Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moving Day and Dominoes

Oh my goodness!!! We have the experience, the know-how, and the ability to make a PCS go smoothly... in theory. At least a month in advance we review our calender and decide the best dates to actually move. There is a lot to be scheduled at this time with a lot of different government agencies, local utilities, the girls events, blah-blah. It is a well oiled machine... unless someone or something puts a wrench in the plan.
If one person or business is off even a couple of hours then the milkshake hits the fan. For example - the packers are a day and a half late. How does a business run like that and still get customers? They are supposed to be here "soon" and have the entire contents of our house safely packed in two and a half hours. Hmmmm, if I were a betting women I would place my bet on "not in a million years." The comical part is that the guy who is in charge of the moving crew is here to confirm that his peeps will be here tomorrow to load the truck. Tomorrow is the ONLY date that he can get this done. It shouldn't take long if nothing is ready.
And my sweet Gene... he is trying to be patient but I can see the steam building. I know that he is mentally trying to figure out how in the world he will get all these things rescheduled - if needed - and still clear housing in time.
When you were a kid did you ever stand up dominoes next to each other for the sheer joy of knocking over that first domino and watching the rest tumble? Like I said, after 18 years in the military we should be able to do this in our sleep. Ya' right!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ironkids Triathalon

Greta participated in her first triathlon yesterday. She did so well! She placed third in her eight year old female division and qualified to go race in the US Ironkids Championship. Wow!
We are proud of her for so many reasons... (I am recording these reasons in detail so when things look too challenging Greta can look back and hopefully be inspired and strengthened)
She trained with Gene for her events during the scorching hot summer afternoons. There were days in the end when she would bike and swim for training. I don't even like to run two errands in my air conditioned car.
A few days before the race Greta accidentally slammed her finger in the car door. It was bad... the nail lifted from the nail bed and is still raw and sore. She didn't let that stop her even when her bandages came off during the race. She kept pushing herself through the pain but burst into tears when she crossed the finish line. I could only imagine how excruciating her finger must have been with the heat, the sensations during the swim and other activities, and the exertion.
She missed the classes offered during registration that prepare the kids for the actual race day. Greta was in Huxley, IA cheering on her big sister's team at the Iowa State Little League Fastpitch tournament. We got home late in the evening the day before the race so Greta had no idea what to expect when she arrived at the event. I would have been so stressed... okay, I was stressed and I wasn't racing.
The funniest part of Greta's race and ingenuity was when she was slowed down in the swimming leg by a child swimming in a life jacket. She couldn't just go around because there were so many lifeguards in the water and there wasn't room so she... swam under the other swimmer so she could pass. I love it! Way to assess your options and have an open mind.
Lastly, the biggest reason that I love her and this opportunity... those of you who know Greta well know that she faces challenges day to day. She received positive attention based on her accomplishment and hard work. It was a day that lifted her up instead of a day that ended in disappointment. I won't forget this day anytime soon and neither will she.
Will Greta get to go to the US Championship race? We don't know. We are in the middle of a PCS move to Missouri and the chances of Gene being able to take leave so soon is slim to none. That's okay, she owns this moment and it is a good one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Iowa State Fastpitch

Deciding to let Gigi go a step further in softball was a tough decision for us... we didn't know what to expect if Gigi played Little League and was on a traveling tournament team. We did know that it would be a time commitment. I will say that it has been time well spent. Not once has Gigi complained about the amount of time involved in practice or games... and I haven't minded being a chauffeur or adapting our schedule.
Gigi worked really hard this season in practice, during games, and practicing at home even on days when she had a regular team practice scheduled. Her dedication was rewarded. She was chosen to play on the Davenport East Little League Minors All Stars Team in the Iowa State Tournament in Huxley, IA, which is about 3 hours away from home. Several of the players have been driving back and forth for every game (there is a total of five games - one every evening). We have done a mix of traveling and stayed the night for a few nights. Her coaches are amazing and so dedicated. They have their regular jobs and then drive to the tournament games. That is love for the game and for the girls.
The games are so EXCITING. The first game was a little overwhelming. The girls played a team that was beyond skilled. They came back strong the next day and lost by only one run in extra innings. The next game was also lost by one run. But their hard work was rewarded today with a well deserved win - by one run! Those are nail biter games for all involved. I am so proud of this group of girls, especially considering the tournament is the first time they have played together as a team and the teams they are playing against have been well established. Way to go girls!