Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Challenge ends

Here is how I celebrated the last day of my "How high can you go" May weigh gain challenge! :o)

Tomorrow I'm going back to my Erg's probably going to be really ugly...but...girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
Final May weight gain challenge result....2 pounds!  That's it...2 pounds.  Not near as bad as I expected!  Still about 5-6lbs from where I'd like to be.  But I'm sure I'll get there once I'm back running, erging, and rowing.  I'm not sure if I should consider this challenge result a success or not! :o)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Wisconsin Science

Brenna seems to be doing just great, as we knew she would!  I think she's finding it a little challenging or just different as she makes the transition from carefree college kid to grown up in charge of stuff!  :o)  We manage to talk, text and FaceTime pretty regularly, but most of my updates I get from Snapchat.  I think she's doing well, she's been invited to a couple Happy Hours and a coworkers BBQ.  She's busy netting bats, measuring and recording, tracking, tagging with radio transmitters and then following them with acoustic detectors.  She's Bat Girl, Science Chick and just an amazing girl!
Acoustic Detector

Catching bats

I guess it's not all fun and games.  There's no doubt she's a trooper, a badass trooper!  I just wish she was a little closer, so she could come home and her mommy could take care of her!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

This is 51!

Happy Birthday to my fabulous Hubby.  Today was very low key.  He played a little golf at work, we went out to dinner and opened some cards.  Didn't really have any gifts, lately he's been buying himself whatever he wants... got new golf clubs, new shorts, new golf shirts... all on Ebay.... he "saved us so much money."  But that makes it difficult to buy him birthday presents.  :o(  Of course, when you're 51.. good Lord how can we be that old, it's hard to come up with surprises.  Looking pretty darn good for 51!

Showing off his guns!
Happy Birthday my handsome hubby!

Monday, May 25, 2015

On the Road Again... Nationals

Deja Vu anyone.... all packed up and back on the bus with many teenagers. Off to Cooper River, New Jersey.

Nationals is always a nice weekend.  It's a lot calmer, smaller, the kids are more focused and it's just not quite as hectic and crazy.  Unfortunately, the results were not what anyone wanted I don't think.  We only got one boat (Womens Lt 4) out of heats and into semi's and then finals.  They ended up 5th in the Nation.  Pretty freaking awesome.  Both the Light 8 and the Junior 8 were last in their heats.  I don't think either boat expected that.  Zack's boat only had 5 boats in the heat and they just needed to be top 4 to advance, but just couldn't make it happen. Not only is the competition insanely tough at this level, it was a tough weather day, rainy, cold and quite windy.  They just didn't have a good race and that's the worst part.  It's one thing when you come in last, but you rowed well and felt good about what you did.  Sadly that wasn't the case for either boat this time.  Zack said, they just felt off, probably one of their worst rows.  I feel bad for them for that reason.  Junior 8 had a terrible start, wind got to them and then they think they hit and killed a family of ducks, which probably distracted some of them just enough to throw it off.  Fortunately, we have great kids, after the initial disappointment, they sucked it up and moved on. I think they all ended up enjoying the weekend.  We had a great time cheering for the Lt 4 girls and watching the other races. And there were some amazing races with some amazing rowing!  I wish some of the parents would take a lesson from their kids.  There were a couple of very pissy faces and attitudes after the races.  Grow the hell up and react like grown ass adults and not pissy, cry babies!  Sometimes it's the parents that make this whole thing a chore.   It's actually amazing that anyone was able to do anything this weekend.  The whole freaking team is sick.  It's like it's held together with cold medicine, motrin, ice packs and heating pads.  But, it's no surprise if you think about all the stress they are under.  May is... States, Stotes, Nationals, SOLs, exams... the stress these kids are under, they probably aren't sleeping, they are working their asses off...  I think next year starting at the beginning of May, at the end of each practice, everyone can line up and file by and  I will hand out a tablet of Vitamin C and Airborne!  Sort of like communion...  to fight off the viruses!
Nationals in pictures:
Our site and hard working parents

The site

It was a pretty venue.
Mike didn't come so it was just Jason, John and I.  I can't believe we were actually able to talk John into staying at the hotel and having a drink with us!

Once again, this boy just cracks me up!  I kept thinking it looks like he has a jock strap over his face. Only my kid!
Good kids but undeniably Goof balls!

I love my boy so much!  I feel so privileged to experience all this with him and so thankful that he doesn't seem to mind.

One of my favorite pictures of them.  Such good boys and Matty!

This probably IS my favorite picture.  Unfortunately is was only on Twitter or I'd have it made into poster-size.  This should be on some sort of calendar or recruiting poster!

In action!  They are amazing!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wisconsin Brenna Update

I'm so glad I had Stotesbury to distract me from worrying about Brenna.  I did get to talk to her a couple of times while we were in Philly.  Things are going fantastic out there!  Lots of good stuff.

#1 - The Steven's Point campus and town are very similar to Radford, only a little bigger, a little newer and a little nicer.  She said she felt at home the minute she got there.  I guess there is a river that runs through the town.  Lots of micro breweries and just all around good stuff.  I guess the campus is really focused on the Natural Resources College and wildlife stuff.
Part of the College of Natural Resources

#2 - She met with her Advisor, Kevin Russell, and apparently he's super cool and very happy to have Brenna there.  We got some really, really good news.... Apparently all her tuition is paid for in full.  ALL.HER.TUITION.PAID.IN.FULL... I guess there is a grant that the school received that pays for it, we won't ever even see the bills.  They go straight to the grant to be paid.  ALL.HER.TUITION.IS.PAID.FOR!  AND.....she still gets a $18,000 stipend to pay for her living expenses!  So, not only do we not have to pay any tuition, but it looks like the rent money, utilities money, food and bills money that we've been sending her each month... we don't have to do that either!  John said he kept sitting in the chair, with his mouth hanging open saying, "We don't have to pay any money?"  I guess Professor Russell seemed slightly puzzled that John didn't see to me understanding. Lol!  That was very good news.

#3 - John said Professor Russell, seemed very impressed by Brenna and all her experience and knowledge.  Especially about the equipment she was going to be using in the field.

All packed up and ready to head out for her first field site.  

Dropping Dad off at the airport and then off she goes.  I'm so freaking proud of her, I can hardly stand it!  What amazing things she's done and what amazing things she'd going to do!  Just watch her go!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stotesbury 2015

I'm not sure it's even possible to recap the crazy that is Stotesbury.  I'm still so exhausted and I feel like I've been hit by a truck, but it was a great weekend.  It's always crazy, wild, exciting, exhausting and work, so much work, but it's Stotesbury!  We took 12 boats, we had 5 make it to semi-finals and 1 (Women's Light 4) make it to finals.  They got 6th.  It wasn't as successful as everyone had hoped, but I think everyone had a great time.  They always do and that's the main point of Stotesbury!  Zack's boat was 11th out of 12.  I think they were disappointed about that, but seemed to feel pretty good about their row.  The competition is just so intense at this level.  They seemed to have a pretty good attitude and are looking forward to Nationals.  My freshman were 34th out of 39, which is actually about par with what our freshman have done in the past.  I think they were satisfied and seemed to enjoy themselves immensely for the rest of the weekend.  
Recap in pictures...
One of the winners for the best items packed... Calculus book and pink star sunglasses...winner Zack Hyzy!!  Sometimes I just don't know what to make of that boy!  So, damn funny!
Girls Bus

Boys bus
Again, I don't know what to make of this boy!  He just makes me laugh, all the time!

Our Freshman mixed boat - Game faces ON!

Lightweights chilling' under the tent waiting for their time trial

We took a huge group of kids up to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge to watch the 8's race.  The best view ever and such a nice time!

8's on the water

Sometimes your just so tired, it doesn't matter where you are when 3 o'clock nap time hits!

Stotesbury Team 2015

Freshman 8 - so proud of these boys this season.  Last Novice race, now they are big boys.

I love my Lightweights!   Always will!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A sad happy day

Brenna and John left on their adventure to Wisconsin today.  I tried to be very brave, because I don't want Brenna to feel bad or not be excited... but I'm not feeling very brave!  I'm missing my girl.  2 days with her was just not enough and of course all I can imagine right now is her sitting lonely and crying in her hotel room!  I know John is going to take good care of her and make sure she gets settled, but I can't help myself. I don't know why it seems like I'm never going to see her, because actually when I really thought about it, it won't be that different from Radford.  While she was at school, we saw her Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break and summer.  We'll probably see her the same times even when she's in WI, so it won't really be that different, I guess it just seems like it will be because she's so much farther away.  There was just the potential that she could come home on the weekend if she chose from Radford.  Anyway,  I couldn't even talk about her today.  A couple people asked about her at work today, and it was all I could do not to burst into tears every time someone mentioned her! :o)  They are stopping tonight in Chicago and staying with Colleen and seem to be enjoying their road trip.

The one thing I have going for me right now, is Zack and I leave for Stotesbury tomorrow, so I will have that as a distraction to keep me from dwelling on her being gone.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New May Challenge

It's been 10 days since I last worked out!  I should have gone to Erg class this morning, but honestly I just wasn't feeling it, probably because I drank more this weekend than I have in the last 4 years combined.  Not too mention the amount and quality of food I've been stuffing down my gullet.  I've been eating like a 300lb Sumo wrestler. Add to that,   I'll be gone Thurs, Fri and Sat this week, Stotesbury, and the same next week, Nationals I just can't get motivated! Since away regattas are all about hotel bar bacon cheeseburgers, cheesy quesadillas and rice krispy treats, really what's the point.  I've decided that instead of stressing all month long about when, where and how I'm going to squeeze a workout out in - I"m going to take May as a "rest month."  My new May much weight can one woman gain in one month??  So... what does a woman do when she blows off her exercise class before work....
I think I'm making a good start on my challenge!!

Brenna should be home any minute now!!  I can't wait!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Radford Graduation Fest - Last Day

We headed home today.  John and Dad left early, I followed a little bit later after helping Brenna finish up packing. She's going to stay one more day for some final time with her friends.  It's very bittersweet today.  I think she is very excited about what's ahead of her, but at the same time I know she's had a wonderful college experience and is sad to leave her friends, boyfriend and comfort zone.  I give her a lot of credit!  I'm sad for her, but trying to keep it to myself so I don't influence her with my feelings.  I'm sure I'm projecting a lot of my repressed feelings from when I was her age.  I'm sad to see her leave Radford, it's been so good for her!

This picture makes me very sad.  It's so sweet!   The drive home for me was very reminiscent of our first ride home after dropping her off freshman year!  I tried not to think to much about it, but I cried a good part of the way home.  I don't think it would be so hard if we were going to have a little more time with her, but she and John leave for Wisconsin on WEDNESDAY!!  Just not going to think about it for now.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Radford Graduation Fest Day #3 - THE DAY!

I can't believe the day finally arrived!  I'm not even sure how to sum it all up.  Maybe the day in pictures is the best way.
On their way

That's a lot of chairs to fill

Getting ready to head out 

Walking into the general Radford ceremony
Biology buddies

Coming into the College of Sciences Ceremony

There she goes

And she is GRADUATED!!

Proud Mama and Papa!

Roommates and Biology buddies

It was a really nice ceremony.  The weather was beautiful and we really couldn't have asked for a better day.  Once the ceremony was over, we headed to Brenna's house for their party.  They had food catered and brought in plenty of booze and we were able to hang out in a nice relaxed atmosphere.  Grandma and Grandpa Art and Grandpa Bud lasted for a couple hours, but then they bugged out and went back to the hotel.  John and I lasted a little bit longer.  We finally got to meet "the boyfriend" - Kiefer - seemed very nice.  Seems a shame that they decided to pursue this right before she is leaving - he has a year left.  But, when you're young anything seems possible, so we'll keep our fingers crossed for them.

So freaking proud of our girl!  I can't believe how fabulous she has done and what great things are going to be ahead of her!  I'm still in denial that she's leaving for Wisconsin on Weds.  Just trying to live in the moment and enjoy our time with her!

On a side note... State Championships for Zack today... I followed along on twitter.  They needed to finish in the top 3 to qualify for Nationals.  Only 4 boats in his race, so we were hopeful!  I waited in anticipation has race time drew close.  I must have refreshed twitter 1000 times!  They DID IT!  3rd place by 0.4 seconds!  Holy cow, I think I'm glad I wasn't there, I probably would have had a heart attack!  I'm not sure today could have been much better on all fronts!!
Surrogate Moms looking out for my boy while I was gone!

Heart attack race!