More soon

Hey all! We are still here and doing well! I’m writing this in class, as my students are taking an exam, and I can’t wait to write a real post very, very soon.

I’m doing foster care for 4 year old twins, and I have so much to say. This has been, without a doubt, the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. These two have come with their figurative suitcases stuffed full of more baggage than any child should get in their entire childhood. I had no idea what I was getting into. That said, I’m still probably happier than I’ve ever been in my life, mostly because I am so, so, well, useful right now, I guess. Every minute is sucked up working, and working really, really hard. Going to “work” feels like the break that going home used to be.

These two are so very cute, they will take your breath away. I keep reminding myself, this is what I prepared for. I worked so hard getting licensed, getting the vehicle, getting organized and going to yoga to get a good hold on some sense of sanity. Now, I need to put that all to good use, and I can’t give up at this point. We are over 3 months in now, and hanging in there. Love to you all out there.

Happy post time

We are now 6, instead of 4. I have been taking care of twin four year olds, one boy and one girl, for nearly the past month now. They are beyond adorable! I can’t post pictures, since they are foster children, but trust me, they are so cute just looking at them could make you cry. I love them so much.

This has really been one of the hardest — if not the hardest ever — thing I have done. I wanted it so, so bad, and now… HERE THEY ARE! The first week I didn’t sleep at all, thanks to the massive amount of work plus my nerves and my terrible fear that I had made a horrible mistake in taking all of this on as a single person, and wouldn’t be able to handle it and would be doing them a huge disservice.

I can’t say much about them, but I will at some point. For now, I’ll just say, it feels a lot like falling in love with someone. Also, we settle in a little more every day. There have been some really hard times, and it is very hard to never, ever have a night off. The Yoga Buddy has been wonderfully patient with the situation, and we did stay one night at his place, but most of the travel burden has been on him, having to always come and see us now. Going to see him and stay there for a night went very well, but again, just so. much. work. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted (plus I’m still teaching summer school), but I am happier — or at least as happy — as I have ever been in my life.

I don’t know how long they will stay. It could be weeks, or months, or it could be a lifetime.

Hope the rest of you are doing well, too. Have a wonderful end-of-summer!

Summer is here!!!

I’m so happy about the nicer weather, and life in general. Here’s a quick bullet point update.

— Things are awesome again with the Yoga Buddy. He is IT for me. We will survive whatever.

— I’m really liking driving my “new” (1994) Jeep Cherokee with the extra rear facing seats that my personal mechanic (the YB) installed for us. So cool!

photo 5

— We’ve already had our first foster care love-and-loss. We were caring for a 2 year old girl and a 4 year old boy, Hispanic, who now need an adoptive family, and have determined that we are not the family for them. Sad doesn’t ever cover it. They are cute and sweet beyond words. We got very attached in a very short time, but that’s how it is in foster care. I know, but it is still hard. We are, for now, still going to care for them one night a week until they find a permanent placement.

— Summer activities are just the best, for the kids and for me, too. My little ones have run a couple of 5ks. The Yoga Buddy and I have done some bike riding, a couple of full days worth. But soon, I start teaching summer school. I badly need a change of career. Soon!

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More soon! :)

There’s trouble in paradise

For now, that’s all I can say. I have some challenges I’m dealing with. My heart is hurting and I’m so scared, so blindingly scared that I’m right on the edge of a great big fall. Something is going to change, soon. I feel it. I’m terrified to fall from the highest place I’ve ever been, from the biggest, baddest, most beautiful love story of my life. But if it has to be, I need to have the strength to be OK and to be there for my kids. My kids are my family. I am going to try to stay calm and salvage what I can and maybe, just maybe, the entire dream of 6 or 8 kids and a man who loves me won’t be gone… I need to hope a little bit longer, hope through the hurt and shock of the events of this past week. Please think of me, send some love this way. One of my 2nd semester Spanish students told me the other day, in her hesitant, choppy Spanish, “usted tiene corazon grande” which means “you have big heart.” Strange, how sometimes one cute little thing someone says can be so comforting. Hope you are all doing well, and lets hope my drama passes soon, and with as few casualties as possible. Oh, and I found this quote from Oprah. I’m definitely going to spend some time reading, thinking and getting my mind right, now that it is the end of the semester, and summer and a new start is on the horizon. Oprah says:

The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be but it’s a story about who you want to be; it’s a resume that doesn’t just tell a story about what you want to accomplish, butwhy; a story that’s not just a collection of titles and positions, but a story that’s really about your purpose. Because when you inevitably stumble, and find yourself stuck in a hole, that is the story that will get you out.


No matter what challenges or setbacks or disappointments you may encounter along the way, you will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal — there really isonly one, and that is this: To fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being. You wanna max out your humanity by using your energy to lift yourself up, your family, and the people around you.

Small improvements

Look where we are, nearing May and thank goodness, the end of the semester already. In less than 3 weeks, I will have survived another semester and another Midwest winter.

I have so much to way, so much to write so much of the time, and I haven’t taken time to write much anymore. Partly, my computer is on its last leg, so I don’t use it much. Anyway…

We finished up all the foster care training, paperwork, visits etc, and I got the license in the mail. Wow, it is truly amazing. I am licensed for up to 3 kids. This means I could get a placement of just 1, or if there is a sibling group who is in need of a place, maybe I’d have the amazingly good fortune to be able to take care of 2 or even 3 more kids. Single mom of 6 LOL! Bring it on.

I’ve been running more now that it is nice outside. Also, the Yoga Buddy has been coaching me through some weight lifting a couple times a week in the gym. And best of all, all three of the kids — the 8 year old and the 11 year old and the reluctant 15 year old — ran a 5k with me the other weekend! It was the cutest thing ever, to see first little V cruising along passing people twice his size — his quote was, “I felt like a machine!,” and then little Z bouncing along, laughing, with her soon-to-be-shaved dreadlocks swishing everywhere. Taking her sweet time was F, who “got passed by a lady with a cane.” I love them all so much! My little rock stars.

Things are still so incredibly good with the Yoga buddy. I’d go through my whole struggling past full of heartbreaks again just to be with him. It is all so worth it. I’m sorry I’m so sappy about him, but he is a miracle, the biggest miracle in my life outside of my kids, and I’m beyond happy with him. I’m so grateful, every single day. We need to find away to live in the same place, soon, but for now, things are wonderful just like they are, and going to do a little foster care first!

So back to that issue. What in the heck am I doing? Foster care?! Well, it is just what I have to do. I feel overwhelmed by the need to do this right now. I’m not sure why I’m so obsessed with bringing more kids into our lives… I know I have my fair share of children, and someone with more money would probably be more worthy of more kids, but I WANT to do it so badly, and hey, if the county says I’m qualified, maybe I am. I will at least try. I know I’m going to give it my absolute very best shot and pour my soul into helping whatever kids come into our family, for however long they are with us. I know I’ll be sacrificing a lot of discretionary time, and I’ll be sacrificing some alone-time with the Yoga Buddy, but we can survive it. He wants me to do it because he knows I’m so driven, that I HAVE to. It isn’t really even a choice anymore. I’m already fully in. So, by the second week in May (larger vehicle in the works), all things should be in place.

Also, I’m getting the Yoga Buddy a passport, because I’m dreaming of going to Jamaica sometime soon. That’s the next trip to be taken. With all the kids we are going to be dealing with, we are going to need to get away! :)

OK enough for now. Hope the rest of you are happy and grateful and following your dreams. Spring is coming, if nothing else!

Just checking in

Hola a todos! Wow, time flies. Here is a quick bullet point update since I checked in last time. Oh so much has happened, of course.

!) I just returned from a great trip to El Salvador. I went for work, because one of the professors who had intended to go along went to Africa to fight ebola, instead. Yeah. Wow. So, I went on short notice, for 12 days, left the kids again with their dad, but they have made up the time with me since, so it is all good.

2) We got a puppy! YES! She is living at their dad’s house mostly, but has also stayed with the Yoga Buddy already, and she gets along with his big, scary German Shepard. Our new baby is a Whippet, and the most adorable thing ever. The kids and I drove to Ohio to get her, and made a weekend out of it because of car trouble. She is worth it, though.

3) I’m back teaching again. It’s going fine, but I’m pretty burned out on teaching. I am so totally out of money, and out of ideas. I’d love to teach yoga, adopt more kids, and get paid for all that. I’d like to someone inspire people to live a better life. I feel like my gig as a poverty stricken part timer at two places needs to come to an end soon. I need a new plan.

4) I still haven’t quite finished up with the foster care license. The lady will interview the Yoga Buddy this weekend, and that is the last step.

5) He and I are doing awesome. Really, we are both so infatuated with each other, so in love. I want it to be like this forever. We have looked at some houses, just dreaming, because we are both out of money, and he has tons of debt, too. We need a mini-miracle, but maybe that is coming soon.

6) My fitness is awful!!!! That’s my weak point right now. I have barely been running. However… I am really really determined to get back on it. I love being in shape and feeling good, and I need to somehow find time to make that a priority. I wanna run again! I am a runner… It is such a part of my identity. Even though I don’t have the money to sign up yet, I’m going to make myself a race schedule for this coming year. I will do it again. Please send good thoughts for me to get running again.

I hope you all are doing well!

End of semester – Yay!!!

It is Friday, thank goodness! I have had it with this semester!!! In some ways, it has been wonderful; it has also been super stressful and busy. Here are the things I’m thankful for today.

— I’m thankful that we finally got a tree set up and the kids are going to finish decorating tonight.

— I’m thankful that I’m going, fully-paid and appreciated, on another school study abroad trip to El Salvador in January.

— I’m incredibly thankful that the semester is ending. OMG I need a break from this job! Probably I need a new job all together… Something, with kids, travel and making a difference in the world.

— I’m thankful the 10 year old had his first band concert last night and that it went well and that the Yoga Buddy went and watched with me.

— I’m thankful the 15 year old has nice friends and that she joined the health club with me, for her Christmas present.

— I’m thankful that the 8 year old has some behavioral challenges, because she and her needs are leading me to be the best parent I possibly can be.

— I’m overwhelmingly thankful for the Yoga Buddy, for the way he intensely and completely loves me. I’m thankful for how consistent he is, for how fun and upbeat and positive and for the way he makes me feel like a kid. I love him so terribly much. I love his amazing ability to fix any and every machine or vehicle or device, and I even love or at at least accept his terrible immaturity. He has done more to heal my ripped up heart than anyone, ever. Thank you God.

— I’m thankful for my friends! I need my friends to keep me balanced. Talk to me, amigos, keep in touch.

— Finally, I’m thankful for the 3 kids who are still unknown to me and who will somehow, sometime, come into my life and family.

Believe in what you want so strongly that it has no option but to materialize.

More soon.

Peru 2Peru 1Peru 3Peru 4Peru 5Peru 6

Back from Peru, plus so much more…

I am going to write again someday. I have things going on….

Peru trip was amazing, almost no words for the beauty of the Inca Trail hike. I can’t post pictures right now, but I will again, hopefully soon!!!

Also big news, I’m finishing up my license to do foster care. We had twin 7 year olds this past weekend for respite. WOW! I am beyond exhausted, but I love those little girls. So much to tell you all and to catch up on.

Also, we are getting (to be at the kids’ dad house) a Whippet puppy. Yeah. Life is so big. Her name was originally Duet, now the official is Dulce (Duet) Kamaay’s Leader of the Pack. We will call her Dulce, or Sweet in Spanish. Kids picked the name.  Hope you are all doing well! More soon!!! Duet, one week old

An Ironman Story for Today

I have to write, because even though I’m swamped with things to do, I’m also feeling a lot of emotion. Mixed emotions, from joy and gratitude to some serious nostalgia and even longing, or sadness. Here’s today’s story:

This past weekend was the Ironman race in town. Rewind 5 years, and I volunteered at the 2009 race at the “Sun tan lotion” station. We put our gloved hands in big vats of sunblock and rubbed down the athletes as they ran through. I worked first shift so I got to be there for the pros. Most ran through without stopping, but one tall, young Slovakian with a tattoo on the shoulder nearest me came to my station. I sunblocked up his shoulders while telling him that he was doing great and that he looked amazing. He did. He was stunning: young, muscular and taller than most professional triathletes. He said a couple words to me with his cute accent and was one his way. Except, as he ran through the transition station, he kept looking over his left shoulder at me. It just took those 30 seconds to make an impression, to feel a connection. My breath was taken away. I remembered his number — 22 I think. After the race I looked it up, found his name, googled him, and we emailed sporadically for about 2 or 3 years and got to be fairly decent friends. Then, after he he found himself a serious relationship with a pretty little Hungarian woman and had a baby, we lost touch. He deleted his facebook and changed his email and the military stationed him in Bosnia — not sure in what order all those things happened. Anyway, I forgot all about him. His name was K.

A couple of months ago I got a message saying he was thinking about coming back to Madtown to race. He included his 2009 picture and a recent picture with his daughter. Wow, had he changed. Fast forward again, and K showed up in Madtown. It was super cool. Keep in mind, we had never had a conversation before! Only the sunblock, and emails, and I think he did call me one other year when he was racing somewhere else in the USA, but the phone conversation had been awkward.

This weekend, I got to give him a ride a couple of times, as I mentioned in the last post, much to the distress of the Yoga Buddy, which made me feel sad and like I was a bit of a traitor. I love the Yoga Buddy deeply, dearly, and completely. He and I are in it to the end. All that is untouched by my friend from afar appearing in town, but he didn’t feel very good about the ordeal. I guess I would be the same way if it were reversed. He was funny though. Once when the call dropped and I texted him to call me back, he wrote: “You’ll have to wait a moment while I pick up my Russian supermodel friend from her photoshoot. But don’t worry, she’s just a friend.” Lol! I love my sweet, sensitive, jealousy-prone Yoga Buddy so much.

Anyway, back to the Mr. Triathlete story. K and I had coffee and some talk time. I told him how happy I am with the Yoga Buddy now, and how my life has changed. It was super cool. I learned so much about him and about training and the military and about life in that brief time. It was also sort of strange and surreal. Like I mentioned, his appearance had changed tremendously from the guy I saw so briefly 5 years ago. I’m sure I had changed, too. Training is his job in the military now and he lost weight to race faster and has been through a lot, in general. You can see the experiences he has had in his face; yet the little kid smile and contagious laugh dramatically contrast the rugged look.

Race day was incredible. I felt like a superstar myself nearly, just by association. The Puppy Mom and I cheered for him on the race course. We stood there tracking him on my phone and watching for “the gazelle,” as she put it. We saw him at the 22 and 23 mile point, and he looked so happy to see us. His whole face lit up. Then, the Puppy Mom drove me as near the race end as she could and I ran all the way to the end to try to get there before he crossed the finish line. I made it!!! As soon as I got to the corner of the finish I asked people how many elites they had seen so far. Just then he appeared. I was so excited that I ran like I was going to see Usher or something. He crossed the line in 6th place. photo 2 (10)IMG_1518

Amazingly, he was so glad to see me. Asked the medical volunteer, as he was going to the tent to lie down, “Can she go with me?” I couldn’t, but I felt so honored, so humbled by the experience. I waited for him. Afterwards, he was high on endorphins and laughed like a little kid as he ate his post race pizza and pop. IMG_1519

(See the Hello Kitty yoga bracelet on my Slovakian superstar? — I’ll explain.) He told me how get got a penalty (unfairly, imo!!!) on the bike and had to wait in the penalty box for four minutes and contemplated quitting the race and one guy talked trash to him. The trash talker ended up finishing by walking in, which in his endorphined state, made him roll with laughter. We talked and laughed so much, sitting there in the sunshine in front of the Capitol building, with the crowds, the loud music, the joy of it all. He finished 6th overall, in under 9 hours. Amazing. 2.4 miles swimming, 112 of biking, and 26.2 of running. Stunning.

He gave me his medal. I gave him my Hello Kitty bracelet, because that’s all I had. When I dropped him off at the airport the next day, and he left hauling his stuff with my Hello Kitty yoga bracelet still on his skinny wrist, I cried. I sent him this picture of me  wearing the bracelet on my right hand — look closely.SC.RS_YPP_0008 When he got off the plane he texted me, and said he still had my bracelet on HIS right hand, and that he was going to give it to his daughter soon. I cried some more, of happiness, gratitude, sadness, maybe of  just of too much emotion. Next year, our town won’t offer prize money or points to pros. It’ll be an all-amateur race. So, I’ll never see him again. But I will do an Ironman one day.

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I feel like I shouldn’t have taken his medal. To me, race medals are sacred. There are few things more meaningful, and I’m moved beyond words to have this from him. I’m going to give it it’s own spot on my wall, to remind me that I, too, can be tough, I can get in shape again someday and do something extraordinary. Someday. If he can do all he has done in the military, if he can train on those hills and in such cold that his bike water bottle is frozen when he tries to drink, well… I should be able to get my butt outside and run. Even when I’m tired.

So, all this got me thinking about how I am so drawn to people who are really, really good at what they do. It is intoxicating to be with someone who excels in something, or someone who is almost-famous, like he was at the end of the race. It made me feel like I, too, was special, just by association. There is such a danger in that, too; I see how people fall for famous people or super-talented people, then realize at some point that they are not really compatible at all.

Anyway, I just want to end this post with a picture of my real-life guy, the one I want to be with for a very, very long time. Here he is, in all his dark-skinned, muscled glory. Isn’t he beautiful? I’m so lucky. K is gone, but I have his medal and inspiration — even though I had nothing to offer to him, except a little friendship and ride to the airport. I don’t know why he was so nice to me, I don’t know why the Yoga Buddy is so incredibly and consistently good to me too, or what I did in life to deserve all this goodness… Life can be so terribly hard, but then again, sometimes, we really CAN have it all, too. :)SC.RS_YPP_0112

OK more later, along with a little whining about the horrid shape I’m in lately. Hasta pronto!

Downtown, watching the Ironman participants milling around

It is September already. Kids have started school, I have started teaching again after a short two week break between summer school and fall semester, and oh so many other things have happened. Life is good!

First of all my situation with the Yoga Buddy is so awesome. If we don’t make it together, I’m just losing all faith in relationships, because this is really the best romantic relationship of my life so far. It can just stop right here. We have our little issues, of course. We each have some jealousy issues. Right now, in fact, he is upset because I gave a pro Ironman athlete from Slovakia (who I met in 2012 when I volunteered at the sunblock station) a ride downtown today. Sigh. I get it, because I’d be the same way, but we have to let each other live a little, too, and trust that we are together. Period. I have not the slightest desire to trade him in for someone else, no matter who comes along. And I don’t want to be put in a cage, either, over a fear that I might change my mind. You gotta have faith, right?

So here I am, downtown, it the midst of oh-so-many fit people. “Fit” is putting it mildly. Wow, these people are fat-free and tough looking. 140.6. That means, 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles on the bike, then 26.2 miles running. I wanna be like them. Someday, I will do it. Someday, I will lose my extra pounds that I have right now, and learn to swim better, and train like a fiend. I want to do it! I really do. But at this point I have too much to do as it is. I can barely find time to run, let along swim or bike. Yoga, I can do, because it is a big workout yet as refreshing as taking a nap. To do a triathlon you need so much equipment, plus so much time to train. It is all that training time that leads to the fitness level these people have. Its so impressive. I hope my Slovakian friend does well. Sunday will be exciting.

My kids are doing so well! I love them so much, I can barely stand it. This semester I am teaching a Tuesday / Thursday night class, so the kid schedule had to get weird, and now I have them M,W,F and every other weekend. The Yoga Buddy is taking my Spanish class. YES! That just blows my mind. It is really hard for him, but he’s hanging in there so far, two classes in. I’m working on my foster care paperwork yet, and still thinking about the possibility. I want it to be a good thing for all involved, if we actually do it.

So that’s it, such a boring post after so much silence! Oh, on the apartment front, someone has filed a law suit against the property manager. That is such good news! I hope she gets the boot. Also, the paper was there to interview some of the renters.

Wow, I’m looking at these people coming in here, two days before the race, and am in such awe of their rippling little muscles. Someday. That’s one of my dreams, to someday be in absolute top shape, to be the best I can possibly be. Maybe when things settle down with the Yoga Buddy, when we are living together and married, I can train. Hopefully that will happen sometime in the next two years. :)

Later, Amigas. Hope you’re all healthy and happy; or if not healthy and happy, then growing and becoming more profound  and complex, because that’s what life is all about, too.


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