Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Beautiful Bri

I am blessed with two beautiful daughters.  I shared in my last blog about my baby girl who has been joining me on many of my adventures the last few years.  This time I want to share my beautiful oldest daughter Bri.

Not only has this amazing young lady been a joy and delight since the day she was born, she has a heart that is bigger than, well anything I can imagine.  When she laughs it is totally contagious and I have spent her entire life laughing with her whether I knew what she thought was funny or not.

There were many times when she was in high school and I was going to OSU getting my teaching degree that I felt so fat and ugly.  I was pretty sure that my children had to be so embarrassed to be seen with me in public.  Bri used to get so mad at me because all she saw was her pretty mom.  One of the reasons I finally wanted to get my act together was because I wanted to feel as pretty as my daughter thought I looked.

I graduated from OSU in June of 2009 and that same day Bri and I left for her 8th grade trip to Washington D.C and New York City.  We had a great time and I loved getting to share the experience with my girl.  However, it was so hard to look at the picture of the two of us when I got home.  That was when I first really started to think about the fact that something needed to change.  I didn't really get going with action to go along with that thought for another year.  But at least I was starting to think about it.  You have to start somewhere and with me it usually starts in my head for a long time.  I tend to "percolate" on things for awhile.

June 2009 - Me & Bri at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson

June 2009 - Me & Bri in Times Square, NYC
I am so thankful to have a daughter who is so much fun to hang out with and be silly with!!

She was very busy in high school with choir, swimming and track.  It seemed like we were always heading out to some event or practice or meet.  Watching her be active and having fun made me want to be active and having fun too.  It is pretty overwhelming and a bit humbling to be learning from my own kiddo about how to have an active lifestyle and enjoy it.  Whenever I would get frustrated and feel like I wasn't making any progress, running in place and getting nowhere fast, she was one of the first ones to give me a giant Bri hug and assure me that I was doing awesome!  And if you have ever been the recipient of a giant Bri hug then you know how amazing they are!!  Such encouragement and love in a hug.

As we went through her high school years I was working on my running, teaching and trying to keep up the everyone in the family and all their activities.

Bri is a interesting combination of introvert and extrovert.  She mostly likes to snuggle in and read a book and be alone...until she doesn't.  Then look out because she is a hilarious, bright, outrageous young lady that will keep you on your toes with her insights and killer wit.  The summer before her senior year she went on her first missions trip with her youth group.  Let the adventuring begin.  It was hard to let her go off to Haiti without me.  I wanted to go along and make sure she was safe the entire time.  But that's not how adventures work so I had to let her go and she had an amazing time, actually it was a trip that solidified many things for Bri and her future plans.

July 28, 2012 - Bri getting ready to leave on her 1st Missions trip.  First of many!
Then suddenly it is my girls senior year and I'm struggling to balance my job, doing all the senior mom stuff, being tired all the time and getting exercise worked in there somewhere.
August 2012 - Senior pictures taken by Aunt Michelle.  
Bam!  Bri is graduating and making excited plans to start a program with Northwest University which will be the first step in becoming a missionary.  Now I'm facing the reality that two of my children are moving out and starting an entirely new adventure at pretty much the same time.  I can't even imagine not having Bri in the house every day.  That was a very strange thing for awhile!

Then in the fall of 2013 at one of my doctor visits where we were looking at my most recent blood tests and discussing my tired issues a new little issue came about.  Pre-diabetes and the knowledge that my family history and the pre-diabetes indicators going up even when my weight was going down and my exercise was improving meant that it probably isn't a matter of if I get diabetes but when.  Ugh.  New medication and new things to work through emotionally.  Later that spring Bri went in for her own doctor appointment.  We have the same doctor and because of the family history he checked her blood work as well.  Turns out her pre-diabetes indicators were also higher than they should be.  This was REALLY hard for me.  I felt responsible and so guilty for inflicting this on my sweet girl.  On the plus side I was glad that she was working with the doctor and a nutritionist and making changes while she was 19 rather than when she was 44 like her mother.

Once again my Bri was nothing but amazing and when I would have one of my mini mom meltdowns she would remind me that it wasn't like I did it on purpose.  It's just the way it worked out and we were both figuring it out.  I thought the mom was supposed to be the one that was wise and supportive.  Evidently I'm backwards in so many things that this should just be added to the list. :-)
November 10, 2013 - OSU Men's Soccer game.  Bri has become a soccer fanatic!
2014 was a rough year for me and I went through a lot of struggles on my journey to becoming a healthier me.  The medication wasn't fun at first, some family members and a good friend went to be with Jesus and I had some adjustments to make in how I felt about my exercising and what it looked like vs. what I thought it should look like.

Every time I would try something new or be amazed by the fact that I actually accomplished a goal I had set for myself Bri would just laugh at me.  She actually has gotten made at me for doubting myself.  It makes me laugh sometimes because she is so much like her dad when she is lecturing me about how I need to believe in myself more.

Last spring I started thinking about what I want to do next to challenge myself.  Actually, I think of it as "scare the shit out of myself, why do I think I can do these things?" goals.  I often wonder why I do this to myself.  Evidently I'm not content with just the same thing all the time.  :-)

I decided that I wanted to try and do an Olympic triathlon.  But the one major obstacle to doing an Olympic triathlon and not be so slow that I would be embarrassed was the swimming.  I can work on the biking and running on my own and improve.  But the swimming was not going to get better unless I learned how to actually swim better.  Like an athlete.  Like a competitive athlete.  I was able to kind of work through doing a sprint triathlon swim with my basic swimming abilities but to swim almost a mile, in open water, would take a whole different level of ability.  A level that I just don't have.

Who do I know that is a swimmer, knows how to coach swimmers and would have time to give me lessons?  You guessed it!  Bri.  :-)

Bri started giving me lessons last July after I got out of school.  We have done 30 minute swim lessons about once a week ever since then.  We missed a few lessons here and there because of my crazy schedule or hers. But overall it has been pretty consistent.
July 8, 2015 - First swim lesson from Bri.  Whew, I was tired!
Bri is such a great coach!  She has put up with my frustration at not being better faster.  She has pushed me harder than I wanted sometimes.  But then I did better than I thought I could, just like she knew I would.  I joke a lot that she is secretly trying to kill me with her workouts.  Mostly because she makes me really, really tired.  But I know that she is helping me to reach my goal of doing an Olympic triathlon and maybe even bigger (and scarier goals) after that.
November 21, 2015 - My date for the OSU football game!
Bri!  You are an amazing young woman.  Watching you go after your dreams, make adjustments to the route to get them done and in general kick ass is inspiring!!  I didn't know when I became a mom how much I would learn from my own kids.  I learn from you all the time!!  Saying that you make me proud is an understatement.

Thank you so much for believing in me.  You have no idea how much that means to me.  Thank you for being my swim coach.  For us to make that work says a lot about both of us as a swimmer and a coach and a mom and daughter.  Yay us!  When I do my Olympic triathlon next summer I will make you proud!

How can I do anything but keep working at my journey with this kind of support?  :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment