehow managed to wear Sam out like he'd run a marathon. He went to sleep early, and was out cold in under six minutes! Rob has a Relay call with the Division tonight, so I'm catching up on blog reading and writing and settling in to watch the first night of the Democratic National Convention. For a politics junkie, it's like the SuperBowl.

It's no secret that I've been a longtime Barack Obama fan. For that very reason, I've had plenty of calls and emails asking what I think of his pick for VP. It's almost become amusing... I'm like a hometown pundit or something!

For the record, I'm kind of lukewarm on the pick right now. I would have liked to have seen Obama choose more of a wildcard, less politics-as-usual running mate. I also feel pretty strongly that the Republicans are going to have a field day with the fact that he chose someone who did vote for the war. I would like to think that we could elect an entire team who truly represents what so many Americans (including me) want in a president/vice president, but I understand the political reality of the situation. There are too many people that doubt that someone "inexperienced" can be a good president. I'm sure that's why people much smarter than me chose Joe Biden. Also for the record, I think that perhaps people who haven't been engrossed in Beltway politics for many decades COULD do a good job of turning things around. I'd like to see some fresh blood in the White House!

Oh well, I'm by no means retiring my collection of Obama gear. I am sure my enthusiasm will be renewed watching the nutty diehards in Denver... They look remarkably like Relayers, just wearing the wrong color!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

10 Years!

Today, Rob and I celebrate 10 years of marriage. We went away in June when we had the babysitting help to mark the occasion, so today's celebration is a bit lower key. We're vascillating between going to see The Dark Knight before dinner (Um, woohoo?) or shopping for a new coffee maker. What activities could make us sound MORE like a suburban couple firmly planted in our mid-thirties?! The deciding factor? We have a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon that MAY save us more money than we could buying the same coffee maker at Costco. That's a lot of shopping to drag Sam along for, so we may use our "free time" to just enjoy whine-free browsing.

In some ways, it's kind of fitting that we're so ok with that kind of celebration. Rob is truly my very best friend, and we're happy doing just about anything as long as we're doing it together. That can sound trite, but it's really how it is. The highest compliment I can pay him is to say that after a hard week or a busy work trip, I just want to be alone. My definition of "alone" though, always includes Rob and Sam. I really am at my happiest when we can just be together without too many obligations. That means it's just the people that Rob and Sam are that make me happy. I don't need to do something that is super-exciting to be blissfully content. I think that sounds like a good marriage!

It dawned on me this morning that I am quickly approaching a unique milestone. I will soon have the longest marriage in my own family. We're actually well past that point of "togetherness" if you consider that Rob and I have been together for 17 1/2 years now. It's the kind of thought that makes me wish I had some way to help other people just be happy like we are. It's something that's so simple, yet so easy to take for granted. We have the occasional conversation about how sad we are when we stop to realize how few truly happy couples we seem to know. I wish I knew what the answer was to be happy for a lifetime. I think it's really a lot of little things, and Rob and I are very blessed to value those same elements and work hard together to keep them strong.

Rob may not even read this today... Oddly enough, I don't think he ever reads my blog. I guess he figures he knows everything that's in here, but if he does, I want him to know that being that anti-hugger that I am, I realize that I'm not the most overtly sentimental and affectionate person he could have shackled himself to for all eternity. That does not diminish, however, how much I know I love him and how grateful I am to have him as my partner for life. I know a lot of very wonderful, nice, intelligent people, but I honestly have never met someone that I can for one second imagine being as close to and as happy with as I am with Rob.

I love that Sam will one day understand that Rob and I are actual high school sweethearts that have been lucky enough to have figured out the whole forever thing. I also hope he knows what a role he plays in making us happy as a couple, too. It's so gratifying to have gone down the very long road to parenthood together, and to get to enjoy the rewards of molding a little person as a team. When I'm feeling melodramatic (which, I admit, I am wont to do) I like to remind myself that what hasn't killed us (literally, in some cases!) has made us stronger and that I should savor every moment that I have.

I'm not always great at doing that, but I try. Today's a day that it's only fitting to reflect on my life, and I am proud to say that I am really a happy person. Thanks, Rob!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Feeling Proud

I am having my usual post-Summit mix of emotions this afternoon. Putting on such a huge meeting is a ton of work, but for very obvious good reasons. I am typically exhausted before I even arrive... luckily the adrenaline level is insanely high and totally contagious, so I make it through without collapsing in front of tons of volunteers.

I am feeling the pain today, but it's the satisfying kind... like when you take a very long walk and know you've done something good for yourself when you get home. I made it home with no flight delays this morning (which feels like the universe's little gift to me) and am able to get some R&R in before we head out to a family party tonight.

I had so much fun watching everyone in the ballroom in Indianapolis get excited to see people like Gordy Klatt, Pat Flynn, Dr. Seffrin, Dr. Brawley, Jeff Ross and so many other Relay celebs take the stage this weekend. It was especially fun to "experience" the Summit through Rob's eyes for a few brief moments. He's so committed to Relay, but had to watch most of the Summit (our biggest event of the year!) from the sidelines last year since we had Sam with us.

It was rather amusing, though, that Rob almost had no time for his boring wife whilst there. He was way too busy networking and basically being every bit the social butterfly. It was surreal. On Thursday night, we hung out in the hotel bar with a few friends and when I finally said I needed to get to bed so I could make a very early morning rehearsal, Rob just replied with, "I think I'll stay down here for a while and talk to these guys." What?? Voluntary socializing without my assistance? Who are you and what have you done with my husband??!

The absolute highlight of the weekend for me, though, was seeing Dr. Emil Freireich on the Relay stage. We'd seen Dr. Freireich for the first time about six years ago at the Medford Relay when he was asked by the family of a young leukemia survivor to come speak. Since I'd never forgotten that experience, I was thrilled that we were able to invite him to the nationwide Summit this year. Dr. Freireich and his research partner are credited with essentially "curing" childhood leukemia as well as developing the concept of combination chemotherapy. His contributions to the fight against cancer are nothing short of legendary, and hearing him tell his story was powerful stuff. We invited anyone in the 700+ audience who knew they'd been personally impacted by Dr. Freireich's work to come to the stage as he finished speaking to shake his hand. In the words of Rosanne Radke, it was like watching a religious revival in some ways. The flood of people who poured forth just for the chance to say a sentence to this man was one of the most moving things I've ever witnessed. I get chills just thinking about it. It's not often in your life that you meet someone with such stature who has single-handedly contributed to a better quality of life for MILLIONS of people.

Rob was lucky enough to get a quick picture with Dr. Freireich yesterday. He wants to be able to show it to a student of his who has been battling leukemia. I can't WAIT for her to see it! I was lucky enough to be the stagehand who helped Dr. Freireich get his microphone off once he was finished speaking and greeting people. I asked him if he's had fun, and he replied, "It was fun, but it was also so very moving..." And then he teared up a bit.

It's moments like this that make me realize how lucky I am to have the job I have.